"Top Girls," lead by nearly an all-female cast and production team, will have shows from Nov. 8 to 13 at Cave Theatre. The show follows a British woman estranged from her family who gets the top job hiring for an employment agency. Zoe Taylor // Photo Provided
Cave Theatre show, 'Top Girls' offers feminist insight
An all-female cast and production team makes up the Cave Theatre’s latest show, “Top Girls.” Well, almost all females.
“We have one guy on the team, but we call him the honorary girl,” said Zoe Taylor, the show’s director.
“Top Girls” follows Marlene, a British woman who is estranged from her family and recently got the top job hiring for an employment agency.
View "Top Girls" in the Cave Theatre on the following dates. Tickets can be purchased at University Theatre Box Office Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., or online here.
Nov. 12 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 13 at 2:30 p.m.
“She’s struggling to be a woman in a position of power,” Taylor said. “The essence of the play, in a word, is ‘competition.’ It’s really a whole play about female competition.”
The play follows a circular pattern, not chronological order. There are also scenes that take place both inside Marlene’s head, such as the first where she hosts a dinner party with different historical women.
“It’s disorienting, but it flows so nicely that the audience can accept it,” Taylor said. “It’s like a memory piece.”
Taylor, a history, telecommunications and theater production major, said she went into the show scrambling a little to find a vision of what she wanted it to be, but is proud of what it has become.
“It’s just so cool to me because people say directing is a male profession, but I have a full female production team,” she said. “Well, plus our honorary girl.”
This is Taylor’s first full production at Ball State, and she’s had to learn how to solve problems before they happen so they don’t affect the process.
“Life gives you many obstacles and you think you know how to do something, but you have to be ready to learn you’re wrong,” Taylor said.
In Sophia Foldvari’s case,“Top Girls” has presented the challenge of learning two different accents. This is due to the fact that she plays three women: Isabella Bird, Mrs. Kidd and Joyce.
“There’s one called RP, which is like standard British,” the senior acting major said. “The other is estuary, and that’s more of a street British. The overall nature of the script is challenging as well.”
Olivia Schaperjohn, a senior acting major, said the show has been a chance to experiment. She plays Shona, Kit and a waitress.
“I play characters from ages 12 to 21,” she said. “So when I play Shona it’s like me right now, but it’s fun to think about what I was like when I was 12 and put that into Kit.”
The show has provided her an opportunity to learn how to be still in the moment.
“I’ve always liked movement and I do a lot of it, but this show has really made me learn how to mentally stop for a minute,” she said.
For Foldvari, the show is “particularly poignant this year” with the election going on.
“Not only is the cast all women, but there’s this character that breaks the glass ceiling,” Foldvari said. “Plus we open on Election Day — hopefully women can win that day, too.”
Schaperjohn said it’s important to note how each character has her own idea of femininity, and what it means to be a woman.
“The show touches on how women take themselves for granted, that’s what one older character says, and it’s interesting how older women see the younger generations,” Schaperjohn said. “I hope people see how far we’ve come with our gender, and how we’re more open to different gender expressions.”
Taylor doesn’t want the absence of men to distract the audience from the show’s broader messages. She said wants to get the audience thinking about those messages.
“I don’t want [the all-female cast] to be the focal point,” she said. “The show is about how feminism comes in many forms. People are too scared to call themselves feminists but you’re being a feminist if you’re rooting for any of these women [in the show].”