Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Maggie Yates’s FEMFEST: Talkback is a delightful and humorously surprising treat for feminists of all genders, bringing various voices and viewpoints to the ongoing conversation about what female empowerment and alliance truly entails. In what initially appears to be a Q&A with reality star Farraleigh Webster — whose claim to fame is quite controversial — the spectators quickly find themselves drafted in to the action as apparently unsuspecting audience members join Farraleigh in impassioned debate. In under 20 minutes, FEMFEST: Talkback challenges the conventions of contemporary “wokeness” while touching on both current issues, such as nonconsensual pornography and body image, and timeless ones, such as commodifying one’s femininity and straddling the line between being powerful and being vulnerable.
Although uttered only once throughout the show, the title of Danielle Draper and Lindsey Twigg’s peanutbutterjellybagelcreamcheese (a play about the brain) easily captures the seemingly scattered thought processes of one person’s brain as enacted by its two separate hemispheres. The play follows a woman’s experience of unrequited love through the internal dialogue between the earnest, impulsive “Right Brain” and the restrained, logical “Left Brain.” Hilariously hectic for most of its length, peanutbutterjellybagelcreamcheese culminates in a poignant moment of clarity, in which the Left Brain realizes that “the most logical decision is the emotional one,” unifying the two hemispheres. In this relatable show, the audience is treated to an impressive comedic blend of movement and dialogue, one that will captivate and charm anyone who has ever been in love.