Play: “The Revolutionists”
Performers: Fly-By-Night Productions.
Times/dates: 7:30 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays, Sept. 20-21 and 27-28; 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22.
Site: Bijou Room, Five Flags Center, 405 Main St.
Cost: $20. Tickets are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, at the Five Flags Center box office; at www.ticketmaster.com; and at the door one hour prior to each performance, cash only.
The French Revolution is in full swing. Four women — a playwright, an assassin, a Haitian rebel and a former queen — are intent on making their voices heard. The woman-powered play captures the violence and legacy, theater and activism, feminism and terrorism of compatriots and chosen sisters trying to beat back the extremist insanity of 1793 Paris.
- Kicking off Fly-By-Night Productions’ 37th season, “The Revolutionists” includes a quartet of seasoned Dubuque actresses: Chrissy Hogue Bartels as Olymde de Gouges, A. Alanda Gregory as Marianne Angelle, Jen Hogue-Mercer as Charlotte Corday and Lynda Mackie as Marie-Antoinette. Mackie is married to director, Doug Mackie.
- The two-act comedy was written in 2017 by Laura Gunderson, regarded as America’s most produced living playwright. Her work heavily focuses on historical female figures.
- A talk-back with the cast and the director will take place following the performances on Sept. 21 and 27.
- Due to language, the play is recommended for mature audiences.
Quotable, from director Doug Mackie
- “The play is a reconstruction of how all of these women were connected through the French Revolution. They had correspondence with one another, but in the play, the author has put them all in the same room in a hypothetical situation and all discussing the issues of the time period from a different angle — the biggest being women being given a voice. Each woman has a soap box to stand on.”
- “The process has been very organic and in the moment. Each of the women in the cast is like their character — strong and vocal — and they bring something very different to the table. They’re constantly mapping out ideas and keeping the momentum running as continuously as possible.”
- “As a man directing this play about women, my first approach was that a woman should direct it. I thought Lynda (Mackie) should direct it, but she didn’t want to direct it. So I said, ‘Maybe they’ll let me do it.’ As I man, I am there to listen to the cast. My role has just been to let these women fly, to give them authority over their character and to give them everything they need. I’m just the person logistically organizing how they can play in the space and accomplish the vision of the playwright. It has been a great working relationship, and I think the cast has felt very comfortable and empowered.”
- “I think people should know that it’s a funny play, despite the serious subject matter. It’s funny and very entertaining.”