If Women Rose Rooted-Review by D-Q-Reviews lead writer, Jen Bush
Artistic endeavors that focus on female empowerment are more necessary than ever in the current climate that exists in our world. If Women Rose Rooted made a valiant effort to provide that in the play. Melissa Mowry and Jessica Fichter bring us a show that is described as, “a piece that explores femininity and culture through the wisdom shared by those who came before us, and through our experiences today.”
If Women Rose Rooted chose the path of a groundbreaking new art form known as a devised play. This is an organic collaborative effort that begins with a theme which is then explored and fleshed out by the actors along with the other integral creative staff. The script comes later. It’s a loosely structured living piece of theater that will likely change slightly with each performance.
The show succeeded in clearly delivering the plight of women. Through mostly quotes in lieu of dialogue and passionate acting. there was clearly depicted pain, power, transformation and empowerment. The costumes were simple, neutral and well suited to their wearers.
The cast consisted of Marcella Adams, Titania Galliher, Lucy Lewis and Jessica Panora. Two are graduates of and two are pursuing their MFA’s from the prestigious Actors Studio. They were all lovely strong actors committed to their roles. Titania Galliher was a very graceful dancer. In the handbill, the cast of 4 were not assigned to specific roles and I don’t recall hearing their names during the show so it’s challenging to elaborate about their characters.
I would caution, this is not a show for the average theater goer who expects a traditional show with a clearly defined and linear script. All the elements of traditional theater were present such as dialogue, dance and music but the execution was its own entity. At times I felt as if I was watching an improv/acting/dance/movement class in progress. I admit that I was confused about what I was watching in terms of a story. I took some time to read and listen to interviews with the cast and creative team to try to gain further insight into what they were attempting to do. This show is still a work in progress. It has great potential based on the description of the show and the important themes included in the show. If I saw it in the future, I would like to see a rich depiction of the Otherworld where the fairies live and the 4 female goddesses that these characters are supposed to embody. I want to see the pivotal moment when the queen of the fairies calls to women of the world to give them the gift of wisdom. The concept of this show is very exciting. I think a lot more can be done with it to make it accessible to a wider audience base.