Guerrilla Girls On Tour
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Guerrilla Girls On Tour is an anonymous touring theatre company whose mission is to develop activist plays, performance art and street theatre. The troupe has presented performances and workshops around the world addressing reproductive rights, war, sex trafficking, hunger, herstory/history/hirstory and violence against women. All of the work of Guerrilla Girls On Tour is presented using masks and draws from a variety of classic theatre techniques such as physical theatre, vaudeville and parody. Guerrilla Girls On Tour also trains and educates communities in combining activism and art via workshops, gallery exhibits, master classes and community collaborations which have resulted in participatory performance projects and site-specific productions that include local women’s history.
Guerrilla Girls On Tour is one of the three groups that formed when the original Guerrilla Girls split in 2001. The other two groups are Guerrilla Girls, Inc., and Guerrilla Girls Broad Band. Guerrilla Girls On Tour uses skits, sketch and improvisation to turn sexism, pay equity, body image, the beauty industry and the “F” word (feminism) into theatre, performance art and street actions. Each of Guerrilla Girls On Tour's performances is interactive. Guerrilla Girls On Tour talks to and with audience members on their take on the issues, involving them with writing assignments, sing-a-longs and audience participation.
Like the original Guerrilla Girls, founded in 1985, each member of Guerrilla Girls On Tour performs using the name of a dead female artist and wears a gorilla mask to conceal her true identity. Their company is made up of 20 to 30 members and they have toured through 30 states and 8 countries to places like southern Georgia, eastern Europe and South America. Guerrilla Girls On Tour have been featured in the Village Voice, BackStage, Mother Jones, The New York Times, CUNY TV’s Women In Theatre Series, i-D Magazine, American Theatre, Antiborder Conference Warsaw, LA Times, In Theatre, the BBC, French Channel 2, amNewYork, Wysokie Obcasy, and The Tony Awards.
Guerrilla Girls On Tour currently tours 4 performances: Feminists Are Funny, Silence Is Violence, The History of Women in Theatre: Condensed and If You Can Stand The Heat: The History Of Women And Food.
Feminists Are Funny is an energetic romp through humorous historical moments in feminist history as well as the history of Guerrilla Girls On Tour. The show provides an overview of GGOT's posters, street theatre actions, and excerpts from the current comedies in repertoire. Feminists Are Funny addresses the lack of parity for women in global theatre, political issues facing women such as reproductive rights, the war in Iraq, current number of women elected to government, sex trafficking and violence against women....all in a fast paced comedy. Guerrilla Girls On Tour briefly research each place they visit and include current local issues and statistics on the state of the arts for women in every city they perform in.
Silence Is Violence contains similar material to Feminists Are Funny but includes a 30 minute section on up-to-date statistics and strategies for combating violence against women. Guerrilla Girls On Tour dramatize a series of date rape situations and educate the audience with information on how to set boundaries and avoid potentially dangerous situations. The entire show is both upbeat and empowering. Local and state wide stats regarding violence against women are incorporated into each performance making them site-specific.
If You Can Stand the Heat: The History of Women and Food explores women’s relationship to food. In Part I: “PIE” – celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher takes us on a 10 minute musical romp though the history of women and food while baking her favorite apple pie. In Part II “CAKE” – southern cooking expert Edna Lewis polls the audience in an exercise that unleashes female obsession/anxiety over body image. And in Part III “BREAD” culinary heroine Julia Child explores global food supply and nutrition as well as women as both homemakers and bread winners while baking a French baguette. Using physical theatre, dance, improvisation and visual images, If You Can Stand the Heat: The History of Women and Food is a hilarious, flour-dusted, theatrically surprising stage conversation meant to dissolve fears of food and encourage freedom of the fork.
Exhibitions of Guerrilla Girls On Tour's posters have been organized at museums in the US, and at Zendai MoMA, China; Portobello Film Festival, UK and the Busan Biennale in South Korea. The Guerrilla Girls On Tour's web site contains all of their visual works as well as their annual Girlcott List (a list of theatres across the US that do not include plays by women in their mainstage seasons) and the annual Good News List (where to find plays by women).
Guerrilla Girls On Tour! maintain a website http://www.ggontour.com which contains their performances, street actions and exhibitions as well as an account of their history and tactics. This is also where they can be reached to arrange appearances.
In 2009 a book was published - "Voicing Dissent: American Artists and the War on Iraq" by Routledge that includes a chapter on Guerrilla Girls On Tour.
In 2010 Guerrilla Girls On Tour received the Yoko Ono Courage for the Arts Award.
- GGOT official website