The SF StateSchool of Theatre and Dance sponsored a two-day festival this week to celebrate women and the future of women as part of the national showcase.
Dance performances and plays created by women, about women, were featured as “The Future is Female” in the “lab” theatre of the Creative Arts building. The event allowed students, faculty and alumni to participate and showcase their short plays and dance pieces. Although the plays were written only by women, they were performed by both women and men and depicted what women can do in the future.
The Future is Female Festival was part of a national movement in response to the 2016 presidential election and the president’s comments toward women during the campaign. The routines spoke out against misogyny currently prominent in the media and showcased the strength of women.
Emanuel Morales, a play narrator, believes that festivals like this are specifically important because it reminds people of the vital roles women play in art and in daily life.
“Women are an important foundation of our society who are often casually overlooked and dismissed,” Morales said. “This is especially important in today’s political atmosphere, with all the controversy surrounding our president and his views on women.”
Along with the women’s marches that occurred all over the country, this festival became another opportunity for women to unify and use their voice. Anne Galijour, one of the playwrights, was just as passionate as Morales about the importance of the festival and its ability to empower women during this particular time.
Like many other industries, theatre is male-centric and women have a hard time getting their work produced. The Future is Female festival provided a platform for women to voice their opinions and views through artistic expression, while also providing more in-depth and developed character roles for women.
“It is very hard for women to get produced in theatre, that’s still a big problem and then the older you get as a woman, the harder it is,” said Galijour. “It’s about visibility.”
Each play and dance lasted 10 minutes and touched on the subjects like sexualization of women, the abuse of women by men in power, sexual assault, breaking out of everyday habits, sisterhood and female forgiveness.
“A lot of times I think women are told things are their fault,” said Rebecca Raeta, a SF State alumni and festival playwright. “There’s that saying that women are constantly sorry for things that men (aren’t); they’re very apologetic.”
The Future is Female was a place for women to get involved and make a change in theatre, the community and the nation as a whole.
“Women’s stories and perspective are often left out of the mainstream media, so festivals like this are important,” said Tyler Payton, a narrator for three of the plays. “Women are here, we’ve always been here. We deserve to have our stories told.”