SHE THE PEOPLE contains audience participatory moments that are designed to be fully accessible, discussions and depictions of racism, sexism, profanity, and usage of a prop gun.
(subject to change)
The evening begins with a musical number entitled I WISH, during which the cast members share their dreams for a better world. They cover a wide range of topics including; pant size, health care, white wine, and men named Brock.
In the next scene, three women comfort their friend, Candance, who was just dumped by her boyfriend, John. The women list their reasons for hating John; they range from his lack of personality, to fact that one of them suspects he’s a murder. Candance asks why they never told her how they felt and they explain that staying silent when a friend is dating “a douchebag” is “an oath we all take as women.” Candance then discovers that John hasn’t broken up with her after all - she just a misconstrued a text. Her friends celebrate this news, much to Candance’s surprise. They take back their previous statements and claim that they were just trying to comfort her. After Candance leaves, they reveal that they, in fact, do hate John.
Kate brings Deb into the office with the intention of firing her. Deb accuses Kate of firing her because of a specific bias she has towards her, though she won’t name said bias aloud. Kate vehemently denies this accusation, and claims that Deb must be questioning Kate because of a certain bias, which Kate also refuses to name specifically. They throw allegations of bias back and forth, never completing a sentence to voice what the respective biases might be Deb demands they bring Nancy, an HR representative, into the conversation. Nancy is immediately offended, arguing that they are displaying a new, unknown bias. Over the course of the scene, several more women enter the argument and have the same reaction as Nancy. Jeff then enters and tries to understand the argument by asking each woman in turn if the issue is that “You’re white, you’re brown, you’re gay, you’re black, and you’re dumb?” All the women scream “no.” Jeff asks if he’s fired, and they respond with a resounding “yes.”
The cast then takes on the treatment of women and female-identifying characters in the film industry. They poke fun at stereotypes found in several genres including rom coms, period pieces, procedural dramas, family dramas, and Science-Fiction through a series of statements highlighting well-known absurdities and double standards.
A reporter reads a newscast about a mass shooting and is about reveal the identity of the shooter. The cast members onstage chant together “don’t be brown.” The newscaster reveals the shooter is Caucasian and the cast members celebrate. However, their celebration turns into dismay when the newscaster reveals that he self-identifies as Muslim.
A doctor finishes up a routine check-up with two new parents and their infant. The parents inform him that they will not be vaccinating their child. The doctor then calls in a “surrogate,” to whom he yells everything he wants to say to the parents, while asking them to not listen. After angrily refuting their counterarguments to the surrogate, he then politely asks the parents to reconsider. They refuse and begin to leave the office, outraged. The doctor yells one last time and implores them to reconsider. He speaks to them directly and says that he knows being a parent is scary, but they should take advantage of the advancements of modern medicine, and that it is the best choice for their baby and the children around them. They don’t realize he is speaking to them.
A worship leader at a Catholic youth conference sings a song poking fun at the Church, and its members, by apologizing for the many well-known social issues and hypocrisies surrounding them, both presently and throughout history. The song ends with the line, “If you’re offended right now, part of the problem is you.”
Three cheerleaders perform chants at a football game. Their chants revolve around the idea of women “asking for it” and how consent isn’t a requirement for sex. As their chants become more and more offensive, the football coach stops them. He argues that the messages in their chants are wrong. They disagree with him, stating that if you have enough money and power you can do anything you want. When the coach asks them who told them that, they reply: the president. After their next cheer discusses their lack of abortion rights, the coach banns them from cheering the rest of the game. He apologizes and tells them they don’t know what they’re talking about. The cheerleaders accept this and surmise that, as an older white man, the coach must know what’s best for them.
Woman is in an Uber on her way to the airport. She shares an awkward moment with the uber driver when he reveals he’s from Palestine after she tells him she is on her way to her Birthright trip in Israel. The awkwardness intensifies after he turns on the radio. They switch from listening to THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND to WAR, until they finally agree upon SORRY by Justin Bieber.
A presidential candidate prepares for a speech at George Washington University with her aids. They hype her up and tell her they’ll be right behind her. Once the candidate begins her speech, her aids give her notes and tell her to adjust everything from her posture, to her tone of voice, to her facial expressions. They constantly contradict each other and their previous directives, telling her she needs to be louder, and then in the next sentence that she’s too loud. Their demands become more and more absurd until the candidate finally tells them to stop. She stands up for herself and points to the double standards that female-identifying politicians are held to, compared to their male-identifying counterparts. Her aids respond with their earlier direction to, “stop smiling.”
A woman displays physical attraction to a prop gun onstage. She licks the gun and rubs the gun along her body, accidently shooting herself in the process. She screams in pain but immediately “forgives the gun” and continues where she left off as the lights fade.
One of the guests at a cocktail party is a woman wearing a dinosaur costume with large pearl necklace. She is the life of the party until she confronts another guest, Mike, who has told her that he doesn’t think her outfit is appropriate for a woman her age. She rants about the inappropriateness of his comment that ends with her telling him that she will, “roll up in a bikini on a Rascal scooter,” to his funeral because statistically, a woman will always outlive a man.
Two cast members run around the stage searching for something while the sounds of a baby crying are heard from offstage. They wonder if he could be hungry or tired, but dismiss those options because he napped and ate recently. They find what they’re looking for, and bring it offstage, where happy baby noises are now heard. One of the cast members then says, in calming tones, “He just needed to tweet, right Mr. President?”
The next musical interlude revolves around the word, “Rubenesque,” inspired by the artwork of Peter Paul Rubens. The song discusses men who like women who are, “Rubenesque – Girls with big hips, big thighs, big breasts, and ass for days.”
The lights next come up in the middle of a game show called Ovary Reaction, where contestants view women’s facial reactions to the world around them and have to guess what they are reacting to. The contestants are two cast members and one audience member chosen at random. The rest of the women play the role of Ovaryactors who are making the reactions that the contestants need to guess the cause of. They spend several rounds guessing the situations, but the answers are revealed to be consistently hyper-specific, such as, “remembering that 53% of white women voted for Trump in the last election,” and no one correctly guesses them. In the final round, the contestants must each react to scenarios they are given, such as remembering that the nation values assault rifles more than mental health. The audience member is given the highest score for their reaction and wins the game. They are given their prizes and the host states that they’re not the only winner of Ovary Reaction tonight, because everyone in attendance will be going home with, “a better understanding of the infuriating bullshit women have to deal with every damn day.” The game show, and the first act, ends with the catch-phrase “if you aren’t ovary reacting, you aren’t paying attention.”
The second act begins with a reprise of I WISH, the song that opened the show, complete with new hopes and dreams that range in scope from the personal to the political.
A group of women are at a strip club for a bachelorette party. They rapidly switch between wild, raunchy bachelorette behavior and sincere, intelligent conversation around pertinent social issues. One second, they are cat-calling the strippers, and the next they comment to each other on topics such as gun control, or the continued effort of religious conservatives to subjugate women into conforming into “traditional” gender roles.
Kazi is washing her hands in the bathroom and bumps into two girls. One of them tells her that they were just talking about how pretty she is and asks her where she’s from, gesturing at her features. Kazi begins to speak about her answer - Bethesda, Maryland – as “epic poetry”, accompanied by “traditional-sounding African music.”
Stacey and Allana sit together and await their Weight Watchers meeting. Stacey is surprised by Allana’s age – 12 – and her fervent commitment to the program. Allana credits her mother’s coaching, saying, “my mom says that the number on the scale is a measurement of how happy you’re allowed to be.” She continues to spout her mother’s disturbingly unhealthy declarations as Stacey shares her own, less enthusiastic interest in the program. They both confess that they went over their points this week and bond over their shared stress about being made to share their weight aloud. Stacey tells Allana she shouldn’t be there, that she’s too young, and perfect the way she is. Allana dismisses her, stating that she needs to lose 15lbs by Saturday. She reveals that Saturday is her birthday and her mom bought her a dress two sizes too small, and told her that if she could fit into it, her life would probably be more fun. Stacey tells her that’s insane and Allana responds by asking why she’s here. Stacey reveals she also has to lose 15lbs by Friday because it’s her ex’s birthday and his new girlfriend is two sizes smaller than her. Allana asks if she is ever going to love her body and Stacey tells her that she will, sometimes, and sometimes someone else will tell her that she’s beautiful and for a second, she’ll believe them. Allana tells Stacey that she thinks she’s beautiful and Stacey reciprocates the sentiment. Allana tells her that for a second, she believed her.
A woman takes a date home to her apartment. As they continue to get to know each other, the woman reveals that she is a feminist. Every time the subject is broached, it is highlighted by spooky lighting and underscoring. Despite the repeated ambiance, the woman assures the man it’s not scary and people only think feminism means something negative because they don’t understand it. The man attempts to relate this idea to the fact that he still lives with his mother and the woman disagrees in horror.
Another musical interlude, UTERUS SONG, begins. It is a spoken word poem rapped by a Uterus and her backup singers, the Ovaries, about breaking up with her abusive boyfriend, the government. The Uterus imagines a world in which the roles were reversed and female politicians used their power to attempt to control men’s bodies. She leaves chanting, “The Uterus is walkin’ out that door – You’re gonna have to fuck yourself.”
The cast finishes singing Happy Birthday to Jenny. Then, a pinata is announced. Jenny walks centerstage and beats the pinata violently with a pool noodle, eventually resorting to kicking and stomping on it. One cast member asks another what’s wrong with her and their response is, “her dad’s a cop.”
Three cast members now become the hosts of “Self-Care We Care: A Woman’s Podcast.” They discuss the “difficulties” (and poke fun at the privileges) of self-care culture, including the discovery that your reading socks from Amazon Prime are just regular socks, and your Vitamix exploding all over your marble counter. They then answer several questions from the audience.
At a workplace meeting, Ellen makes the confession to her co-workers that she is Mexican. They are shocked. They ask if it is a phase. She tells them there was a time she thought that but deep down she always knew. She tells them there were “signs,” like being yelled at for leaving her chanclas in the living room or watching her mom getting pushed aside by white ladies at Big Lots. She says that even though it has been easy to pass as their white co-worker, she wants to be her truest self. They all ask her offensive questions until she shuts them down. One co-worker asks if she should be paid less. Ellen is outraged by this statement and tells them that not only should they treat her exactly the same as they did before, they should all be making more money than they currently are. One co-worker responds that they’re just concerned for her because its hard to be Mexican. She explains to all of them that she understands better than any of them how difficult it is to be Mexican, or different at all, in America. As she leaves the room, she reminds them that her wife is Brazilian, which is different than Mexican. They respond by asking “how”, and “you’re gay?”
Stacey and her wife flee from their burning bedroom. Stacey is only clothed in a bra and shorts and refuses to go outside wearing only her underwear. Her wife tells her to go put on clothes, but Stacey retorts that their bedroom is on fire. She offers her pants and Stacey refuses, because she knows they’re going to be too small and it will make her sad. She forces Stacey to put on her pants, but she can’t fit into them, and she wonders if the fact that she can’t fit into her wife’s clothes makes her wife a child. A firefighter now enters the home and tells everyone to evacuate, and that the children go first. He lifts Stacey’s wife up, assuming that she is a child, and calls her, “kid.” He then goes to lift Stacey, but she tells him to only do it if he’s sure he can. He pauses and tells her he’s not sure he can, calling her Ma’am. Stacey recoils in horror and cries “let the flames take me!”
Two cast members come onstage and ask a section of the audience to stand. They first ask anyone who has been over-served to sit back down. The questions go on, ranging from everyone who owns a certain type of car, to everyone who has a master’s degree. Then one cast member decides to, “speed this up,” and ask all the people of color to sit down. The other cast member asks why and the first cast member responds that she doesn’t have to tell them why. In the final moment of the scene, a third cast member then enters and asks if the prosecution and defense are happy with their jury selection. The cast members disagree.
A “Disney-type princess” sings a musical number with her animal friends about how you can make yourself, and your world, perfect, if you work hard enough and bottle up your feelings. The songs become more and more manic until blood begins to pour out of her mouth. She sings that the blood is simply the sadness leaving her. She continues to sing about the quest to be perfect as she smears the blood all over her face. She finally stops singing and attempts to catch her breath, as the animals exit one at a time, leaving her alone onstage.
A group of women get ready to go out for the evening. One woman acts as their drill sergeant, and all the other woman snap to attention in a line across the stage. The sergeant walks up and down the line quizzing them on the, “prime objective,” of the evening which is to, “not get murdered.” Lead by the sergeant, the women list of the tactics they are going to employ to not get murdered throughout the evening, such as always staying together, never putting their drink down, and never going home with a guy who says he’s an entrepreneur. The sergeant describes several scenarios in which the women are harassed by men, to which the women respond each time with their directive to, “punch him in the balls.” After one of the women sasses the sergeant, she has them all drop and give her 10 kegels. Once they finish their drills, the woman drops her sergeant persona and they all celebrate and get ready to go again, excited for the evening ahead.
Bev is filming an episode of her vlog “DEBUNKED!” during which she discusses, “conspiracies and the lying lies the government doesn’t want you to know.” She claims her women’s intuition allows her to detect the truth. She uses suggestions from the audience to improvise new answers to common conspiracies, such as who really is responsible for the assassination of JFK.
It is now time for the final gameshow of the evening called You Gotta Fight. The audience is asked to vote with applause for the social issue which means the most to them from a list, including: reproductive rights, gun reform, transgender rights, and abolishing ICE. An actor then calls the office of an elected official live from the stage to leave them a message. She tells the elected official that she has a whole group of people who want them to support the winning issue and then leads the audience in a chant such as, “trans rights are human rights.” She then congratulates the audience for winning the game show because they all did something and can continue to inspire change. The rest of the cast returns to the stage to sing a quiet reprise of I WISH, with the new lyrics of, “I Will,” underneath the speech that the presidential candidate from earlier in the show attempted to deliver. She is now able to share the speech in its entirety, uninterrupted, with the whole cast behind her.
End of Show.