Friday, February 26, 2010

Synchronicity Theatre weathers hard times to wage Women + War

Posted By on Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 11:52 PM

click to enlarge SHARP SHOOTERS: Kristi Casey Sanders (front) and Alison Hastings in Women + War
  • SHARP SHOOTERS: Kristi Casey Sanders (front) and Alison Hastings in Women + War

Rachel May directed Synchronicity Theatre's first production of Women + War in 2005, as well as the new remount that runs through March 7 at 7 Stages. In a significant way, she's not the same woman who helmed the original.

Since Synchronicity debuted a nearly three-hour version of the ensemble-created work nearly five years ago, May has had three children – a 3-year-old daughter and newborn twin boys – with her husband, ace Atlanta actor Daniel May. Women + War presents kaleidoscopic perspectives on global armed conflicts, ranging from a young soldier who doesn't know when she'll see her infant daughter again, to a Congolese woman who unflinchingly describes being gang-raped and maimed while carrying her infant on her back. Five years and three children later, such vignettes hit May where she lives. "Since I've become a mom, working with anything with characters who are mothers has been different. I can understand them not just intellectually, but from my core."

Arguably, Synchronicity itself is no longer the same company that presented Women + War's's world premiere. Since then, the 12-year-old, female-focused theater company has undergone some typical transitions for a small performing arts group as well as some painful decisions more recently. Not to trivialize the experience of Women + War's subjects, but May has been on the frontlines of the fight to produce new, socially relevant theater in the harshest economic climate of her lifetime.

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(Photo by Joel Silverman)

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