Yes, yes, yes! From the opening scene to the the final blackout, Pussy R.E.P.’s production of That Kind of Girl delights, titillates, enlightens, and sears in pure peppy, poignant perfection. This stirring ensemble piece explores what it means to be female in the 21st century, and its spirit and message are infectious and cathartic.
Originally conceived by Emma Lou Hébert (who turns in a compelling performance), the piece is a collection of young women’s stories, with snippets from childhood through early adulthood. A mix of drama, stylized movement, sketch comedy and satire, it explores the patriarchy’s responsibility for society’s subconscious thinking, the absurdity of the post-rape blame game, the way in which women edit themselves to soften the opinions of others and what is taught to young girls about the necessity to be the object of desire.
Game show gags and maxi pad commercial satires are peppered between beautifully gut-wrenching stories of depression, eating disorders, street harassment, and more. Many scenes involve two, three, or more monologues woven together, much in the style of A Chorus Line, with each woman’s individual experience relating to that of the others. One particularly poignant scene has Hébert, Anna Lynch, and Natalie Piegari spinning in and out of center stage, as memories of sexual assault spin through their minds and their dialogue.
Visually stunning, Jocelyn Knazik’s wonderful direction is displayed in the dynamic movements. From summitting mountains made from lined up ottomans, tables, and chairs, to human chains curling smoothly around one another, the actors move through the space fluidly and powerfully, creating fantastic frames. Knazik has somehow made having three women climb onto a kitchen table and shout to the rafters look perfectly right. I dare not say perfectly normal, because this piece is anything but; it is extraordinary. The funky movement is compounded by a soundtrack that ranges from hauntingly beautiful to cozily upbeat. The music works. The movement works. This production just works.
That Kind of Girl
created by Pussy R.E.P.
1021 7th Street NW 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20001
Details and tickets
A few times, as a scene comes to a head, the full cast takes a deep breath together and exhales in unison. You can feel the support, the release, and the trust. It is powerful.
That Kind of Girl is a mighty piece of theatre. It asks us to examine how we raise girls and boys, how we treat women and men, and where feminism stands in society today. The script is strong, with words strung together deliciously, flowing forth with ease and conviction from the stellar cast. The energy in the room is palpable. There is a sense that all the women on stage are pouring their hearts into their performances and doing so with immense conviction and joy.
I want to be that kind of girl. Go see this show and I’ll bet you’ll want to be too.