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top girls act i - graduate directing project

DIRECTING CONCEPT: How has feminism changed and not changed women’s lives? How are contemporary women connected with women of the past? Why do some say modern feminism is having an identity crisis? This production seeks to explore these questions through the dreamed dinner party of 80s career woman Marlene who has recently been promoted to managing director of Top Girls agency. Her dream seems realistic, despite the guests being historical and mythical women from different eras. Maybe there are jumps in logic and fuzzy borders around the edges, but it still seems plausible that a group of successful career women who have come together to celebrate success, end up drinking a little bit too much and get into deeper conversations than expected which challenge them (or, at least, Marlene as the protagonist of this dream) to evaluate the meaning of their own success. A “girls night out” that started off celebratory but ends in chaos and disillusionment...sounds familiar to me. The set and staging will be realistic to a group dinner at a restaurant, though the round table will highlight the significance of bringing together this particular group of women, and the dialogue will be as conversation as possible. These female characters, who are already being filtered through Marlene’s worldview, will also be filtered through the lens of the modern day feminist with costuming choices of contemporary interpretations of the fashion of each character’s era and the incorporation of modern music by female artists. Therefore the characters in this scene will exist simultaneously in various worlds: Marlene’s dream world, the timeless world of women’s conversations, the worlds of their own time periods/their own stories, and the world of the contemporary audience.

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