Women Reclaiming their Bodies, Dreams and Destinies – Goblin Market

Goblin Market- From the Artistic Director

Amplify Women’s voices Program Notes from Teresa Thuman

demonstrates unequivocally the desire for women of all backgrounds to reclaim their destiny, manifest their dreams and assert ownership of their bodies.

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Welcome to the final production of Amplify! Raising Women’s Voices: our 2017 Season devoted to women playwrights, directors and, in this case, composers.

Goblin Market, based on the 1859 poem by Christina Rossetti has provided the perfect conclusion to a season that demonstrates unequivocally the desire for women of all backgrounds to reclaim their destiny, manifest their dreams and assert ownership of their bodies. We planned this season a year ago when we expected to be living in a country finally governed by an accomplished woman. But the force of patriarchy is strong and every day now we are reminded, and dare I say haunted, by this reality.

Goblin Market is a reminder of a time when the discussion of human sexuality, arguably the most mysterious and confusing aspect of being human, had to live in a world of myth. I would argue that even today, we still live under an oppressive Victorian era puritanical culture. This is especially harmful to women, personally and materially, but poisons every aspect of our society. Women are born into a world of abuse and exploitation to navigate and transform. Simply put: with rampant racism, obscene wealth inequality, the specter of war and reckless rhetoric looming, what we choose to do with our bodies is NOT the moral problem of our day.

GoblinmarketsqGoblin Market has been on my list of projects for a while: a vehicle for two classically trained actor-singers with a penchant for poetry and rich theatrical imaginations. I wanted to look at a larger community and not emphasize the literalness of their sister relationship, but the bond that can be forged through shared experiences and interdependence. I have also known the strain of competition and scarcity that shapes relationships of women in the theatre, and I wanted to move beyond those tropes in all aspects of this production. This unique production has four rotating casts: we created an ensemble of four extremely talented women modeling what it means to both support and lead. I am grateful each actor, and an intrepid production team, in embracing this daunting approach on a limited budget.

I am fortunate to have many “sisters” in my life and close relationships with my two biological sisters, three step-sisters, step cousins, their partners and in-laws and many friends to make up a strong circle of women. But I particularly want to lift up my “Seattle Sister,” Lee Ann Hittenberger. I can’t imagine a better collaborator for this story of joyful sisterhood. Lee Ann lights up any rehearsal room she enters and give value and physical life to every idea and contribution. An accomplished artist, teacher, coach and a stellar human being, Lee Ann was my first Sound Theatre collaborator as we launched our production of The Tempest in the Lake. She was part of our first Board of Directors and we have forged a friendship through countless productions and artistic collaborations. Brave, sensitive, creative, true, forgiving, generous, kind—Lee Ann is everything you would want in a “sister.” Thank you, dear friend.
– Teresa Thuman