Billed as a "play-within-a-play," the Brazen-Faced Varlets' production of THE ANATASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN continues through February 2 at Alleyway's Caberet Theater. The play was written by Carolyn Gage. "She's very close to her plays," said Lara Haberberger, Artistic/Executive Director. So close, in fact, that Gage connected via Skype for a recent rehearsal to offer her insights.
"She'll (Gage) always read our reviews. She shares on her Facebook page. She has a weekly newsletter that goes out, so she's always posting.," said Haberberger, who is also directing the production.
The audience also serves a key role. They get to decide on arguments made inside the "courtroom" and ultimately decide the defendants' fate.
"It adds an extra layer of complication when you do rehearsals for a play like this."
That difficulty aside, Haberberger believes the element "creates a lot of great conflict on stage."
Named for a passage in KING LEAR, Brazen-Faced Varlets typically take on "edgy" material.
"Our work is basically on women," Habeberger said.
"We also like to do work that shows societal issues that we need to point out and work on."
Recent plays have focused on gun control, elections reform and the safety of gay and lesbian youth.
While THE ANATASIA TRIALS IN THE COURT OF WOMEN touches upon serious issues, Haberberger also promises some fun moments.
"You can get deeper and much more tragic with something if you have a humorous tinge to it because then the audience gets moments of relief."