University Press

New Theatre Lab play features female activists during French Revolution

“The Revolutionists” showcases four women who worked to bring equality to all in 1793.

Niki+Fridh+as+Olympe+de+Gouges+and+Candice+Marie+Singleton+as+Marianne+Angelle.+Photo+courtesy+of+Amatista+Photography.
Niki Fridh as Olympe de Gouges and Candice Marie Singleton as Marianne Angelle. Photo courtesy of Amatista Photography.

Niki Fridh as Olympe de Gouges and Candice Marie Singleton as Marianne Angelle. Photo courtesy of Amatista Photography.

Niki Fridh as Olympe de Gouges and Candice Marie Singleton as Marianne Angelle. Photo courtesy of Amatista Photography.

Kamilah Douglas, Contributing Writer

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“We’re gonna have to cut the guillotine,” Olympe de Gouges said.

Produced by FAU’s Theatre Lab, “The Revolutionists,” written by Lauren Gunderson, is a comedy about four women who fought for social change in the French Revolution. The play opened Feb. 9.

Gunderson is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter, and short story author from Atlanta, Georgia, according to her website. She’s particularly interested in arts activism, which shows in the actions of the four female heroines in the play.

“The Revolutionists” takes place in Paris, France in 1793. One of the heroines, Olympe, is a playwright with intense writer’s block who is yearning for a meaningful story to pen.

She finds this in three other women: young assassin Charlotte Corday, Caribbean spy Marianne Angelle, and former Queen of France Marie Antoinette.

Pictured (from left to right): Mia Matthews as Marie Antoinette, Niki Fridh as Olympe De Gouges, Candice Marie Singleton as Marianne Angelle, and Nicole Stocia as Charlotte Corday. Photo courtesy of Amatista Photography.

“Story is the heartbeat of humanity and humanity gets really dark when the wrong stories are leading the people,” Olympe said.

The play highlights the unjust trials the three women receive ahead of their execution.

As written in the play’s pamphlet by director Matt Stabile, “The characters you will meet are inspired by actual women whose voices were silenced during a period of time meant to bring liberty, equality, and representation to all. Now, centuries later, their stories are finally given life – in the hope that it won’t take 225 years more to arrive at the true meaning of [social equality].

Students sided with the plight of the strong women featured.

“I related to the revolution of being portrayed poorly among women and I really felt the feminists in the play,” freshman Chandler Lewis said after seeing the show.

“At some points I was just kind of like, ‘Aw don’t cry,’” Palm Beach State student Justin Alfonzo said. “At one point I was like, Damn, that’s messed up, like, I’m gonna punch [the executioner].’”

Although the story has serious notes, Gunderson emphasizes that it’s still largely a comedy.

“The Revolutionists” plays at the FAU Boca campus inside the Parliament dorm through Feb. 25. Tickets can be bought at the Student Union Box Office.

Kamilah Douglas is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email k[email protected].

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