Play captures spectrum of female identity

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In today’s evolving political climate of women’s rights and gay marriage, Tessa Carter saw a rising need for queer theater.

Director and graduate student Carter, along with an all-student cast bring “Why We Have A Body” to the stage Aug. 28 to 31, nightly at 8 p.m.

Written in 1993 by Claire Chafee, “Why We Have A Body” is a tale of four women who search for love, happiness and a lost sense of self through the female mind and experience.

Carter spoke about the way she helped the actors prepare for their roles.

“I asked the cast to revisit turning points in their lives such as puberty, sexual encounters and other womanly experiences to delve into the metaphoric ambience that creates (‘Why We Have A) Body.'”

The play stars Lili, played by Anastacia Stitt, a detective in search of love and more importantly her absent mother Eleanor. Lili’s estranged sister Mary, played by Kimberly Gosnell, is also torn up by the loss of her mother while struggling with mental illness and a compulsion to rob convenience stores. Renee, played by Becky Raeta, is a married straight woman struggling with her sexual identity, when she meets Lili on an airplane.

Mary, played by Kimberly Gosnell, applies lipstick during dress rehearsals on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Her character struggles with mental illness and a compulsion to rob convenience stores. Photo by Mike Hendrickson / Xpress

Mary, played by Kimberly Gosnell, applies lipstick during dress rehearsals on Monday, Aug. 26, 2013. Her character struggles with mental illness and a compulsion to rob convenience stores. Photo by Mike Hendrickson / Xpress

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