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  • 09 Mar 2018 3:11 PM | Farzana Moon

    #MeToo

    Theatre women sharing their works

    Sunday March 18, 2018, 2:00 PM

    National Action Network

    House of Justice

    106 West, 145th St. New York NY 10039

                                    Monologue written by Farzana Moon

    Stormy Nights

     

    ‘It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.’  Lewis Carroll

     

     

    I am Stormy Daniels. I had an affair with Donald Trump when Melania was pregnant. For the price of my silence not to disclose Trump’s adulterous affair I was offered one hundred and thirty thousand dollars which made me twice the victim of my own nightmares. The first time I was victim of my own guilt for being the lover of conscienceless Trump while Melania languished at home, heavy with child. My second time as a victim began with #MeToo movement when women stood up against the sexual harassment and I couldn’t say a word, since my silence was bought at a heavy price. During all those years between then and now, my sufferings never ended, for inside the cage of my own mind I remained a prisoner, shackled by chains of remorse, my heart wounded and bleeding. But now, the purple wound in my heart is abscessed and throbbing under the burden of too heavy a ransom for my silence. This silence within me is soaked in my blood and veins, my body revolting against the violence done to women by men rich, craven, egotistic and vainglorious who can buy carnal pleasures at their own whim or caprice. This #MeToo movement has awakened me to the realization of the hopeless, helpless pain of countless women who have been victims of sexual harassment for years, but their lips were sealed for the shame of being violated and for the brutal fact that even if they were to expose their naked shame to the world, no one would be willing to believe their tragic plight. Before Trump became president, and listening to his tapes, bragging about his salacious assaults on women, not only wounded my heart but bruised my mind afresh, wild and tortured. After Trump became president he kept insulting the women he had sexually assaulted, and the globe of shame within my mind became a searing, maddening mirror, reflecting a myriad of torments those innocent women suffered while Trump corrupted the Oval Office with his lies grand and fantastic. Exulting in his sexual assaults by denial and arrogance, even siding with Roy Moore the pedophile, backed by a legion of Republicans to corrupt the very air of Senate Halls. This reek of corruption from White House nauseates me and I long to comfort my #MeToo sisters, but Trumpian Lawyers follow me like hounds, poised to stab me with the knife of their lies till I am bled to death. I beg you, please take your blood money back, even take my life, you liars lawyers vultures, but before that speak I will, telling the truth, my story, the tragic story of every women in the world who has suffered through the carnal desires of men-beast. Even if one man-beast Trump can be held accountable for his sins and removed from the Oval Office, world would become a better place.

    Paradoxically, in this bazaar of a world, we are defined as buyers and sellers. All of us are selling something, our wares, our ideas, our bodies. Yet, when a woman is forced by circumstances to sell her body, she earns little money and a lot of disrespect. When women holding ‘prestigious’ jobs are defiled by lecherous men, porn stars can feel their pain and shame much more intensely and profoundly, for they too are the victims of this so-called civilized world./

    ‘I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.’ Mahatma Gandhi


  • 02 Nov 2017 7:16 PM | Carol Lashof
    MEDUSA'S TALE by Carol Lashof

    Countless would-be-heroes have tried to slay Medusa, the famous monster with snakes for hair, but every one has turned to stone, simply by meeting her gaze. The young Perseus is different, though. The Goddess Athena has given him a sword and shield and told him to beware of Medusa's tricks. But Perseus finds himself suddenly unprepared when Medusa's weapon of choice is a bedtime story—the story of her life. 

    This play has been produced around the world at universities, high schools, professional, and community theaters from Fairbanks, Alaska to Beijing, China. Originally published in the widely-read anthology PLAYS IN ONE ACT, it is now newly available in an acting edition from YouthPLAYS.

    https://www.youthplays.com/play/medusas-tale-by-carol-s.-lashof-482


  • 05 Sep 2017 7:14 PM | Anonymous

    Can You Make a Trauma-Warrior Resilience Kit...from Picture Frames, Leftovers, and High Heels?

    Placing myself in other people’s words, as in placing myself in other people’s shoes, has given me the opportunity to get below the surface — to get “real.” - Anna Deveare Smith

    Picture Frames:

    One of my favorite parts of performing Gutless and Grateful at the esteemed Feinstein’s/54Below was getting to premiere one of my Original Songs, Picture Frame.

    Read more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/can-you-make-a-trauma-warrior-resilience-kitfrom_us_59a91304e4b0c50640cd5e96  


  • 04 Aug 2017 5:06 PM | Judith Pratt

    Art Age Publications, which publishes plays for senior theatre companies, has published my ten-minute comedy, METAPHORICAL SHOES--probably because the main characters are between 65 and 90! It's also been very popular with small theatre companies.

    So if you're 65 or older and looking for a show, check it out at https://www.seniortheatre.com

  • 09 Jul 2017 3:10 AM | Anonymous

    Excited to have my monologues published on a great site, PerformerStuff!  I have varying age ranges and topics - definitely many in the female empowerment area!


