Tales From the Powder Room

ensemble theatre · planetm media · Ages 13+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by STEPHEN FIFE

June 19, 2019

What I liked

I liked the present tense stakes of the monologues and scenes, where there is an immediacy to the situations that the women have to deal with. I also cared about most of the characters, which isn’t easy to do when you introduce so many different characters in such a short span of time. I liked how you weren’t afraid to tackle difficult subjects. Robyn did an expert job of moving women characters in and out of the powder room, and I really liked when characters were brought back on for a second scene. My two favorite scenes were the competitors, where Heather turns from enemy to friend; and the scene with the trans character. I also liked the monologue from the woman boss with cancer.

What I didn't like

Some of the material felt overly familiar. The opening monologue could have worked if I had been able to connect emotionally with the high-powered exec, but I wasn’t. Though that same actress was great later on when she championed the trans woman. But in that last scene, the religious woman was too easy a target – the fact is that many people have trouble understanding the impulse to change sexual orientation, and a better scene could have been constructed. I would have liked to see even more sides of the different characters, and to have their comings and goings more intriguingly choreographed. But on the whole, great work.

My overall impression

Heartfelt and powerful. I thought you did a good job of capturing all the pressures on women in a high-powered office environment. You also got a nice mix of personalities, and all the actresses did a wonderful job of bringing those friendships, conflicts and power-plays to life.

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