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How Lipstick is Changing Diversity in Theatre

“The show specifically speaks to me because it’s about a heterosexual relationship that’s really healthy, uplifting and empowering for both women and men. I think that’s a conversation that’s really important today with everything that’s going on in the world.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2018)

“As soon as I read this play and this fleshed-out character, who struggled with this part of her identity, I knew it was something I wanted to bring to campus. Not just for people who are half-Latin, but any multi-cultural or mixed backgrounds because it’s a tough thing to navigate."

- North by Northwestern (2018)

“Any piece of media that is created about women by men is coming at the female experience with some distance,” Weiss said. “When a woman creates something about her own experience there’s no mediator.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2017)

“We are really glad we’re doing this play that is not about one woman living her life and finding love or one woman beating the odds and fighting the system. It’s about multiple women who are sticking together when life becomes tough. That’s what makes [Be Aggressive] so different.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2016)

“I think we have a lot of preconceived notions of that time period and of gays and lesbians. To hear from an expert about what it was actually like and what the social movements were like in that time period gives the actors more specificity to play on, so that you aren’t just going off of stereotypes, which is so important especially for a project where there are queer characters.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2016)

"Anomalies at Northwestern, For Colored Girls ran with an all-black cast and Five Lesbians with an almost exclusively queer crew. Meanwhile, at Northwestern theater and Hollywood more broadly, directors routinely say they can’t find enough students of color for shows with racially diverse casts.“

- North by Northwestern (2016)

"Communication junior Ben Weiss, a co-chair of Lipstick Theatre — a StuCo theater board focusing on women’s issues — said he appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with a variety of organizations that are relevant to the message of the board’s shows. Last Fall Quarter, Lipstick Theatre produced For Colored Girls, a play featuring the lives and struggles of several black women, and had little difficulty casting when the board reached out beyond the theater community."

The Daily Northwestern (2016)

"Northwestern’s feminist theater company, Lipstick Theatre, was approved a year early to join the Student Theatre Coalition, contributing a new element of diversity to the now 12-group collective."

The Daily Northwestern (2016)

“We are a feminist theater group which means we...seek to share the stories of those people whose stories don’t get heard,” said SESP junior Katherine Slosburg, Lipstick Theatre’s campus engagement chair. “This really means that we tell women’s stories, women of color’s stories, minorities’ stories, and queer people’s stories.”

The Daily Northwestern (2015)

"Lipstick Theatre is constantly producing theater as good – if not better – than StuCo, and [The Heidi Chronicles] will certainly be no exception to that trend."

The Daily Northwestern (2014)

"People think about feminism in many different ways. Everybody loves women in some way, shape or form. Being open to that discussion raises some really interesting and exciting topics to do with women’s rights, which deserve respect and discussion."

The Daily Northwestern (2013)

"Northwestern University’s theatre scene is overwhelmingly student-supported and student-run.  With countless theatre boards putting up numerous shows every year, one might think that these student groups have all the bases covered.  This year, however, sophomore Ali Shields raised an important question: What about women? With each theatre board having its own niche, there seemed to be a gap that was calling to be filled.  Shields took the initiative in the creation of a women’s theatre board, Lipstick Theatre." 

Her Campus (2013)

“[My professor] asked, ‘If there was one thing about the department you could change what would it be?’ and my roommate said, ‘I wish there were more opportunities for women’” 

The Daily Northwestern (2013)

Lipstick’s Annual Burlesque Showcase

“The whole effort is to make sure that ‘Burlesque’ is a safe space for everyone who wants to perform. [Lipstick wants to] rectify any mistakes that we may have made in the past and be super conscious about all our actions.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2019)

“We’re trying to create a more diverse and inclusive space. It’s a slow-moving vehicle, but I think we’ve made steps this year specifically that really help move the mission of Lipstick’s ‘Burlesque’ forward and what it’s truly meant to be.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2019)

“The supportive community of performers only adds to the body-positive environment.”

- North by Northwestern (2019)

“If the end of your week is getting blah, perhaps it’s time to spice it up at Lutkin.”

- North by Northwestern (2017)

“We really try to make it a space that’s safe and a space that is based on your individual choice and what you’re comfortable with. People ease into the space throughout the quarter, and we try to create a space that supports that transition.”

- North by Northwestern (2017)

"Northwestern's Burlesque show taught me that I don't have to be skinny to be sexy. It taught me that loving myself is the KEY to nailing my performances. It gave me a place to be 100% myself with the most loving people I've ever met, and I'll be forever grateful!"

- Her Campus (2016)

"One of Lipstick Theatre’s boldest moves came last winter in the form of its first student-run, student-produced Burlesque show. Declaring, “We are looking for anything and everything, anyone and everyone,” the group solicited dancers of all experience levels. The second annual show will debut during Spring Quarter. While the sheer novelty of stripping might contribute to the burlesque show’s popularity, participants believe the atmosphere of acceptance is what made the show a success."

North by Northwestern (2014)

Jenna Perlstein (Class of 2017) Co-Chair Activism Receives Campus Life Award
"outstanding work with Lipstick Theater. She coordinated this year’s annual Burlesque Show, where she strove to reinforce positive body image for the participants and audiences. Over 70 students auditioned for the productions and she refused to turn anyone away. She made it possible for any student who desired to participate...to do so. Over 1,500 students and community members were in attendance, and not one person left disappointed!"

- Office of the Vice President (2015)

On Our Feminist Book Club, fLIP the Script

“I think fLIP the Script will definitely help raise awareness of people on campus and prompt them to think about the diversity within literature and plays that may have been hidden or left out before.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2019)

“Hopefully in the next few years, it will trigger more diversity in the playwrights of the plays that we produce on campus, and the plays that people talk about in academic papers for class.”

- The Daily Northwestern (2019)

 

 
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