SALT LAKE CITY — Monologues from a Movement, by Amanda Caraway, is a series of monologues based on true stories gathered by the author brought together to be presented in a condensed format at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival. It was announced that a full length production is planned for 2023 at Wasatch Theatre Company. The cast featured both singular monologues and some group recitations and even one group song composed by director Cami Rozanas with lyrics by author Caraway.
The presentation was a striking representation of the #metoo movement but done in such a way that it covered much more than sexual harassment. I was struck by the monologue Benevolent Daddy, brought to the stage by Meighan Page Smith, that covered a lot of the challenge of trying to be successful in the workplace as a woman and how that challenge is not reached often without the support of a more powerful man. This monologue was also amplified by the monologue Queen Bee, brought to the stage by Jenn Niedfeldt, which showed the audience how women are often forced to pit themselves against each other. I appreciated the quoting of psychological science within this monologue, as I am a scholar of psychology and women’s studies. I feel that these stories added to the other important stories of sexual assault, because it showed that this movement is about the mistreatment of women in all the areas of life and how it is a struggle to manage in all facets.
The stories of sexual assault are always hard to hear, but Caraway has the perfect balance of humor mixed with knowledge and empowerment. I think my favorite was the final monologue, by Valerie Ahanonu-Plautz, because not only was it masterfully delivered, but it also at several points reminded the audience that the perpetrator was punished not because people brought complaints against him but because of his actions. The writing and acting that showed that empowerment were a fantastic way to close out this show.