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Arts Night promotes women’s empowerment with theater and song

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Actors perform in Lipstick Theatre’s production of “The Children’s Hour.” The company will preview its upcoming production, “for colored girls who have committed suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” at Women’s Empowerment Arts Night on Thursday.

Actors perform in Lipstick Theatre’s production of “The Children’s Hour.” The company will preview its upcoming production, “for colored girls who have committed suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” at Women’s Empowerment Arts Night on Thursday.

Source: Alaura Hernandez

Source: Alaura Hernandez

Actors perform in Lipstick Theatre’s production of “The Children’s Hour.” The company will preview its upcoming production, “for colored girls who have committed suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” at Women’s Empowerment Arts Night on Thursday.

Amanda Svachula, Assistant A&E Editor

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Two performance groups interested in exploring women’s empowerment, Lipstick Theatre and a cappella group Significant Others, will perform at Women’s Empowerment Arts Night on Thursday. The performers hope to promote conversation about female leadership on campus through thought-provoking theater and music.

This is the first year that Women in Leadership, a newly formed organization on campus, has joined the Panhellenic Association in planning the annual Women’s Empowerment Week, which runs this year from Nov. 2 to Nov. 6. The week kicked off with events like an interview workshop and a breast cancer awareness program.

The Arts Night will take place at 9 p.m. on Thursday in the McCormick Auditorium. Weinberg sophomore Nehaarika Mulukutla, the vice president of external affairs for Women in Leadership, said the night serves as a supplement to the more serious events of the week.

“Dialogue about various controversial issues needs to be explored at every medium at our disposal,” Mulukutla said. “Having serious events with lectures is wonderful and does further your knowledge. But the arts express that conversation in an entirely different way.”

At the event, Lipstick Theatre, a student theater company devoted to exploring women’s issues, will show a preview of their upcoming show that explores issues of mental health, racism and sexism.

“We are a feminist theater group which means we kind of seek to share the stories of those people whose stories don’t get heard,” said SESP junior Katherine Slosburg, Lipstick Theatre’s campus engagement chair. “This really means that we tell women’s stories, women of color’s stories, minorities’ stories, and queer people’s stories.”

The show, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” follows the stories of seven women who have experienced oppression in a racist and sexist society. It is a “choreopoem,” which means that it is composed of 20 poems that are intertwined through song and dance.

“People should come because this kind of show is important to see,” Slosburg said. “It’s not hard to have a seat and listen and open your minds and hearts to what is in front of you. I think conversations can happen naturally after that.”

Significant Others will perform two songs that were both originated by female artists. The group, made up of 13 women on campus, sings at different events throughout the year and tends to selectively choose feminist events like this one, said SigO Publicity Chair Liz McLaughlin.

“SigO is an a cappella group but simultaneously we are this group of women,” McLaughlin said. “Whenever we’re approached by events like this, we’re always excited to participate because we’ve all had experiences (as women) where we can look back and things could have been easier.”

Event organizers hope that the arts night will inspire conversation in attendees about issues like gender equality, Mulukutla said.

“In general the arts are given that status of telling the stories of oppressed groups of people, “ Mulukutla said. “Having that night during a women’s empowerment week is incredibly important. Conversation about equality and oppression is incredibly important to this campus and to the world at large.”

Email: amandasvachula2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @amandasvachula

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