“Lady LiberTease” theater review at Whitefire Theatre Solofest
Written and performed by Kirsten Laurel Caplan
Directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson
“Lady LiberTease” is a deliciously funny and extremely sincere recollection of the last four tumultuous years, and a few centuries before that, through the eyes of one woman.
The solo show takes us on a journey of the vivid rediscovery of Kirsten Laurel Caplan’s Boudicca-ness, in the face of Trump, the relentless Republican tide and the grim realities of a reversal of female, racial rights in this country so full of contradictions.
She had me at “are we going to force women to give birth in the land of the free?” Make no mistake, Kirsten’s politics are front and center in this piece, and boldly spoken. But always with a huge amount of empathy, love and compassion. The marches and the protests and the boycotts and the organizing she alludes to were not all from anger and despair. No, the power of the movement came from love. A fear of the lack of it from the right and a fierce need to gather us all together with it, to unite us with it, and create a better union with it.
Kristen found her connection, as a woman, to the foundations of this country through the history of the founding fathers and their admiration for the Iroquois Nation. Who knew that they based the government on the system of five nations in North America who created a very successful democratic system, where the women voted and the symbol of the mother as the fair and powerful leader was an actual reality? I certainly had no idea!
In fact, America was very nearly called Columbia and the image of the goddess Columbia was on the back of coins in this country until the early 80s. Reagan and the ridiculous combining of state and Christianity put an end to that.
Good grief, the more I learn about the recent political history of this country the more I realize how ruinous the political patriarchy has been. Hail to the goddess Columbia!! Although even that gets very complicated, too.
I loved doing this “Lady LiberTease” theater review at Whitefire Theatre Solofest.“Lady LiberTease” is informative, passionate, instructive, inclusive, inspirational, and a guide to finding how to help solve the problem of division, racism, bigotry and hate. Kirsten uses the tools she found in her long and complicated journey of finding herself through our collective sense of shame. As a drama teacher and a director, Kirsten has a unique perspective on how our country is developing on a human level. From the babies up so to speak.
“Lady LiberTease” takes a turn, when the KKK march in Santa Monica. She is reminded by one of her mentors that, “when white women cry black men die.” Finding out that being angry and white and female doesn’t help her anti-racist cause was tough, it’s tough for us all. I am white and female and I have no idea how to deal with the outrage and anger I have on a daily basis. Although since November 20, I have been coming down from that high high incendiary feeling inch by inch.
This solo show does an excellent job of giving specific and explicit instruction on how to be a good white person. Sounds simple, but I can tell you it is not. Finding a balance between understanding and empathizing and actual action, without seeming privileged, (although of course we are) is difficult.
So much to learn. So much time wasted. So much hope for the future?? I think so. Kirsten sees her own reflection in the twisting of an icon, female and white and strong. Don’t we have to embrace it all and face it all, before we can move past it?
So the truth will set us free, but with a lot of work!! Bravo!!!