A girl from Spanish Harlem who goes to NYU.
A girl from the Congo who moved to the USA.
A girl from the Bronx who went to a LBGTQ school.
A girl from the suburbs of Philadelphia from a prep school.
Different girls. Different backgrounds. And yet we all used the same words to describe this show:
Eve Ensler's latest work, Emotional Creature, now playing at the Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre at the Pershing Square Signature Center in New York City, needs to be seen by every girl, boy, woman, and man. Bring your children, bring your parents, bring your loved ones and friends, and especially bring your enemies. If you are paying attention at all, you will all leave changed.
To say that Eve Ensler is one of the most important playwrights of our generation is an understatement. She has changed the lives of women all across the country by shattering the taboos on the concept, word, and topic of vaginas through her plays and organization
"V-Day." But in true Eve Fashion, she is not stopping there. She has now swung her gaze to the future: girls. The single most untapped resource in the world. And she's at it again. Out to change the world and activate you to help her.
You enter the theater and are immediately immersed in Girl World: a place of dancing, singing, blood, colors, screams, laughter, pain, and most importantly, emotions. The play swings over ocean and continent to hear words from girls of all sizes, shapes, nationalities, races, and sexual orientations. The stories are riveting, passionate, and blisteringly honest. As you watch, your own emotional creature begins to creep out from wherever it was hiding, activating your soul and heart.
Girls are being undone everywhere. We each have our own specific cage, depending on where we're from, but we are all in a cage. Although there is plenty of overt chauvinism, the trickiest kind is the most predominant one. We as girls are taught to do it to ourselves. As a girl, I can attest to the goodie bag of insecurities we are handed when we hit teendom. We are taught to pick ourselves apart: our thighs, our hair, our stomachs, our arms, our lips, our eyes, all of it wrong. When we're not hating ourselves, we are hating each other. Gossiping, envying, fighting, tearing each other down. We call each other prudes if we never have sex and sluts if we do. We date the wrong men, drooling over the bad boys, the assholes who don't respect us or treat us as human beings. We "friend zone" all the good boys, and chase after the ones who demean, dump, and criticize us, breaking our hearts over and over again. And every time it happens, we say "I deserved that." We are taught to apologize for everything and please everyone other than ourselves. I am one of those girls. And this show challenges everything I've been taught.
As Eve says, we need to stop trying to fix ourselves, and start trying to fix the world. Emotional Creature presents us with an alternate view of the world. The girls in this play are wild, brilliant, vivacious creatures that make the world tremble beneath them. They show us what we are capable of if we value ourselves, love each other, and take on the world.
Eve presents us with a dark terrain of the world. Then slowly, we hear girls' voices in the dark. Eve washes these girls in radiance, gilding them in starlight and connects them with a web of silver string, creating a network of girls with the same shared story. From this lunar string, Eve weaves Girl World, and it is fearsome to behold. And amidst the vibrancy, horror, and tears, there is ultimately triumph. All she hopes is that you leave with a little stardust clinging to your coat. She hopes you carry the seed of hope back to wherever you came from to continue the grassroots movement of change.
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