Urban Event Update: the fall production Roads to Liberation: A Feminist Cabaret

Illustration credit: Anna Masto.

To attend this event click HERE

The cast of the Roads to Liberation: A Feminist Cabaret

Natalia A                    Ella J
Molly B                       Philo J
Morgan B                   Bluma L
Lilia C                         Kikani L
Audrey D                   Anna M
Isabel D                     Orrie R
Mikee E                     Maddie T
Eliana H                   Juniper W

“There are so many themes in this show, you’re bound to connect with one of them,” said Blu Lezak, ‘22, who plays Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Urban’s newest theater production. Tonight at 7 pm, the screening of Roads to Liberation: A Feminist Caberet will highlight the creativity, adaptivity, enthusiasm and hard work each of the 10 members of the Advanced Theater class have put in the past 12 weeks.

Aware of the reality that putting on a traditional musical in the Gumption would be impossible due to COVID-19, cast members were forced to make the best of an unanticipated situation as they prepared the production via Zoom. However, knowing that no one from the cast identifies as male gave the actors an anchor point that the group ultimately took advantage of.

Upon agreeing to produce a show that was centered around influential female figures, past and present, students began piecing together songs from existing musicals along with speeches and historical documents into a cohesive production that highlights “how important it is to learn [from] history and [the] people who came before us,” said Molly Bradley, ‘21 who plays Susan B. Anthony and Emma Gonzalez.

Morgan Bandy, ‘23, who portrays four figures in tonight’s show, pointed out a theme of empowerment and “speaking out against the wrongs that happened throughout the past hundred years.” She continued to explain that empowerment became a theme that the show revolves around and also noted the importance of the fact “that it’s not only a musical but it’s also a learning experience and a history lesson.”

There were certainly some challenges and downfalls to working virtually, the issue of feeling somewhat detached from other cast members among them, but going virtual also brought about new opportunities. “We worked to put it [Roads to Liberation: A Feminist Cabaret] altogether,” said Lezak, “and that’s something that we usually don’t have the opportunity to do.” Without a direct storyline to follow, the cast had much more say in what they performed.

“There’s something incredibly magical about theater and its ability to bring people together,” said Lezak. This sense of magic in the past will likely be visible not only to the performers tonight, but the audience as well.

“I think anyone who enjoys theater at all would enjoy the fall production,” said Paget Chung, ‘22, who attended last year’s musical Matilda. She continued, “however, even if you don’t tend to like theater productions, it is always fun to see your classmates and Urban peers in a completely new setting displaying talents you may not have seen them exhibit before.”

“I hope that [the audience is] inspired,” said Bandy and that “after the play [they’ll] keep continuing to fight for women’s rights and women of color.”