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Women, unabashed and unfiltered

Celebrate International Women's Day with 15 women from the Twin Cities and beyond.

When the Twin Cities first met Strange Theatre in 2019, it was in the form of four unknowingly powerful women, a voodoo doll, and a dead professor in a dark little comedy called "Hexes on Exes." As the pandemic continued to delay a follow-up stage performance, co-founders Katlyn Moser and Laura Temme couldn't take it anymore and began planning the virtual cabaret "I Am Speaking," available to watch for free on Facebook on March 8, International Women's Day.

Like "Hexes on Exes"—like everything Strange Theatre will do, now and forever, amen—"I Am Speaking" puts women's stories first. For a while, the event description simply said, "Join us in celebrating International Women's Day by giving womxn artists a place to say whatever the f-- they want," and really, that's a pretty accurate description. The show's 15 artists were given no other guidance beyond submitting a piece that could show their experience as a woman. As a result, the hourlong show includes monologues, songs, and choreography (both on the ground and in the air).

"Something we were talking about and coming back to was that part of the reason we have this theater group to begin with was that we were tired of women being told we can't say certain things or have certain feelings," Temme says. "So [we thought] why don't we leave this pretty open? 'This is your space to say whatever it is you want to say, whatever aspect of life you want to talk about.' It's all valid, and it can all be art."

"I think every day should be International Women's Day," Moser adds with a laugh. "But, I mean, I really appreciate that day and all the different things that come out as far as powerful speeches or protests or anything like that, so it's kind of nice to have a way to do something inspiring ourselves, too."

Strange Theatre's debut "Hexes on Exes" brought satisfaction to both its actors and its audience: The cast felt excited about being able to portray real, complex women who had agency, and the women who watched them loved being able to see themselves or their friends in the characters on stage. While its second production is a different type of show, hopefully it can do the same.


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