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Women Laughing Alone With Salad

Written by Sheila Callaghan
Directed by Susannah Martin

Photos by Robbie Sweeny & Ben Krantz Studio
Trailer by Peter Ruocco

Presented by Shotgun Players
October 12 – November 18, 2018

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE“Shotgun Players’ production… is a bit like the theatrical equivalent of losing your virginity. It’s vulgar. It’s messy. It’s painful. It’s embarrassing. It doesn’t go the way you think it will. But afterwards, you have crossed a threshold. In some small way, you’re a little bit more of an adult…The play…is directed with pinpoint precision and joie de vivre by Susannah Martin…” – Lily Janiak

THE MERCURY NEWS“…there are many sharp and hilarious moments in the show, deftly amplified by Susannah Martin’s savvy direction and the cast’s lively performances.”– Sam Hurwitt

FOR ALL EVENTS“Susannah Martin’s direction is spot on. She really knows the subject and her team’s abilities…If you love innovative, funny, well-performed theater, don’t miss “Women Laughing Alone with Salad” at Shotgun Players.” – Carol Benet

REPEAT PERFORMANCES“Sheila Callaghan’s fresh and wise dialog is snappy and feisty and right to the point, delving into the deep absurdities of our cultural biases around sex and gender and, even more, how those biases are cultivated and preserved. Susannah Martin picks up where Callaghan leaves off, providing fast-paced and sly direction for this production’s four excellent actors. The second act is not as careeningly funny as the first; there is something innately sobering about power and its casual implementation. But this is a terrific play and a wonderful production.” – Jaime Robles

THE DAILY CALIFORNIAN“Callaghan and Martin’s play is a lot, and purposefully so. They magnify the internalized misogyny and complacency within all of us and ask us what we’re going to do about it. Are we going to look at a stock photo of a woman laughing alone with salad and see an aspirational representation of femininity or a discourse of commodification and destruction? It’s hard to say, but leaving the Ashby Stage, you’ll know one thing for sure: You’ll never want to touch a salad again.” – Nils Jepson

This is a feminist comedy with a male protagonist.

This is a play about the oppressiveness of gender roles, and the performance of gender as designed by the media, advertising and the machine of capitalism. What’s sold to us? How do they sell it? And then, in turn, what does that make us aspire to? Want? Expect? How do we shame ourselves – and how are we shamed – when we don’t meet those expectations or aspirations?

This is a play about male privilege and male complicity in the face of systemic patriarchy and misogyny. This is a play about the ways that systemic patriarchy and misogyny harms men. How much space are men allowed to take up – expected to take up? How little space are women supposed to inhabit?

In the past two years in America, we have come to a new awareness of – or a new resistance to – the patriarchy we live in. We have all been raised in this system and thus people of all genders do their part to maintain it because it’s the only system we’ve ever known. I struggle to know how to talk about it, or how to change my behavior. I do not yet know how to function – how to live and work and court and love – outside of it. I’ve always lived inside this system, and it is so damn hard – even as a woman, as a feminist, as a feminist raised by generations of feminists – to see my way outside of the patriarchy.

Yet I believe that Sheila Callaghan, with uproarious humor and passion and unapologetic anger and deep compassion for all, implores us to engage in that conversation. This play is an awesome rollercoaster ride of unrelenting theatrical imagery and behavior. It identifies what’s happening – what’s been happening for millennia – and demands that we talk about it. And it’s a total blast.

Thank you for going on the ride with us.

Guy + Alice / Caleb Cabrera
Sandy + Guy / Melanie DuPuy
Meredith + Bruce / Regina Morones
Tori + Joe / Sango Tajima

Founding Artistic Director / Patrick Dooley
Assistant Choreographer for Hip-Hop / Korea Venters
Assistant Director / Quinci Waller
Choreographer + Intimacy Director / Natalie Greene
Costume Design / Christine Crook
Costume Design Assistant / Nancy Bach
Fight Director / Dave Maier
Intimacy Director / Maya Herbsman
Lighting Design / Allen Willner
Master Electrician / Caitlin Steinmann
Production Assistant / Kieran Beccia
Projections Design / Erin Gilley
Properties Design / Devon LaBelle
Scenic Design / Mikiko Uesugi**
Scenic Design M.A.D. Fellow / Yohana Ansari-Thomas
Sound and Music Design / Jake Rodriguez
Stage Manager / Bri Owens
Stage Management + Props M.A.D. Fellow / Lenny Adler
**Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829