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Dobama Theatre’s production of ‘REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.’ comes with a warning.

Shoes. There is probably nothing as personal as shoes. We all have our favorite and some even have favorites for different situations such as walking, hiking, dancing, jogging and even just casual relaxing. Once we break in a new pair of foot gear it truly becomes ours. To prove this point, I am sure that some of us have over time purchased a pair of good used shoes ala Goodwill or Salvation Army. In spite of looking great, no matter how hard we try they will never conform to be “our shoes” because they were set for someone else’s feet through a lot of personal effort.

Lining the three sides of the Dobama Theatre’s thrust stage for their production of REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. are hundreds of pairs of shoes leading back to a large pile of shoes upstage stage right. One can only speculate as to their meaning. One thought could be that they are there to remind us that not all of the parts of this play may be a comfortable fit for everyone.

REVOLT came about when the Royal Shakespeare Company challenged playwright Alice Birch to write something inspired by the quote “well-behaved women rarely make history.” The result is a number of radical militant feminist manifesto vignettes that illustrate the failings of the male species since time immortal. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This production is directed by Sarah Elizabeth Wansley.

The work uses a sledge hammer approach. The play begins with a darkened stage and loud klaxon horn as a large translucent piece of plastic is ripped down revealing a small platform stage complete with a four person all female punk band who breaks into their first song. About the music. It includes such memorable ditties by Lily Allen as “Hard Out Here” with the line “It’s hard out here for a bitch”, “F**k You” that sweetly sings “F**k you, F**k you very much” and a number from Pussy Riot “Police State” that states “I’m so happy I could die.”

The play covers a variety of male/female conflicts such as sexual dominance (INVERT IT), marriage (DO NOT MARRY), employment (DON’T DO IT), children (DON’T REPRODUCE), the female body (MAKE SEX AVAILABLE CONSTANTLY), language (NO WORDS EXISTS), health (STOP EATING), communication (STOP SPEAKING) that leads to the final extended piece (GALVANIZE) that is a rapid fire speak on speak cacophony that hits on the remaining subjects of sex slavery, cupcakes, porn, penis shaped baked goods, hymen reconstruction, vagina mutilation, high heels, T-shirts, lack of police protection, women who leave their husband for other women and plural relationships just to name a few.

The high energy cast consists of (in no particular order) Lisa Louise Lanford*, Nina Domingue*, Rachel Lee Kolis+, Miranda Leeann+ and Abraham McNeil Adams+ as “The Token Male”. They bring a high degree of anger, laughter, pathos, verbiage and truth as they deal with the unspeakable. The set design by Tesia Dugan Benson can be described as industrial functional with crates marked “fragile” used for an assortment of set-ups. Lighting designer Jakyung Cho Seo shines as she uses illumination as a weapon for good. The sound design by Megan Culley is the “shock and awe” part of the show that really gets your attention and focus.

*Member of Actors Equity Association

+Equity Membership Candidate

This 83 minute work is not a play for children. For that matter it should only be seen by adults who really have their stuff together. It comes with the warning “This Play Is Not Well Behaved!” Along with this it is a messy play with blood, vomit, water, pamphlets, money and food flying all over the place. As the audience was filing out a large stage crew was immediately attacking the performance area in a coordinated massive clean-up.

Disturbing! Visual! Loud! This play fully captures all of the unleashed pent-up fury of being a woman in the 21st century. Should men attend? Hell yes! Should couples attend? Hell yes! Bring the kids? Hell no! Just be warned that you are in for a jarring experience much akin to your first exposure to Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9 (1979) and Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues (1996). It is the type of theater that can bring empires down.

The Dobama Theatre production of REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN. Will be on stage through February 17, 2019. The theater is located at 2340 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Tickets may be purchased on line by going to or by phone by calling (216) 932-3396.

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Who is Mark Horning?

Over the course of my life I have worked a variety of jobs including newspapers, retail camera sales and photography. Eight years ago I embarked on yet another career as writer. This included articles concerning sports and cultural events in Cleveland, Ohio as well reviews of the many theatrical productions around town. These days are spent photographing professional dance groups, theater companies and various galas and festivals as well as attending various stage performances and posting reviews about them.  

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