Let’s play a little game: what was the last play you saw? How many female characters were in the play? What was their purpose in the plot?
Whether we’re talking film, television or yes, even theater, the stats are clear that as far as substantial female characters go, even today in 2017, they’re still few and far-between. But thanks to Milwaukee-based theater company, Theater RED, those numbers are now being put to the test.
“When [my wife] Marcee and I first met she would often complain a little bit about how theater is not opening enough roles for women with diverse backgrounds, diverse sizes, diverse ideas and philosophies,” explains Christopher Elst, actor and cofounder of Theater RED alongside his wife, Marcee, “so we thought, well, maybe we can create those roles.”
Founded by Christopher and Marcee in 2013, TheaterRED works with local playwrights and theaters to create, produce and perform unique plays that feature strong, diverse, and most of all, genuine, female characters.
But what does this look like in action?
I swung by the Alchemist Theater in Bay View the other week to take a peek in a practice for their upcoming performance of The Wayward Women. Listen in on the practice and my conversation with Chris and Marcee below: