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Theatre students investigate womanhood and secrecy during double feature

Comprised of the performances “Methods & Procedures of Womanhood: An Evening of Poetry & Storytelling” and “The Detox Game,” “Double Bill” will be performed on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 in the New Works Lab in the Drake Performance and Event Center. The double feature event in the Department of Theatre’s student-run Lab Series will first take audiences on a definitive journey of what it means to be a contemporary woman, followed closely by an interactive reveal of secrets both on stage and off.

Brandi Lyons, a fourth-year in theatre and the sole creator and performer of “Methods & Procedures of Womanhood,” said the two very different shows work well together to create a balanced and well-rounded night for viewers.

Lyons said her show, which she began working on four months ago, is intended to create a realistic and uncensored image of womanhood for audience members.

“My show is basically about what it means to be a woman in today’s society: the expectations women have and also some of the limitations that are brought upon them, and some of the ignorance that is spewed out in society — as far as rape culture and slut shaming — and then just simple things like marriage, and girlhood and growing up to be a woman,” Lyons said.

Lyons said she primarily drew on her own personal experiences when creating the series of individual skits and stories that together make up the show, but also utilized social media when searching for subjects and material.

“I guess you could say that social media users are kind of like the co-writers of this, because people put their opinions online and it’s so honest and truthful and candid and they don’t think about who’s going see it,” Lyons said. “Taking from Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, you find stuff even if you’re not looking for it and I was able to connect that with my show.”

In creating the show Lyons said that she has found new perspective and clarity in her own views of what it means to be a woman, and hopes that the performance is able to offer audiences the same opportunity for reflection and reevaluation.

“I’ve realized how ignorant I am myself in some of the things that I as a woman do, as well as some of the things that are put out there that I’ve never really thought twice about,” Lyons said. “In that, it’s helped me to examine myself and the way I think and my outlook and how I talk about, approach and treat other women.”

Roxy Knepp, a fourth- year in theatre and writer and director of “The Detox Game,” said her show will continue Brandi’s trend of offering audience members unveiled insight into her personal life, yet it will do so in a slightly more playful manner.

“’The Detox Game’ is a show about secrets,” she said. “I’m going to offer the audience prizes for telling their secrets and I am also going to be telling some of my own personal secrets.”

Throughout the show Knepp said she will share secrets that she has concealed since childhood as well as newer secrets about shameful things that she has done. She believes that purging oneself of long held secrets can be good for the soul.

“I called it ‘The Detox Game’ because a lot of people try to do detoxes to cleanse their bodies, so I want this show to be a way for people to cleanse their souls,” Knepp said.

Knepp said that she came up with idea for her show six months ago, inspired solely by her lifelong interest in secrets.

“I’ve always been interested in secrets and why people keep them, why people don’t want to be vulnerable,” she said. “I’ve always been interested in why people want to hide so many things about themselves.”

As an innovative performance, Knepp believes that “The Detox Game” is a good fit for the Department of Theatre’s Lab Series that focuses on student-driven, new and experimental work.

“Double Bill” will be performed on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the New Works Lab in the Drake Performance and Event Center.

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