For the next couple of weeks, a group of local women will be taking the stage and taking over a very masculine play.
The all-female production of David Mamet’s “Glengarry Glen Ross” won’t vary at all from the original script. Mamet himself has gone on record saying he doesn’t want a single word of his plays to be changed, so in this new production, the women will take on the male roles as they are. The dialogue won’t change; the characters’ names won’t change. What is certain to change is the audience’s perception of the play.
While there have been previous productions of “Glengarry Glen Ross” that have cast women, others have cast some male actors and still others have sinned against the playwright by changing the language. But this current incarnation is the brainchild of local director Ruth Palileo. “I have had the good fortune of doing several shows in las vegas, and there are not enough women characters. Every show that I auditioned I would get 10, 20 women audtioning. And every one of them is really good. I thought: where is the show? Where are the ‘Glengarry Glen Ross(es)’ for all women? And I thought, I should just do it with all women,” she explains.
“I’ve been in love with [the play] for a long time. Although it’s always been a play cast with seven men, it’s really about the relationships of someone trying to get to the top,” Palileo says. She’s cast Natalie Senecal, Bonnie Belle, Gail K. Romero, Valerie Carpenter Bernstein, Anne Davis Mulford, and Marlena Shapir to portray the desperate real estate salesmen of Mamet’s Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play.
For Palileo, a self-described feminist, the unconventional production isn’t as much about making a statement about gender roles as it is about the play itself. “Mamet is about rhythm. That’s why I love Mamet. That’s why we wanted to do the show–for women to get a chance at that language . . . The expression of women will come, not from the language, but absolutely who they are,” she says.
Glengarry Glen Ross
1406 South Third Street
November 3-5, 8-10, 14-17
All performances at 7:00 p.m.
Photo by Richard Brusky