    Here's my profile and check out the monologues: https://amyoes.com/monologues

    You can also find them here: https://performerstuff.com/generalpwprofile/155014/pw

  • 21 Jun 2017 3:00 AM | Anonymous

    On Huffington Post

    Are you near New York on June 30th? Maybe you can tell me if I'm completely insane.

    "I'm performing a show about my life next week!"

    "Oh yeah? What's it about?"

    "Uh...there's a discount code?"

    "Uh...[panics] watch my TEDx Talk? [hands out postcard, runs in other direction]"

    I've been having the hardest time trying to explain exactly what I'll be singing about at New York's most famous supper club on June 30th.

    Oh, and why I have Kathie Lee Gifford and NBC's Today Show to thank for it.

    Oh...and why I chose a venue with the finest dining in the city to sing about what it's like to be denied even a single drop of water for six years?

    Oh. And why critics are calling a show with my surgeons operating notes read on a voiceover..."hilarious?"

    Am I crazy for bringing a musical called "Gutless & Grateful" to Feinstein's/54 Below this month? A cabaret club most famous for award-winning, Broadway entertainment? Is anyone going to even WANT to buy a ticket with a story that may be..."hard to digest?" or..."make your stomach turn?" (Sorry - too much?)

    Maybe, That's why I'm offering a special discount this time - just in case I've lost it completely.

    When I tell people my “stomach exploded” people don’t really know what to make of it.

    Apparently, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb did. Six years ago, I was thrilled; I never thought I’d be featured on the “Today” show.

    As a teen, I was merely thrilled to get my very first college acceptance letter. I couldn’t believe I had gotten into the musical theatre program at University of Michigan. All my life, I had dreamed of pursuing a career in theatre, on Broadway, in every musical possible — and this was my golden ticket. I didn’t realize in two weeks my world would drastically change forever.

    It was the night of our family Passover Seder — a favorite holiday of mine. As always, there were 30 joyous and over-stuffed friends and family surrounding us. As always, we told the Passover story with our mouths full of laughter, song, brisket and kugel. As always, I felt snuggly embraced by the love and warmth of the people in my life and the safety of a time-honored family tradition. And then I felt something that I had never experienced before.

    Just a Stomach Ache

     A simple stomach ache that escalated into excruciating pain, never ceasing and only growing worse for two entire days. As the pain grew more and more intense, my father drove me to the emergency room for a routine X-ray, although my physician reassured us that it was only gas. On the way to the hospital, (as my mother has told me) my cheeks suddenly puffed up like a chipmunk, and I collapsed as soon as I tried to get out of the car. Then I don’t remember anything else but the physical sensations of awful pain. All I remember is gradually waking up about six months later.

    Waking Up Without a Stomach

    I awoke as a newborn does, discovering sensations around her for the first time. Lying flat in a hospital bed, I only had a view of the ceiling for my first weeks coming out of a coma. I reoriented myself with the world of sound, sight and those I loved, who were all waiting for me when I awoke.

    Unable to talk, sit up or control my trembling hands, a doctor — who seemed to know me very well at this point — explained as gently as he could about happened to me. Apparently, my stomach exploded due to an unforeseen blood clot. So much pressure had built up inside of me that my stomach actually burst to the ceiling in the operating room. Both of my lungs collapsed, I needed 122 units of blood and I was even read my last rites. I had no stomach. I couldn’t eat or drink, and the doctor didn’t know when or if I would ever be able to again. What do you say to that?

    I asked why this happened to my family, to my doctors and to myself. Why was I blessed with such luck and blessings my entire life only to become a helpless victim of circumstances?

    Wait, Seriously? Why Me?

    Then I rethought that word — victim. What makes a victim? Certainly, I had control over my own mindset, my passions, my thoughts and my dreams. That was my turning point. I stopped asking, “Why me?” and started asking myself, “Why not?”

    You can call it bad luck that I spent six of the past 10 years unable to eat or drink. Being quite crafty as an artist and performer, I decided to make my own luck. My life was too full to suddenly resign to being a “patient” or a “victim” for the rest of my life.

    "Only Healthy People Can____."

    Although my mother...and everyone else questioned whether it was too soon to mount three of my own art shows, star in musicals, teach nursery school, learn karate, start my own chocolate business and remain as vital internally as I once felt on the inside and outside, I went past my fear and nerves. I took a risk based on the passion I still felt in my heart.

    Eight years after my coma, I was finally headed towards a life of medical stability. I learned through experience that things can heal with time, and that it’s not always the prettiest or easiest way. It was an extremely difficult journey, trying to make sense of the bizarre story I was now the lead character in.

    My story was apparently something the “Today” show was extremely interested in. My anatomical circumstances landed me on Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s lovable hour of chat on NBC, and all at once, I was out there in the world.

     

    2012-10-26 18.35.19 

    Kathie Lee Gifford and David Friedman wrote a beautiful song for me called “Still Alive,” an upbeat, joyful testament to my positive attitude throughout 27 surgeries.

    The Sick Girl Gets to Be a Role Model?

