|Photo by Oscar Elizondo|
The event is being organized by actor-writer Miriam Reed, who feels there's increasingly a dangerous conservative attitude among young people. "They don't appreciate how recently we won our suffrage, and they don't realize how vulnerable our rights still are," she explains. "And this is reflected in the theater." Reed feels that our society, particularly as reflected in show business, is more oriented toward men than women. "Look at the movies: 50-year-old men with 20-year-old women -- it's a sign of the times," Reed continues, convinced that it takes strong female mentors to protect young women from that kind of socialization.
WIT, a nonprofit support group for women working in L.A. theater, hopes to make this an annual event, saturating the city with positive female role models every March. "If we can turn on a little light in just one young woman," Reed explains, "empower her and show her she has choices, that's the point." Wrapping up her monologue, Mercedes, still in character as Kahlo, sums up the festival's crux: "Love is . . . no tragedy, no victims, no violence. This is something, as women, we must never forget." For details on the day's programming, go to www.nwhp.org, or call the National Women's History Project hot line: (818) 763-5222.