Something Something launches season centered on women by Chastity Laskey | Special to the Arizona Daily Star Oct 5, 2016
Something Something Theatre hopes to add a little something to the Tucson theater scene with a season of shows honoring and celebrating women.
Joan O’Dwyer, Esther Almazan and Whitney Morton Woodcock founded Something Something Theatre with the goal of presenting modern plays already in the canon, reimagining classics and moving the spotlight to women playwrights and their plays, which are often underrepresented in the industry.
Something Something’s first offering for this season is Annie Baker’s “Body Awareness,” with O’Dwyer in the director’s chair.
“‘Body Awareness’ is about a photographer who takes nude pictures of women, just using them as an exhibit, but also about a lesbian relationship and Asperger’s syndrome,” O’Dwyer said. “It’s really all those things rolled up into one great play.”
At the center of the story is a controversial artist who comes to town for “Body Awareness Week” at the local college. While there, he has an impact on the family with whom he is staying.
“What I like about this play is it’s about conflict and dysfunction that doesn’t have to be,” said Roger Owen, who has been acting on and off for 50 years. “I play a character, Frank Bonitatibus, and he can come off creepy, but I think he’s got a good soul.”
O’Dwyer says Something Something’s goal is for 50 percent of the plays they produce to be written by women.
“Men just don’t always talk about things in plays like women do,” O’Dwyer said. “I’m not just talking about family and relationship dynamics but about war and religion.” She said women playwrights more often incorporate other mediums, such as dance and music.
Monica Wolfkill, who has been acting for 17 years, likes that her character, Joyce, “stands up for herself and her opinion. She reclaims her position in life and realizes she’s an important person, not just a mom to a kid she can’t control; she has a voice.”
Wolfkill appreciates the way Something Something operates.
“I like the company because they take risks with the shows, they’re not done-to-death stuff everybody’s used to and has been done everywhere,” Wolfkill says.
O’Dwyer said they really want their prices, shows and audiences to be attainable, while also stretching their audience a little bit.
“I hope they feel an actual interaction with us on stage and in talkbacks or post-show discussions,” she said. “I think our plays are going to be worth talking about.”
Chastity Laskey is a University of Arizona journalism student apprenticing at the Star.
Photo: Kelly Presnell/ AZ Daily Star