Documentary Press Release
May 29, 2020
Documentary about Legendary Feminist Theatre Troupe to have online Community Screening via Cinemapolis Movie Theatre.
Performers, Pioneers, Activists, and Creators! From 1970 – 1976 It’s All Right To Be Woman Theater inspired audiences as they performed in non-traditional performance spaces in New York City, traveled to women’s centers, colleges and universities, and were seen on PBS. The Documentary by Sue Perlgut and Nils Hoover will be shown online as community screening June 22 to 28 as a benefit for the film and for Cinemapolis in Ithaca, NY. The just-completed film will have an online talkback on Wednesday June 24, 7 PM (EDT) with the filmmakers, members of the troupe and led by Cornell Professor Dr. Sara Warner, from the Department of Performing Arts and Media. Link coming soon. The troupe founded by Sue Perlgut and Lynn Laredo created fresh and innovative forms of expression based on stories from their lives, at a time when women were beginning to break free from the roles that had traditionally defined them. These eleven women not only developed a new style of experimental theater, but they also contributed to the movement that is now known as Second Wave Feminism. They were seen by thousands of women and men who laughed and cried with them and embraced their message. For more information about them follow https://www.facebook.com/ItsAllRightToBeWomanTheatre ww.ItsAllRightToBeWomanTheatre.com For tickets contact Cinemapolis The film can be screened anytime between June 22-June 28.
About the film:
The documentary shows a vitally needed picture of the times now being addressed in the historical record. The troupe’s creation shaped the lives they lived and leaves a legacy that persists to this day for future generations. These eleven women not only developed a new style of experimental theater, but they also contributed to the movement that is now known as Second Wave Feminism as they navigated through the turbulent 70’s and shared their stories. Stories of Lesbian Feminists, drug addiction, rape and the tribulations of marriage. They were seen by thousands of women and men who laughed and cried with them and embraced their message.
We are pleased to have, on video, two of the troupe’s performances, one that was taped by channel 13 in New York City in 1972 by an all woman’s crew hired specifically for that taping as we requested, and the final performance, also taped in New York City in 1975 by a woman’s video collective. Using these performances as the base of the documentary we are able to show the power of the troupe’s work through their personal stories, chants, clothing vignettes and crankies. Members’ interviews from a 2007 reunion in NYC, combined with the archival footage of their performances, still photographs, music, posters, and interviews with followers of the troupe tell the collective’s story. The troupe inspired an entire generation of women in NYC and across the country, both individually and theatrically
About the filmmakers:
Sue Perlgut formed CloseToHome Productions to reach a wide-ranging audience with videos that feature topical and socially relevant issues. In 2012 she added production of theatre and other events to her mission. This is her third documentary with filmmaker and Ithaca native Nils Hoover. For more information www.CloseToHomeProductions.com
Although the troupe eschewed traditional media, they were written about and reviewed in both well-known outlets and local newspapers.
Here are some samples.
“…At St. Peter’s Church, I sat crosslegged on the gym floor, looking over my shoulder to the door where women poured in in a seemingly endless stream. On and on they came until the entire first floor was filled…”“Role-playing, but Different” – Village Voice
“…With no formal costumes and very sparse props, the group works with their limitless imaginations. They make music with kitchen utensils, as well as the voice, guitar, drums, accordion and kazoo.”“It’s All Right to be Woman Theater” – Pearl River Performance
“The play was about how it feels to be the only Jew at the third grade Christmas party. Or how it feels to be a lesbian in a straight society, or how shaving one’s legs doesn’t necessarily save face.”“Dreams Are What a Feminist Groups Plays Are Made Of” – New York Times
“Cranky is a frame of mind, but a crankie is something else again; it is a homemade storytelling device very much like a paper television. It gets its name from a scroll of paper that is cranked from left to right. pulling the pictures, words, shapes and porms painted on it across the screen.”“What’s a Crankie?” – Populist Mechanics