Babes With Blades Theater Company is no stranger to the 1940s, having previously produced several shows set in and around that decade, such as Barbara Lhota’s 180 Degree Rule (with M.E.H. Lewis) and The Double.
“It’s one of my favorite time periods for comedy and action, and we have both! The style has such a great physicality, and the language just crackles,” said Director Leigh Barrett. “Plus Barb has taken this superheroine, who originated in 1940, and set her story right after WWII. This of course is when women who had been working in factories and offices – making a difference, having an impact – were expected to step down upon the soldiers’ return from the war.” Playwright Lhota added, “Women who were made visible during World War II, because they took over so many male dominated jobs, were now asked to become, in effect, invisible as the men came home.”
It’s not only the time or the politics, though – the creative team is smitten with Scarlet herself.
“I love Scarlet’s origin story because she accidentally acquires her power at a young age and realizes, as many superheroes do, that this gift requires her to be her best and bravest self,” said Lhota. Barrett agreed, “She has this power of invisibility, but she’s not invulnerable. She just happens to be brave enough to risk her own safety by jumping into a raging river or on top of a moving car when she sees someone who needs help.” Violence Designer Libby Beyreis added, “I’ve always been drawn to superhero stories because I think that kind of story, of standing up for things you believe in, is one of the most powerful and important stories you can tell.” Lhota concluded, “I feel like we could really use a hero like Scarlet fighting for the defenseless today, a hero who is optimistic and has a giant heart.”