Star Stone's show, # MeToo, a One-Woman Show, tackles rape culture and consent with the insight of a post # metoo sensibility. She uses searing vulnerability to take the audience through the journey of her sexual experiences over the course of her life.
Stone plays a wide array of characters throughout the show. She takes on both real people in the stories and the voices of different influences in her head, such as "Rosey Colored-Glasses" or "Rebel-Punzel ."The comedic tone of the piece nicely balanced out the frank discussions of sexual assault. One of the characters, "Belle Shit," even sings a series of Disney princess parodies. These musical parodies make a thoughtful connection between the romantic life we learn at a young age from movies and the stark reality. Stone's diverse performance is entertaining, funny and heartfelt. She is a quickly likable and relatable character, making it easy for the audience to stay invested in her story throughout.
The script leaves some loose ends to the story. The show's ending felt like an intermission, a place to start a second act, rather than the story's conclusion. Though I appreciated the solid political stance the ending takes, I wished for more resolution with the various plot points.
Throughout the show, voice-overs from Siri interrupt Stone's dialogue. These interjections provided definitions and a broader context for the world of the play. However, I never truly understood what this technological inclusion added to the story or the piece as a whole. Perhaps Siri's presence was hinting towards the online nature of the #metoo movement. And yet, this movement is not acknowledged or worked into the text.
The script focuses more on the experience of one person's assault. The movement didn't need to be entirely woven into the story, but a nod to the macro view of # metoo's influence could have strengthened the story and connected loose ends.
This show stares abuse dead in the face and doesn't shy away from it. The bravery shown by Stone in sharing her traumas is impactful. She shows other survivors they are not alone and there is a way out of the cycle of abuse.
"# MeToo, a One-Woman Show"
Written and Performed by Star Stone
Directed by Jessica Lynn Johnson
The 15th United Solo Festival
September 25- November 19, 2023
410 West 42nd (btw 9th and 10th Avenue)
Carmen! is a trans-multimedia artist specializing in playwriting, acting and crochet. Originally from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, they are currently based in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, returning to their Atlantic Oceanic roots. Their play Taking the Plunge has been performed at the Tank and the Chain off-Broadway and in the 2023 Fresh Fruit Festival slated this June. Carmen has also worked in front-of-house and technical positions for prominent theater organizations including New Dramatists, Portland Playhouse, Emursive and Future Proof. Carmen’s mission is to use play to create meaningful representation by and for underrepresented communities. For more information on Carmen! Follow them on socials @carmenacetosociety or check out www.carmenburbridge.info