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‘Voice of My Own’ enlivens words of women writers

Voices rise as 16 women stand and deliver in a new staged reading production at CAST March 14-15.

“A Voice of My Own,” by Elinor Jones, happens Friday and Saturday at the Columbia Center for the Arts. Short monologues, scenes and songs illustrate the rich history of women writers (Lady Murasaki, Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, George Sand, and more) finding their voices, making themselves heard, and the prices many of them paid.

Tickets are $10 at the door; the show runs two performances only, 7:30 p.m. both nights. In staged readings, actors read from the script, but there are still entrances and exits and elements of movement and interaction between the players. Several of the performers have memorized key excerpts and present them in involving monologues. Director is Desiree Amyx-Mackintosh, a veteran CAST actor.

Women stand and take turns reading the histories, and words, of 19 writers from across 26 centuries, some better known than others, including Sappho, Margaret Cavendish, Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, Geroge Sand, Marianne Moore, and Dorothy Parker. Amyx-Mackintosh said she has departed in some ways from the original staging, primarily in having one performer, singing all the songs. The script originally divvies up the songs to six of the performers, but Amyx-Mackintosh knew that might not be ideal in this production.

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A longer version of this story can be found on the Hood River News website.

“There are a lot of roles in this play, and the cast includes a number of first-timers,” she said, explaining that the singing might have been intimidating that “for those who wanted to put a toe in the water,” so she turned to cast member Emily Vawter, an accomplished singer, who handles all the music, accompanying herself on guitar. Also in the cast: Monique Adams, Barb Berry, Pennie Burns, Katie Christopherson, Anne Egan, Irene Fields, Judie Hanel, Brenda Hering, narrator Julie Jindal, Deborah Langlois, Adrienne Lee, Mary Ann Pauline, Michelina Roth, Rachel Short, Emma Spaulding, and Kathy Williams. Glenn Harris has a one-minute scene as poet Robert Southey

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea

Brenda Hering presents Lady Cavendish in “Voice of My Own”.

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