Tuesday was the first show for the women. I can safely say that they were all nervous, each to a varying degree. Their nervousness was completely justifiable; most women have not performed in a show and even the most professional actors still experience some pre-show jitters. And, like any show, this one was not without its "snafus." The woman playing Stephano was unable to preform that night, so the woman playing Boatswain (having only rehearsed one of Stephano’s scenes earlier that day) went on in her absence. The women quickly realized that being on stage with an audience is very different from rehearsal. This made for opportunities to discover funnier, more interesting choices – and also worked to increase their nerves. What strikes me most about this program is how much courage it takes for the women to perform, to do something new, to challenge themselves. The woman playing Prospero, when reflecting on the first performance, stated “this is a hard place to be, let alone do this.” The woman playing the Boatswain agreed with her, marking that in this place, their audience is comprised of “hurting women.”
I am extremely proud of these women. They showcased teamwork, collaboration, flexibility, courage, and belief in themselves and their work. I hope that they celebrate their accomplishments, because everything they have done, from simply choosing to be a part of this program, to committing to this project, to learning more about themselves and others, is tremendously important to, I believe, what and why they walked through the theatre door nine months ago.