    I received hundreds of emails and friend requests all at once. Suddenly, everyone wanted to know more about the “girl whose stomach exploded.” How did I survive without a stomach? How did I sustain myself if I couldn’t eat or drink for years? Had this ever happened to anyone before?

    No, it hadn’t. It was that bizarre. But as bizarre as my story was, could I show them the person behind the “medical miracle?”

    “Still Alive” became the final song of my one-woman musical, “Gutless & Grateful.” I lost my stomach but gained a story. And now I’m taking my show across the country, inspiring others with the bizarre reality that anything is possibility with a bit of resilience.

    As much as I love being bizarre, I do wish my life were more normal at times. I still think about my old life and the feeling that anything was possible. But everything and anything became possible once I was willing to wander from my teenage fantasies and take on this new life on proudly. I can’t be 18 again, but, lucky for me, I can be the best 30 I can. This isn’t the path I planned for myself, but does anyone’s life ever work out exactly how they plan it?

    When Life's Crazy Enough to Sing About

    My stomach exploded. My world changed in an instant. My life took a detour as all lives do. So I made the best of it, and now I have my detour to thank for all the gifts in my life. I’m Gutless, but I am oh so Grateful. Grateful to be who I am.

    And honestly? There’s nothing bizarre about that.

    Okay. A little bizarre.  But isn't that what we love about theatre?

    Well...that's up to you to decide, of course.  Come to 54 Below on June 30th and decide for yourself.

    https://youtu.be/HjBoXW27sHE

    I'll be singing and dancing in the same red dress I've worn for six years, with an open wound that will probably never heal, oh, and wrapped in more gauze, tape, and bandages than a mummy. My life is far from perfect.

    But I'm doing what I love. And hopefully you'll love it too.

    See ya in the club, New York.  You bring the ticket, I'll bring the crazy.

    Amy is offering a special discount code for readers, AMY35 when you buy tickets online. Catch Gutless & Grateful at New York's Feinstein's/54 Below on June 30th, 2017 Oestreicher is currently touring the country with her musical, “Gutless & Grateful,” which was inspired by her appearance on the “Today” show. You can learn more about the musical here, bring it to your area, or see where she'll be next.


  • 06 Jun 2017 7:38 AM | Aphra Behn

    UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour by Aphra Behn was published by Skyhorse. 

    In alternating chapters and eras, Aphra Behn's memoir divulges her secret lives. In the ’70s her public identity was that of a struggling actress and girlfriend of a famous Hollywood star, while privately she was a victim of domestic violence, chillingly addicted to her life-threatening relationship. Two decades later she began a nineteen-year career as an activist with the clandestine arts gender-justice warriors The Guerrilla Girls, granting the reader a security pass into a mysterious and renowned revolutionary arts secret society. A compelling and page-turning read, and a testament that fighters for fairness and justice are not born: they are made.   - Kia Corthron, playwright

    “Fierce, funny and shrewd, much like the Guerrilla Girls themselves, Aphra Behn has written a memoir filled with so much hope and frustration it’s impossible to put down.  A page-turning how-to about changing the world, and the challenges therein.” - Theresa Rebeck, playwright (Seminar), television writer (Smash) and novelist (I’m Glad About You)

    “Aphra Behn's book is more than a wildly entertaining snapshot of 80s art culture. More than an answer to the question of, “Who were those crazy feminist activists behind the gorilla masks?” It is a generous, fearless, often hilarious coming of age tale that takes Behn from being a victim of domestic abuse in Hollywood to becoming an artist and part of one of the most unforgettable art protest groups of our time.” - Elissa Schappell, author of “Use Me” and “Blueprints for Building Better Girls”

    “I loved this book by a woman with dreams that don't get realized but she makes her life work, no matter what, and tells her story with such honesty and clarity. An incredible achievement. It is unique, original and Aphra Behn is what Arthur Penn would say, somethin’ else.” —Estelle Parsons, Oscar winning actress

  • 05 Jun 2017 11:29 AM | Catherine Frid

    Catherine Frid's 10 minute play This Isn't Toronto is part of Long Story Short, an anthology published by the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

    In This Isn't Toronto, a mother and daughter navigate a life-changing crossroad in their relationship.

  • 06 May 2017 1:07 PM | Anonymous
    FIBERS is a solo performance based on extensive oral history interviews I've conducted with my family about my grandmother's survival through Auschwitz and immigration after the War. After its premiere staged reading was so well received, I am eager to publicly workshop these excerpts further, possibly followed by a facilitated talkback, and discussion - You can learn more about the project at www.amyoes.com/fibers, and I have read my article in the Wisdom Daily Publication:
    http://thewisdomdaily.com/grandmothers-death-love/

    My goal with "FIBERS" is to shift an entire community ethos in the direction of inclusion – to bring untold stories to light,  to give courage and a sense of belonging to people who are struggling with all kinds of challenges, and to help build a society that gives everyone the kind of awareness and generosity of spirit that makes that world a better place. 
    To read the script, send me a note at amyoes70@gmail.com.

The International Centre for Women Playwrights is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women playwrights around the world. 


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