When I was first approached by Anthony with an idea for an all-female production of Two Gentlemen Verona, my first thought, as a woman desperate for some patriarchal dismantling, was: “I must be a part of this”. In a time in which society is so keen on oppressing women, a female-driven Two Gentlemen of Verona is the perfect outlet with which to render an audience acutely aware of the insidious world we live in where people like Brock Turner is given a minimal sentence and Brett Kavanaugh is appointed Supreme Court Judge. There’s never been a better time for a woman to tell her story. For women to tell our story. Or in the case of Two Gentlemen, for women our side of a man’s story. And with the Monsterpiece team and a force of ball-busting females, in a time of silencing, we were finally able to speak for ourselves.
Throughout the rehearsal and performance process, Anthony fostered an environment for the acting company that empowered us to be ourselves, to feel safe, and most importantly, to create a story from dignity and self-awareness. Anthony championed an enterprise that was not only visible to our audience but penetrating- speaking to audience members after the show learned me that our crusade had all but gotten up and hugged them tightly, whispering that they had been seen and understood. For a moment, even ever so fleeting, a woman could feel safe again. Our Two Gentleman showed an audience that there’s resilience in riot, especially when women are at the helm.
I have the utmost gratitude for the women that stood by my side each night and for Anthony, whose passion and vision nurtured us every moment along the way.