“GLORIA: A LIFE”

December 12, 2018 at 4:45 am

Actress Christine Lahti channels feminist icon Gloria Steinem as she brings her life story to the stage. We’ve got your preview!

For more information on “Gloria: A Life”, click here.

Aired on December 11, 2018.

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>> FIVE DECADES AFTER FWGLORIA
STEINEM BEGAN RAISING HER VOICE,
HER VISION IS AS URGENT AS EVER.
HER PLAY TELLS A STORY OF ONE OF
THE MOST REMARKABLE WOMEN OF OUR
TIME, BY ALSO TELLING OUR
STORIES.
IT CHARGES STEINEM'S ACTIVISM
AND BRINGS THE AUDIENCE INTO THE
CONVERSATION ON GENDER AND
POWER.
THE ALL-WOMEN CAST STARS, AMONG
OTHERS, EMMY AWARD WINNING
ACTRESS CHRISTINE LOTTY.
>> THIS IS DOROTHY PITTMAN.
SHE'S WAY, WAY AHEAD OF HER
TIMES, BECAUSE SHE INVENTED --
ONE OF THE FIRST MULTI -- WE
FOCUSED ON GOING TO THE SOUTH,
BECAUSE WE SEE THERE ARE
FEMINIST FEATURES GOING OUT IN
OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY.
>> LESS LIKELY IN THE SOUTH AND
LESS LIKELY THE TWO OF US
TOGETHER IN THE SOUTH.
>> AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO
WELCOME CHRISTINE TO
"METROFOCUS."
>> THANK YOU.
>> MY WIFE AND I SAW THE SHOW --
>> YES.
>> AND I WOULD SAY THAT IT WAS
THIS MARVELOUS COMBINATION OF
STRENGTH AND OF HUMOR AND OF
PESOS, THAT IS WHAT THEATER
SHOULD BE ALL ABOUT, AND DID
WHAT THEATER SHOULD DO, WHICH IS
MAKE YOU THINK.
>> AND MAKE YOU FEEL.
>> AND MAKE YOU FEEL.
IT'S VERY DIFFERENT.
STAGED DIFFERENTLY, THE CONTENT
IS, PERHAPS NOT WHAT YOU THINK.
IT'S NOT A STRAIGHT BIO.
>> NO, NO.
>> WHAT WAS IT ABOUT THIS WHOLE
SCENARIO THAT DREW YOU TO IT?
>> FIRST OF ALL, GLORIA IS A
FRIEND, HAS BEEN FOR MANY, MANY
YEARS.
AND WE ARE KINDRED SPIRITS ON A
LOT OF LEVELS.
MY WHOLE INTENT COMING ONTO THIS
PROJECT WAS TO PORTRAY THE HUMAN
BEING UNDERNEATH THE ICON.
>> THERE WERE A LOT OF THINGS
THAT TOOK PLACE THAT I SAID, I
DIDN'T KNOW THAT.
>> IT WAS OUR OBJECTIVE TO FIND
THOSE NUGGETS OF, YOU KNOW, MORE
VULN
VULNERABLE, PAINFUL TRUTHS.
THE OBJECTIVE OF THE WHOLE PLAY
IS TO TELL HER TRUE STORY, TO
INSPIRE OTHERS TO TELL THEIRS.
AND IF WE'RE TELLING THE TRUTH
ABOUT A COMPLEX HUMAN BEING WHO
WAS NOT WOKE, WAS NOT A BORN
FEMINIST, WAS NOT A BORN
ACTIVIST, WAS UNWOKE UNTIL SHE
WAS 35, THEN WE -- AND SHE
STRUGGLED WITH A LOT OF THINGS
GROWING UP WITH A DIFFICULT
RELATIONSHIP WITH HER MOTHER, ET
CETERA, THEN IF WE DON'T TELL
THAT -- IF WE TELL A TRUE
VULNERABLE STORY ABOUT A COMPLEX
HUMAN BEING, IT WILL INSPIRE
OTHERS TO TELL THEIR OWN
STORIES.
>> YOU MAKE THE AUDIENCE FEEL
LIKE WE'RE PART OF THE
CONVERSATION.
>> YES.
>> WE'RE SHARING THAT.
>> YES.
>> AND YOU THEN, IN THE SECOND
PART OF THIS, LITERALLY BRING
THE AUDIENCE INTO A TALKING
CIRCLE.
>> YES.
>> AND THERE'S MEANING TO THAT.
WHAT'S THE IDEA BEHIND THAT?
AND WAS THAT AT ALL DAUNTING?
>> THE TALKING CIRCLE WAS
GLORIA'S IDEA.
SHE DIDN'T WANT TO DO THE PLAY
UNLESS THERE WAS A TALKING
CIRCLE.
