Show examines feelings of isolation
A theatre performance is comparing women’s feelings of isolation in Shakespeare’s era to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Caged, by Skin Theatre, is a compilation of Shakespeare’s most memorable women, looking at how they felt isolated and trapped.
The 500-year-old stories are intertwined with the experiences of Palmerston North women during Covid-19 lockdown.
Actor and producer Maree Gibson said the show featured four actresses, who shared their unique but relatable experiences of surviving the Covid-19 lockdown.
‘‘Those feelings are not only universal, but hundreds of years old. We felt like we couldn’t ignore the impact lockdown had, and women in Shakespeare’s era were very much in isolation.’’
The show features short scenes about eight Shakespearean women, mixed with monologues about modern women.
Gibson said the main difference was that modern women had a voice.
Interlaced between those scenes are the actors’ personal stories of lockdown, with the same emotions, and advice for the future and the sentiment that women are much stronger than they think. ‘‘There is lots going on in this world, and theatre and art does a good job at tackling that without feeling confronting and scary.’’
Gibson, director and producer Kelly Harris, and designer Lana Sklenars started Skin Theatre in 2013.
They all had jobs and couldn’t commit to full-time acting roles, but wanted autonomy with their art. ‘‘I always said we were two clowns with a dream,’’ Gibson said.
They felt like there were not strong enough acting and leadership roles for women in theatre to challenge or inspire them.
Their first show was an all-women Macbeth, and Gibson said the company was focused on telling stories that featured women in strong roles.
Harris said the group took a four-year hiatus, but decided to do a show because the arts industry had taken a big hit.
She said New Zealand was lucky restrictions had eased, and they felt obligated to play their part for the industry and put on a show.
The show runs from August 4 to 14 at Snails: Artist Run Space on Taonui St in Palmerston North.