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Performing Arts

Lady bits

Reduxion kicks off its season with a female-centric classic.

Devon Green August 7th, 2013

The Women
8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through Aug. 31
Reduxion Theatre
1613 N. Broadway

For six years, Reduxion Theatre Company has treated Oklahoma City theatergoers to its unique interpretation of classic plays. The company is known for dynamic, participatory theater in an intimate space — challenging the traditional notion of the audience’s role in the action.

“No one passively watches a Reduxion show. We create experiences,” said Erin Woods, managing director at Reduxion.

She and her husband are the creators of the theater and hold true to the company motto: Revisit the classics.

The new season opens with The Women by Clare Booth Luce. With its all-female cast and razor-sharp wit, the classic 1936 play was far ahead of its time. The critically and commercially acclaimed work was adapted into a 1939 film starring Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer. Woods said she is has been a huge fan of the movie because of its timeliness and relevance.

“It’s Mean Girls meets Bridesmaids meets The Good Wife meets The Real Housewives. It’s hilarious without being demeaning. It’s amazing,” she said.

With an ensemble cast, several characters are played by the same actress, an adaptation for which Reduxion is known. Woods wanted to start with a women-centric play to balance the abundance of male characters in the latter part of the season.

The Women is also a perfect fit for the season’s overarching theme of personal discovery. Luce’s play takes the questions, “What does it mean to be a woman?” and “What does it mean to be a good woman?” and explores them through conversations between women of differing experience.

Next up for Reduxion will be , a much-loved musical examination of love and freedom within the confines of fascism. The musical follows the odyssey of Sally Bowles, a free-spirited cabaret performer in Berlin’s vivid underground nightlife during the rise of Naziism.

That show will be followed by As You Like It, a pastoral Shakespearean comedy about the relaxation of expected behavior away from court life. Framed within a pilgrimage to India amid the sexual revolution of the 1960s, it details a woman’s journey of self-realization as she casts aside stodgy tradition to explore life, love and what’s expected of her.

Finally, the season ends with Henry V, Shakespeare’s treatise on the nature of war and the contrast between its ideal and reality, as seen through the eyes of a battle-weary king.

Theatergoers can look forward to more of what they have come to love about Reduxion: reinterpretations of classic plays in a setting as thrilling as ringside seats at a boxing match. The upcoming season appears to be no exception.

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