The Political Is Personal

“Southern Ladies Against Women,” members of the theater group Sisters of No Mercy. Demonstrating at the Chamber of Commerce seminar in Atlanta, Georgia, 1980s, Protest signs read: “Make coffee, not trouble”; “Southern Ladies Against Women”; and “A day without exploitation is like a day without the Chamber of Commerce.” AJCP179-13b

Feminist theater groups often wrote and performed original plays and skits that addressed issues their members were facing. By brainstorming ideas with diverse group members, their plays offered multiple perspectives on the impact of labor exploitation, sexism, racism, homophobia, and sexual violence. These issues occurred in workspaces, at home, in social settings and even in the local arts scene. Because performances were grounded in the personal lives of playwrights, audiences often developed a stronger connection to and understanding of the feminist material.

Seen + Heard: the Atlanta Women’s Arts Festival — Theater 2 — photographs, February 10, 2001, W081_04_03_a