According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Fringe/Girl Power: Voices of a Generation

Reviewed by Amanda Halkiotis

Written and performed by honest-to-God teenagers who aren’t shy about looking (or acting) their age, Girl Power combines monologue, spoken word, montage, and soliloquy as a platform for their fears, desires, dreams, and doubts, all based on real interviews, emotions, and experiences. Addressing topics spanning reality TV, social networking, gossip, high school bureaucracy, fashion magazines, weight gain, eating disorders, dating, date rape, friendship, drinking, and self-expression, these stellar young girls use mature yet relatable articulation that tells the audience their stories in their words, on their terms.

No stuffy artistic directors ran through this script with a red pen to translate slang and omit acronyms. As a result, the play is bursting with personality. The opening and closing scenes include the stirring spoken-word poetry of the show-stopping Dominique Fishback which makes the audience take notice of the urban landscapes she depicts. Fishback is shortly followed by another cast member familiar with inner-city living. In a self-written piece, Kezia Tyson puts poetry onstage as she advocates graffiti as a legitimate art form. Weaving in between such bluntness are quieter, more serious scenes that cope with abuse (familial and relationship). These scenes displays an entirely different idea of a difficult upbringing, played with heartbreaking sympathetic accuracy by Lyric Anderson, Anastasia Zorin, Christina Perry, and Andrea Panichi. Quick as a woman’s prerogative to change her mind the mood lightens, however, welcoming witty comedy into the mix. Highlights include a Barbie-doll commercial parody written and performed by Candice Fernandez and co-starring Alexa Winston, and a tribute story about the feminist teacher one student secretly admires, performed by Lauren Curet. Directed by Ashley Marinaccio and Elizabeth Koke, this Girl Power Ensemble indeed represents the voice of a generation. Hear them roar.

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