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The Oracle | TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 2013


Women’s stories are unbound on stage Local theater group inspires new perspectives on women-related issues through live performances. Brittany Rassett Reporter According to, roles for male actors outnumber roles for women actors two to one. Aware of the lack of women’s roles in theater, Theatre Unbound was created to bring more women’s stories and roles to the stage. According to Theatre Unbound Artistic Director Stacey Poirier, the group decided to name their theater company “Unbound� to refer to a corset unbinding to free a woman’s voice. “Seven female theater artists came together and decided it was time to change the gender landscape of the Twin Cities stages,� Poirier wrote in an email. Poirier explained that although Theatre Unbound is a women’s theater group, they still try to cast men for the roles of male characters. “We often have a difficult time attracting male actors, so I do lean toward scripts with all women. The stories we tell are about women and I think maybe the men don’t like playing the supporting roles,� Poirier wrote. Poirier explained that while it is important to have a larger female cast, it is also important to have more young women supporting these artists and women’s organizations. “Sometimes we don’t see inequality around us because we are so used to it or because we don’t want to believe it exists,� Poirier wrote. “You can start by just paying attention to the entertainment you already take in. Who wrote it? How many women are represented versus how many men?� According to Poirier, Theatre Unbound has received five





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awards between 2010-2012. These include two “Favorite Theater Company� awards and a “Changemaker� award by Minnesota Women’s Press readers, an Ivey Award for “Inventive Reinterpretation� of the all-female production of “Julius Caesar,� and Poirier was voted “Favorite Minnesota Role Model for Women in the Arts� by Minnesota Women’s Press readers. Starting April 13, Theatre Unbound will be showing their newest play, “girl group.� “‘girl group’ is about success and failure. It’s about defining those terms and defining yourself in a world that has already done both for you. And it’s about how fearless you have to be to succeed and how brave you have to be to fail,� Poirier wrote. Carol Critchley is a local playwright whose writing and directing of “The Boy From Popular� has been nominated for an Emmy, according to Poirier. “Carol’s script ‘Simply Gerta’ was the first one I produced as Artistic Director for Theatre Unbound. She is a hilarious writer. Subtle, but hilarious,� Poirier wrote. According to Poirier, in addition to reaching out to women, they encourage attendance of everyone by offering paywhat-you-can nights as an option to assist those with lower income, such as students, artists and the unemployed. “Sometimes people are embarrassed that they can only pay a couple dollars or the change in their pocket, but we let them know it’s okay, that’s why we do it,� Poirier said. Poirier explained that pay-what-you-can night is fairly standard for most small theater companies. It’s usually on a Monday night (the night union actors are required to have off) to allow artists to get a chance to see it. “It is sometimes referred to as ‘Industry Night,’ but over the years different theaters picked different nights,� Poirier wrote. For more information on Theatre Unbound visit

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