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Human Race’s “Gloria: A Life” is a Story Well Told

Review by Raechel Lombardo of “Gloria: A Life”: Human Race Theatre

There’s only so much one can cover in a little over an hour about a pivotal women’s movement throughout the latter half of the 20th century.  But I must say, The Human Race Theatre Company’s “Gloria:  A Life” by Emily Mann sure does give a solid crash course on Gloria Steinem and her political influence.  The play focuses on Steinem’s life, career, and activism, as well as the movement she was a part of, and the other women who also made it possible.  This production is a perfect opportunity to showcase intersectional feminism in all of its artistic choices.

To the women on stage, what a strong, fantastic, eclectic, and celebrated group of unique female performers.  Jennifer Johansen (Gloria), Burgess Byrd (Woman 2), Rae Buchanan (Woman 5), Eileen Earnest (Woman 6), Sherman Fracher (Woman 3), Andréa Morales (Woman 4), and Aurea Tomeski (Woman 1) have created this honest, open atmosphere for you to hear their stories and even share yours as well.  They all know how to portray strong in ways other than anger and grit, which is a true testament to the range women have, and I thank them for their representations.

To the crew who had such a unique, accessible, and inclusive vision for the environment for this play to thrive in, I applaud you for being so clear-cut, classy, and full of a thousand words all at the same time.  Again, a true testament to the juggling capabilities of women, whether in oppression or in open individuality.  Isaac Harris (Technical Director), Eric Moore (Head Carpenter/Charge Artist), Alexander Capeneka (Carpenter/Scenic Artist), Jacquelyn Duncan (Production Stage Manager), Michelle “Elle” Zimmerman (Assistant to the Director/Moderator), Anna Moore (Production Assistant), Mikayla Burr (Props Master), Debra Howard (Costume Stage Manager), Andrew Ian Adams (Wardrobe), Alexander Koker (Projection Operator), Bailey Olean (Sound Engineer), Dave Arnold (Production Artwork), Miami Valley Interpreters, Gayle Smith (Audio Description), Heather N. Powell (Publicity Photographer), and Scott J. Kimmins (Production Photographer) have done an elegantly collaborative job.

And thank you to the playwright, Emily Mann.  Thank you for creating a piece for women, by a women, about women, inclusive of all women, and allowing women of all shapes, colors, ages, and so on to play.   That, in itself, really contributes to the dialogue of equal rights, in that it is often difficult finding shows like that, even today.  You put in thorough effort to pay homage to these women in such a concise and playful thesis.

Go enjoy the theatre, see a wonderfully talented ensemble of women playing everyone, and have a discussion about where we’ve been and where we’re going.   “Gloria:  A Life” is running until March 15 at The Human Race Theatre Company, get your tickets while you can.