The stage floor of the Studio Theater was littered with multi-colored confetti when suddenly the prop gate was raised upwards, transporting the audience to a place that tackles the misogyny of the current, contemporary society head on.
The California Repertory Company presented “The Funfair,” a play that’s overall message is centered around the abuse of women in a misogynistic civilization.
Misogyny is the dislike of or ingrained prejudice against women. It manifests itself in numerous ways such as sex discrimination, male privilege, belittling of women, sexual objectification, social exclusion, sexism, hostility, patriarchy, violence against women and more.
“The message we are trying to convey with this play is the relationship of love, money and how it controls us,” said Rachel Post, who plays the main character, Caroline in the play. “As a result of that, there is a lot of violence happening every day against women and other issues we need to pay attention to because power dynamics is strongly emphasized [in the play].”
The audience is taken through a series of examples of how women can be mistreated on a day-to day-basis and how men objectify women by calling them names including “slut, bitch and whore.”
“For being a woman, the best part about the Q&A during the play is seeing other women in the audience volunteer to raise their hand and recognize the mistreatment we all go through,” said Carolina Xique, who plays Esther. “This shows men in the audience that being called a whore [or] slut or getting catcalled is not cool and we need to change that.”
The message that “The Funfair” communicates with the audience is to examine the way men treat women. Walking away from the play, audience members are left with real-life situations to think about which are most times overlooked.
“We easily get distracted with our phones, the internet and social media that we do not stop and think about how misogyny affects women. If you take a look at our current elections, a perfect example of someone who expresses misogyny is Trump and how easily he expresses power dynamics,” said Malachi Beasley, who plays Cash. “This play is meant to continue the conversation of misogyny and to empower young people to not get distracted by the confetti but to engage in this conversation.”
The play served as a refresher for many men in the audience to acknowledge the behavior some men portray.
“This play was written about capitalism, but we shifted our focus onto misogyny and the relationship men have with women,” said Erin Galloway who plays Billy Smoke.
The Funfair runs from Nov. 1-11 and tickets range from $18 for student, $20 for faculty and staff and $23 for general admission. Tickets can be found online here.