Review: “Top Girls” tackles feminism, careers

The UVa-Wise Theater Department opened its three-night run of the student production “Top Girls” on Sunday, Nov. 12.

The play is set during the 1980s when it was unusual for a woman to be the head of a company. The play shines a light on all the struggles women faced during this time while trying to climb the corporate ladder and the problems they faced in life in general because of their gender.

The opening scene shows a group of women from history eating dinner and drinking while discussing the struggles they have all endured as women.

Marlene, played by student Kara Dotten, is the main character in the production. She is the new managing director where she works. Viewers learn later in the play what she sacrificed to be in the position she was in.

During an argument in the last act of the play between Marlene and her sister Joyce, it is revealed that Angie, a young girl in the play who had called Marlene “Auntie” throughout the play, is actually Marlene’s daughter. In a desperate attempt to leave the town she was stuck in, she left Angie with Joyce, causing her sister to lose her own baby she was carrying.

Marlene had left her daughter and abandoned motherhood in order to find success. It sheds light on one of the biggest choices women are often forced to make in their lives, which is choosing between a successful career and motherhood.

The production and acting overall were good, but there were certain moments the play felt rushed. At times it was a bit difficult to keep up with everything that was going on, with multiple actors screaming and shouting all at once to get their lines out.

The dinner scene was a chaotic start to the play, but it got better as it progressed. Parts of the scene were sacrilegious and offensive in my opinion, but I respect anyone’s right to free speech and beliefs. The best part of the play was an all-girl cast, which was necessary for this production.

“Top Girls” shows again at the Gilliam Center for the Arts on Nov. 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. Tickets are free for UVa-Wise students, staff, and faculty and $5 for the general public of all ages. Tickets can be reserved in advance through etix.com (fee applies).  Unreserved seats will be sold beginning at least 30 minutes prior to showtime and are issued on a first come/first serve basis.

 

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