KUAF Arts Beat: Staging Women's Perspectives with ArkansasStaged

Apr 19, 2018

The ArkansasStaged production of "Natural Shocks" by Lauren Gunderson is one of more than 100 across 45 states taking place April 20.

  

Continuing our spotlight on Intersections NWA, a monthlong celebration of women in the arts, we visit with theatre company ArkansasStaged regarding two upcoming productions.

The plays, Natural Shocks by Lauren Gunderson and An Old Woman Speaks based on poems from Sue Coppernoll, feature solo performances from women April 20 and May 2 respectively. 

Natural Shocks is freshly written by Lauren Gunderson and highly inspired by Hamlet as well as the recent American climate of gun violence. A one-woman play, it takes the form of a long soliloquy as the protagonist awaits a tornado from the safety of her basement.

"It'll be interesting to see what happens with this play that birthed out of her feelings of, 'What can I do? How can I use my talents to raise awareness?'" says Lauren Shatkus, artistic director for ArkansasStaged. "So all of the proceeds for this, as well as An Old Women Speaks are going to Moms Demand Action, as are all of the performances for Intersections."

An Old Woman Speaks is the dramatic interpretation of 60 years worth of Sue Coppernoll's poetry, chronicling her life starting in the year 1955, at age 16, and her work as a women's advocate and activist throughout the United States. 

"You can feel the progression of her life," says Jules Taylor, who arranged the poetry for the stage. "And as a woman, she speaks a lot to being a woman in a man's world at that time."

Experience Natural Shocks at 7 p.m. April 20th inside the new Fenix Gallery on the Fayetteville Square. An Old Woman Speaks is presented at 7 p.m., May 2, at Stage 18.

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