Challenging women’s writing

Sleeping Weazel’s latest show may feature three plays by women, but don’t call it women’s theater.

The performing and visual arts collaborative founded by Wheaton Professor of English and Playwright in Residence Charlotte Meehan will be presenting the Birds and the Bees, a festival of three new plays, starting tonight at the Boston Center for the Arts.

Wheaton alumna Adara Meyers ’08, one of the playwrights whose work is featured in the show, told Boston EdgeMediaNews that “this trio of plays questions the idea that “women’s writing” is a useful or meaningful descriptor.”

The show features Beesus & Ballustrada by Professor Meehan, Birds by Myers, and The Last Bark by Kate Snodgrass. The plays explore perspectives on heterosexual love and existence (i.e., the birds and the bees), raising provocative questions for the audience.

In EdgeMediaNews article about the plays, Professor Meehan said women’s perspectives are woven through the three plays, the subjects they explore reflect the broader human condition.  

We are playwrights and we are women, but we resist the idea of being called women playwrights. While women certainly feature in the three plays, and gender is important to the relationships within them, each play deals with broader themes of existence, including the repercussions of human interference in the natural world, and how ridiculous we all are (men and women) in the face of love. These plays are philosophical and psychological, fierce and funny, calamitous and sublime.

Meehan, an English professor and playwright-in-residence at Wheaton, founded Sleeping Weazel in January 2012 and serves as the company’s artistic director. From the beginning, she has worked closely with several former students, including Myers, Amanda Weir ’04, Rebecca Finkelstein ’05, and Jessica Foster ’06, as well as Wheaton faculty such as Stephanie Burlington Daniels and Clinton O’Dell.

The Birds and the Bees will play June 2–4 and 9–11 at the Plaza Black Box Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts at 5390 Tremont Street in Boston.

Charlotte Meehan
Adara Meyers ’08