‘Queens For a Year’ sheds light on women in the military, at Hartford Stage
What really goes on when women are in the military? “Queens For a Year” tells a compelling story that reveals what life can be like for some females in the service.
In T.D. Mitchell’s play, Molly Solinas, a young Marine Corps officer, returns unexpectedly to her family home in Virginia with an even younger female private, and everyone clashes, as what had appeared to be a post-deployment vacation is revealed to be much more.
“It’s about four generations of female Marines who have all fought different battles, and yet are still fighting the same war — that war being how women are viewed in this culture, and in the context of our military history,” Mitchell said in a phone interview.
As for the reason Molly brings home a younger woman, Mitchell said, “I can’t tell you that because I want to keep it a surprise. Hopefully, the audience thinks it’s for one reason, and it turns out to be another. A lot of details are revealed through flashbacks.”
“Queens For a Year,” opening for previews at Hartford Stage on Thursday, Sept. 8, features actress Vanessa R Butler, and is directed by Lucy Tiberghien. It’s not a direct portrayal of any one person or event, but a multifaceted, multicultural story that takes place in 2007.
“Our current military structure is still based on a misogynistic culture where when you deride another person for being weak, whether they be male or female, the language of derision is female in nature,” Mitchell said. “You’re a pussy or a bitch. You throw like a girl. The language of that culture is innately that female equals weakness, and putting women into that environment asks them to deny everything female about themselves, in order to succeed and even survive.”
As far as Mitchell is concerned, a “woman should be able to do any job she chooses, and I know she’ll do it well.”
Best known as a writer from the popular Lifetime television series, “Army Wives,” Mitchell has conducted numerous interviews with women who served in World War II and the Vietnam era. “I ached that they are invisible in our society and our history books.
“Being a feminist and coming from a feminist point of view, I think it is important for all young women to know our history of service to our country, that it was not just about supporting wars from home.”
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