Kate Mueth, Founder and Artistic Director of the popular Neo-Political Cowgirls, is horrified, and not just about the scares and fears prevalent on Halloween, but by the state of our nation today. She states, “Last Halloween The Neo-Political Cowgirls presented ‘Hysteria,’ which was a surround experience of intense fear rooted in the experience of four historical women who were put away, deemed as ‘hysterical.’ The Preacher Man, The Physician and Society were players in the judgment, cruelty and ruthlessness these women endured.”
Continuing, “When I look back at it now it feels so much like a prediction of COVID and the ending pages to this administration with their ACB fiasco and messing with women’s autonomous rights.”
“This Halloween I am approaching things more directly,” Mueth revealed, “With stories from women in America recorded for audience listening. Part short stories on tape, part reckoning with those who have fucked us over, part beautiful acknowledgment that our lives matter, and yes, plenty of horror because this is what our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends and our wives have faced, continue to face and will be doomed to live with if we don’t start looking at it straight on, step into courageous listening, and pull up our determination to fix the wretched perspective towards the female presence on our planet. It begins with our sons, ourselves and what we are ignorantly tolerating by not doing the work to end it.”
The linked listening sessions will be held on Thursday, October 29 through Saturday, October 31, and include readings and writings by Dipti Bramhandkar, Sarah Bierstock, Malini S. McDonald, Mueth, Lucy Boyle, Sarah Azzara, Susan Stout, Mia Funk, Domenica Feraud and more. Although Mueth acknowledges the program will be presented as “tongue-in-cheek,” the truths are being told. Not for children, pearl clutchers, or work spaces.
Mueth continued, “I hope listeners will sit with openness to take in these stories, to understand there is a human woman, a life, behind each, and for each story there is something very specific that needs addressing in order for women to have better lives. I hope any woman or man who has been through a similar story will feel comforted in the calling out, the words-put-to-experience, and feel encouraged to tell their stories too to start the engines of change making. We are not alone. We just need to do better at standing together to end stories like these.”
Mueth candidly advises, “This collection is potentially triggering for some, so fair warning. If a parent listens and feels there is something helpful here to share with their teenager, they should absolutely do so. As a mother, I would sit and listen together with my son were he still a teen. There’s much here to start important discussions with our young people of a certain age. Only through the courage of looking will we find compassion and wisdom to come through to the other side.” Trigger warning: Sexual abuse, language, violent imagery through language.
“I am deeply grateful to the women who contributed to this project. It takes great courage to do so. Courage as well as generosity,” Mueth graciously relayed.
Tickets are a donation from $5-$50 and can be purchased via the link www.musae.me.
This is no trick undertaking, don’t be scared, listen in and you will be in for a treat.