Help is on the way. The “Out Loud Theatre” group is touring throughout the state with a show that helps women of all shapes and sizes learn how to accept and, ultimately, embrace their bodies.
University of Rhode Island graduates and students are among the group, including director Kira Hawkridge of Pawtucket, who graduated from URI in 2012 with a degree in theater.
The group is performing The Most Massive Woman Wins, a play by Madeline George that explores social mores of beauty and fitness among four women – a teenager with bulimia, a housewife, a poor single mother, and a corporate woman.
“Body image is a topic that affects everyone,” says Hawkridge. “We want to help create an open and honest dialogue about the issue. It isn’t about what is right or wrong for these women in the play, but simply what is.”
Cast members are: Siobhan LaPorte-Cauley of East Providence; Christine Cauchon ’14 of South Kingstown; Sarah Leach ’13 of Providence, and Amelia Giles ’14 of South Kingstown.
The group’s performances are free and open to the public:
The Mathewson Street Theater, 134 Mathewson St., Providence, on Thursday April 10, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m. (The May performance is part of “This is Free Providence,” a socially-engaged theater festival funded by the Rhode Island Foundation.)
The Contemporary Theater Company, 327 Main St., South Kingstown, Friday May 9, at 7 p.m., and Saturday May 10 at 7 p.m.
Seating is limited, so please reserve seats by visiting Tickets.
The group is also visiting URI’s theater department on Wednesday, April 16, in a class hosted by Alan Hawkridge, Kira’s father and a lecturer in URI’s theater department, and James Calitri, also a URI theater instructor.
“I am very excited about returning to URI to engage in this project with the Theater Department,” says Kira. “All performances, including the one at URI, will be followed by a discussion led by socially minded and compassionate people involved in this topic.”
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“Body image is a topic that affects so many and it is a topic that deserves to be discussed openly,” says Kira. “We can’t pretend that there is one reason why women – or why anyone – experiences issues with their body. It is an extremely personal journey for each individual, and it is important that those stories be heard. It is important to me personally that anyone experiencing issues surrounding this topic realize that they are not alone – and that as a group we can create change for the better.”
Pictured above, from left to right: Members of the “Out Loud” theater group: Siobhan LaPorte-Cauley of East Providence; Sarah Leach ’13 of Providence; Christine Cauchon ’14 of South Kingstown; and Amelia Giles ’14 of South Kingstown. The stage manager, lighting designer and co-founder of “Out Loud” is Marc Tiberiis II ’14.
Pictured above: Kira Hawkridge ’12, director of “Out Loud” theater group.
Photo courtesy of Justine M. Johnson