When We Were Young and Unafraid by Sarah TreemDespite its set-up, When We Were Young... is less about domestic violence, and more about womens capacity for love and grief.
Through four characters, all from different decades, we are shown how womens options have and havent changed, the choices made in the face of those limitations and possibilities, and how terrifying change can be, even if the risk pales in comparison to the potential benefit.
The context of this story is imperative. The year is 1972, pre-Roe v Wade, pre Title IX, pre-sexual harassment laws, etc. And the characters: their ages represent womens experiences specific to those decades. Agnes, in her early 50s, serves as a sage to the mid-20s Mary Ann, who has sought harbor at Agnes B&B, while also appearing wary and world-weary to the more idealistic 30-something Hannah. Her insistence that teenage Penny focus on her grades/studies/accomplishments rather than social status and/or (gasp) boys is grounded in her own history, least of which is that she was a young adult during World War II, and witnessed women achieve some measure of occupational and financial independence only to have it ripped away and be forced back into the constrictive role of wife and mother.
I mention all of this not just because its crucial to the story, but also as a warning to future productions not to screw this up, as one white male director recently did by lowering Agnes age considerably. He also aged Paul, the songwriter who falls for Mary Ann, turning their romance into something potentially predatory and icky.
So, if you can manage to stay true to the playwrights vision, When We were Young and Unafraid is a fantastic script for black box and community theaters due to its small cast, and simple, single setting. Consider pairing with a domestic violence shelter or other social service organization for maximum community impact.
When We Were Young and Unafraid
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The year is , and a new age of feminism is dawning as women grope to find voices to match their evolving identities. Well, some of them are groping. Such meticulously laid-out clarity may be a boon to those who like the assistance of road signs in finding their way to a theme. But it subverts the potential narrative power of this earnest, thoughtful drama, which opened on Tuesday night in a Manhattan Theater Club production starring the formidable Cherry Jones and directed by Pam MacKinnon. And she has come up with a smart and exciting premise to bring characters of different backgrounds — and different notions of what it means to be a woman at a pivotal historical moment — into proximity and conflict. The setting is conveniently isolated, a bed-and-breakfast on a sylvan island in Washington State run by the middle-aged, motherly Agnes Ms. Jones , where visitors from a noisier, scarier world come to seek sanctuary.
The ban on women practicing law had been recently lifted, but Roe v. Wade was still a year off. Hannah the overly committed Cherise Boothe is the young-black-radical-lesbian warrior who belongs to a sisterhood chapter called the Gorgons who says lesbians have no sense of humor? Opened June 17, Reviewed June Creative : Directed by Pam MacKinnon.
When We Were Young and Unafraid The PDF will be sent automatically via email, once we have received complete payment of the license invoice. There is .
just me and you and you and me
Sex, Violence and Power, With a Feminist Slant
Men Women Total Cast. View Cart.
The Daily Californian covers the city of Berkeley and the campus in unparalleled detail, all while training the future of the journalism industry. Consider making a donation to support the coverage that shapes the face of Berkeley. Raising awareness about the brutalities of domestic violence is evidently the main focus of this play, and it is a righteous and necessary goal indeed. The play is set in the s, when domestic violence was often ignored and brushed aside as a private matter — the Violence Against Women Act, which recognized domestic violence as a federal crime, was not passed by Congress until Although depicting situations from decades ago, the delivery and the effortless flow of the script make the play thoroughly relatable and familiar. Treem succeeded in creating an atmosphere of extreme modernity, thus permeating the sense that domestic violence and revolutionary feminism are issues that still need more attention and publicity today. The verisimilitude in the play is subtle yet astonishing.