Creators of a new play at Capitol Hill’s Annex Theater aim to unravel the classic hero’s journey story framework famously outlined by Joseph Campbell.
“Back in college I was really interested in the hero’s journey structure, but I never really felt like it related that much to women,” said director and cowriter of Girl, Mary Hubert. She came up with the idea for the play in 2015 and said she wanted the work to lay bare the heroic story formula’s “lack of applicability to modern-day women.”
For example, a traditional hero’s journey can be considered a success when the protagonist completes their quest by winning a prize. “In most people’s lives, not just women’s, they don’t get a prize,” said Hubert.
In Girl, eight female protagonists each go on their own journey in modern-day Seattle. While the play starts off traditionally as each protagonist is confronted with some kind of conflict or problem, Hubert said as the play progresses the structure ultimately unravels. The play also gets progressively absurd – Hubert said one character moves from frantically cooking Lean Cuisine meals in one scene to building herself a fort out of Lean Cuisines later in the play.
“We’ve been going for a dark, twisted adventure with a heavy dose of weird and a sprinkling of humor throughout,” she said.
Girl was cowritten by Hubert, associate director Javonna Arriaga, and the eight actresses: Kiki Abba, Haley Maria Alaji’, Gabriela Marta Aleman, Erin Bednarz, Katherine Marie Bicknell, Lauren Brazell, Amy Escobar, and Kayla Walker. Each actress wrote her character’s scenes, and all 10 collaborated on writing an ending to bring the storylines together.
The play is being produced by the Annex Theater Company, which Hubert said provided enough money for set design and a stipend for the cast and crew, plus use of costumes, props, and materials the theater already had.
Girl premieres at Annex Theater on Tuesday, August 2 at 7 PM. The hour-long show will run every Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 and 9 PM from August 2-17. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.annextheatre.org/2016-season/off-night/girl/.