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July-August 2018

REVIEW: New plays explore female empowerment, growth, and sexuality

Inside Catherine Hernandez's The Femme Playlist & I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me

Kashi Syal

9781770919099_1The Femme Playlist & I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me
Catherine Hernandez
Playwrights Canada Press, $18.95

Catherine Hernandez is an award-winning author and activist who has dedicated her career to promoting, capturing, and performing the stories of women of colour. The Femme Playlist & I Cannot Lie to The Stars That Made Me, the plays that make up this collection, explore female empowerment, growth, and sexuality within the LGBTQ communities. Hernandez offers a focused commentary on vulnerability that arises from the imbalance of power in a hetero- and cis-normative society. The discourses surrounding abuse, love, and survival are made accessible to the audience through the breakdown of the “fourth wall” of literature, with there being no limiting descriptions of the main character. This technique is typical of Brechtian theatre as Hernandez is encouraging the audience to be active participants in the experience. They are immersed in the story while being reminded that this is a dialogue that must be voiced.

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