By Brandon S. Bryan, STS Master of Stage
I am a man. I have man-parts, manly features, a man’s voice, and I get cast in roles written for men which, honestly, is a lot of roles.
Think about this: how many strong, meaty, important or impactful female roles can you drum up off the top of your head? Go on, think about it for a good ten seconds, at least. Some of the more theatrically-educated and inclined might have come up with enough to count on two hands. Seems unfair, doesn’t it? One might ask, “why doesn’t someone do something about it?”
This lack of strong, substantive roles for women – especially in classical and Shakespearean plays- gave rise to a new branch of Sweet Tea Shakespeare: the Honey Series. The series aims to put talented women in the spotlight by presenting plays which feature strong female casts. The Honey Series debuts with Antigone, a Greek Tragedy centered around the titular character and her struggle to find justice and decency regarding the burial of her brother; an act forbidden by the King of Thebes. In the spirit of Honey, the cast is comprised of five women and two men. Of those women, three are playing multiple roles, some of which would traditionally be portrayed by men. This might not seem like a very big deal, (especially, perhaps, to men); yet, consider how a fresh perspective can change even a mundane sentry or messenger into an intriguing, resolute character committed to do what is right no matter the consequences.
The Honey Series is an important part of bringing equality and fairness into the world of theatre. Nowhere else offers such opportunities that specifically target women. As it continues to develop and grow, I hope to see many more women given the opportunity to display their craft. This town is home to so many talented and inspired women, and now there is a place that wants to show how talented the females of Fayetteville truly are.
And they deserve nothing less.