Lipstick Theatre’s winter show Cry It Out follows the friendship of two stay-at-home moms whose comfort and routines are challenged when a neighbor asks that his wife be included in their coffee time.
Director Yama Pouye, a Communication sophomore, chose the show alongside her producer, SESP sophomore Emily Munster, after being chosen as the director in Spring Quarter. Pouye spent a week looking for possible play ideas to pitch and was ultimately recommended Cry It Out by a member of Lipstick.
Pouye said the play resonated with her after she read it, but she couldn’t quite pinpoint why since the subject matter wasn’t something she could relate to.
“I think what I realized was that it made me challenge who I include in my sphere of feminism,” Pouye said. “It’s one of those plays that you don’t really realize until after that it affected you, because on the surface it’s just really fun.”
Munster was drawn to the show because of the fact that it brings to the forefront a perspective that is often not represented in college theater.
“It really struck a chord with us, mostly because it was different than what a lot of college shows are and focused on a different age group,” Munster said.
This was Pouye’s first time directing, and she placed an emphasis on forming a tight knit relationship among cast members. She helped form those bonds by playing games and starting each rehearsal with a random question.
“I view directing as kind of like it’s a ship and I’m the captain of the ship and it’s my job to make sure that I get really good materials — so good actors and good designers,” she said. “It’s really important to me that we all really love each other, because that’s the only way you can really be vulnerable in the room.”
One obstacle in building those bonds was the size of the cast. The show has a four person cast, which meant the way the cast bonded was unique, as was the care Pouye could put into cultivating those individual relationships.
“It’s interesting because you get a different amount of bonding from a large ensemble— it’s a completely different feeling,” Pouye said. “You do get to spend 30 minutes a day just checking in, and that kind of attention to each other’s lives in detail wouldn’t have been possible with such a big cast.”
To Munster, the demographics of the characters are important because they will challenge Northwestern audiences to evaluate judgments they may have about young parents.
“I think a Northwestern audience can take away from this sort of stepping out of their own world and thinking about people that they don’t think about that often,” she said. “I think it’s really important that people sort of recognize what it means to be a young new parent and also remind people not to judge parents as harshly as we do.”
Pouye’s takeaway, and ultimately what she hopes the audience takes away from the show, is expanding how someone defines feminism and who is included in their definition of feminism.
“I think if people walk away just thinking about what they consider as feminism, and who they include in that, I think would be my ultimate goal,” Pouye said.
Cry It Out is running in Shanley Pavilion Feb. 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 8 at 2 and 7 p.m.