Developed in 2011 through BWBTC’s Fighting Words program under the title Deeds Not Words, The Good Fight received its world premiere with Theatre Unbound, a Minneapolis/St. Paul company devoted to work by and about women.
What do British women from the early 20th century have to say to today’s audiences?
“They had to arrive at answers for questions that sound awfully familiar: When is it OK to use violence? What difference does it make if women are in power? If you believe a law is unjust, should you break it?” said Playwright Anne Bertram. “It’s also good to remind ourselves about the price these women paid to secure women’s voting rights. They were imprisoned, tortured, force-fed. Some died.” Adds Director Elizabeth Lovelady, “The US has plenty of problems, but we have so many rights and comforts that women in other parts of the world don’t enjoy. During our auditions, as an example of how ‘this is still happening,’ I frequently referenced the fact that women in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to drive. But since our auditions took place, the law has changed – and the change was largely influenced by women who broke the law and drove, and posted videos of it online. I think there’s a lesson there, that you have to resist, but you also have to publicize your resistance to really influence a change. And that’s a thing the women in this play do really well.”
Lovelady continues, “Lately there’s so much discussion of white feminism (meaning white women who only care about moving themselves forward and don’t recognize or try to address the unique issues that women of color face), which has been an issue with feminism since the get-go. So one way that I’m trying to bring this play out of the “history” department and into the “now” department is by casting a diverse array of women. To be clear, it’s still set in the original time period, but we are populating the play with a group of women who don’t look like you would expect. Instead they look like the people you’d ride the el with, making it speak more to the present. I hope that including women of color in this production will be a reminder that we are all in this together. And her rights are my rights. And if she’s oppressed, we all need to stand up and fight.”
Photos by Joe Mazza, brave lux inc.