SHE'S THE LEAST NARCISSISTIC
PERSON ON EARTH.
IN ORDER TO DO A STORY ABOUT HER
LIFE, SHE SAID I NEED TO HAVE A
STORY -- STORIES ABOUT OTHER'S
LIVES BE PART OF THE
CONVERSATION.
>> WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE --
ESSENTIALLY THE TITLE OF THE
PLAY, IT SAYS HISTORY, HER
STORY, OUR STORY.
>> YES.
>> HOW DID IT BECOME OUR STORY
DO YOU THINK IN
>> I THINK FOR GLORIA, AND ME
TOO AS A FEMINIST, THAT IT'S THE
SHARED POWER THAT WE, AS HUMAN
BEINGS, THAT'S THE REAL POWER
AND NOT LOOKING UP.
THAT'S LOSING YOUR POWER.
SO SHE TALKS ABOUT HOW WE ARE
LINKED AND NOT RANKED.
THAT THE HIERARCHY OF PATRIARCHY
IS THAT WHAT IS SO DESTRUCTIVE
TO MEN AND WOMEN.
IT IS SO LIMITING, THE GENDER
ROLES THAT ARE MADE UP, WHAT'S
MASCULINE AND FEMININE, IT'S ALL
MADE UP, AND VERY, VERY
DEHUMANIZING AND LIMITING.
SO YOU GET RID OF THE HIERARCHY,
WHICH IS PATRIARCHY, AND YOU GET
LINKED, SHARED POWER.
SO THAT'S WHAT IS OUR STORY.
>> HAVE YOU BEEN SURPRISED AT
ALL AT SOME OF THE REACTION FROM
PEOPLE WHO HAVE COME TO SEE
THIS?
>> YES.
>> AND THEN WEIGHED IN
AFTERWARDS.
>> YES.
>> IN WHAT WAY.
>> IT LOOKED LIKE A 90-YEAR-OLD
MAN WAS WEEPING AND HE WAS
SAYING HOW HE FELT SO CONFINED
BY THE RIGID ROLE, THE
DEFINITION OF MASCULINITY, HE
WAS WEEPING SAYING I KNOW I'M
NOT SUPPOSED TO CRY.
I CALLED MYSELF A FEMINIST 40
YEARS AGO AND I KNEW I WASN'T
SUPPOSED TO, BUT I STRUGGLED
WITH THIS GENDER ROLE MY WHOLE
LIFE.
AND HE WAS SO MOVED BY THE PLAY,
FROM THE BEGINNING HE WAS JUST
WEEPING THE ENTIRE TIME.
THAT SURPRISED ME.
AND THEN OH, WHEN WE HAD AN
AUDIENCE THAT WAS ABOUT 50% HIGH
SCHOOL, PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL.
>> I WAS GOING TO ASK YOU ABOUT
THAT, ABOUT YOUNGER PEOPLE.
>> THAT WAS AMAZING.
DIVERSE, LOTS OF YOUNG WOMEN OF
COLOR, AND THEY WERE SO INSPIRED
BY THIS PLAY, BECAUSE THIS PLAY
DOES TALK ABOUT HOW GLORIA
LEARNED FEMINISM FROM BLACK
WOMEN.
IT'S NOT PART OF OUR HISTORY.
>> THERE ARE NAMES THAT PEOPLE
WILL NOT RECOGNIZE.
>> THAT'S RIGHT.
>> BUT AFTERWARDS THEY'LL WALK
AWAY SAYING HOW DID I NOT KNOW
ABOUT THAT?
>> EXACTLY.
I CONSIDER MYSELF AN INFORMED
FEMINIST, AND I DIDN'T KNOW.
GLORIA HAS ALWAYS BEEN ABOUT
INTERSECTION AT AND LEARNED
FEMINISM FROM BLACK WOMEN.
SO THESE YOUNG BLACK WOMEN FROM
HIGH SCHOOL WHO NEVER FELT PART
OF THE FEMINIST MOVEMENT, FOR
WHATEVER REASON, AND THEY WERE
SAYING, I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT
THESE BLACK FEMINISTS.
I FEEL SO INSPIRED.
I FEEL LIKE I HAVE A VOICE.
AND THAT I CAN USE IT NOW.
THAT'S THE -- THAT'S EVERYTHING.
THAT'S WHY I DID THIS PLAY.
>> YOU SHOULD BE VERY PLEASED
AND WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU
HERE.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> ENJOYED IT.
AND A REMINDER FOR YOU, THE PLAY
IS NOW PLAYING AT THE DARRELL
ROTH THEATER UNTIL MARCH 21,
2019.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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