The Unified Scene Theater and Women From Mars Presents ‘Silent Reflections: A Clown Noir Cabaret’ on 1/12-13

Unified Scene Theater and Women From Mars are proud to present Silent Reflections: A Clown Noir Cabaret, for two shows in January (January 12th and 13th), at The Unified Scene Theater, located at 80 T Street NW in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Photo by Valentina Fusco.
Photo by Valentina Fusco.

It’s the first collaboration between Women From Mars, a theatrical troupe initially formed in Italy in 2013 where its all-female members first met, and The Unified Scene Theater, DC’s newest brick-and-mortar theater space, which has been open since September and has had sellout shows ever since.

Employing physical theater techniques, comedy, dance, screen projections, music, and drama, Silent Reflections: A Clown Noir Cabaret promises to be a completely unique theatrical experience, one that echoes its subject matter: women’s search for a “voice” despite wholesale cultural and global attempts to silence them. But despite this serious subject matter, the creators of the piece, Women From Mars, are adamant about using humor to highlight the numerous ironies at play.

“We call this performance medium we have compiled ‘clown noir cabaret,'” said Francesca Chilcote, one of the co-founders of Women From Mars as well as a co-creator and cast member of the piece. “The description reflects our unique artistic and stylistic choices. ‘Clown’ is the choice to look at the daily problems and issues of women in a light, comedic way. ‘Noir’ refers to the choice to work in the style and conventions of silent film, the first artistic moment in which the female body was framed and captured for mass production. The element of silence highlights the woman’s search for a ‘voice’ whether it is in the family, politics, or society. Finally, ‘Cabaret’ evokes a music hall style with individual pieces strung together instead of a linear narrative.”

It’s also the first “scripted” theatrical production that The Unified Scene Theater, which normally acts as a space for improvisational comedy, is co-producing at its theater, and, according to TUS Artistic Director Shawn Westfall, is something he hopes to have more of at the space, which he co-founded with his wife, Kathy Baird Westfall.

“Silent Reflections‘ is precisely the kind of show we hope to have more of here at The Unified Scene Theater,” said Westfall, “and speaks to one of the reasons we opened it: to give space and opportunities to performers who don’t normally get a hearing in traditional theater spaces. There are annual festivals here in town and elsewhere that invite a theatrically non-traditional production or avant garde-esque performers and performances to their venues for a few weeks out of the year. Our attitude is that this kind of thing should be happening year round. And, at The Unified Scene Theater, it will.

“The show will run for two performances in January. For more information, visit www.unifiedscenetheater.com and www.womenfrommars.com.

Language: This is a movement-based piece, free from the constraints of language. Running Time: 1 hour.

Where: Unified Scene Theatre, 80 T Street Northwest, Washington, DC. 20001

When: When: Tuesday, January 12th at 9:30pm & Wednesday, January 13th at 8:30pm (Doors open at 9:00pm on January 12th and at 8:00 p.m on January 13th).

Show Hook:

A girl, a diva and a mother are trapped in a world without voice or color. In this clown-noir piece they are forced to confront their insecurities as well as the expectations and boundaries society places on women.

Brief Description of Show:

Silent Reflections is a clown-noir cabaret that explores women’s insecurities and societal pressures through the medium of silent film. The piece attacks the portrayal of women in media and the role women play in supporting these highly sexualized, and many times, demeaning and powerless stereotypes. The show aims to funnel these dark themes through the imagination of three different female clowns, striving for a fresh, farcical, and sometimes grotesque look at what society has done to the way women view themselves, where they locate their power, and as a result, how they treat themselves and each other. The characters employ physical theatre techniques, animation, projections, comedy, modern dance, music and drama to reflect and expose the inherent struggles in three stages of womanhood. It is almost entirely performed to a soundtrack created by the artists themselves in collaboration with their Sound Designer Raffaele Abbate from OrangeHomeRecords.

Biography of Group:

Women From Mars is an International Theatre Company formed by a trio of diverse and dynamic American, female performing artists, who were living in Italy, Francesca Chilcote, a Washington D.C. native, Dory Sibley & Echo Sibley. They started collaborating in 2013 driven by a mutual passion to explore the struggles of women told through the story lines of famous divas. This idea metamorphosed into the show Silent Reflections: A Clown Noir Cabaret” which they performed in 2014 at The Crisis Arts Festival in Arezzo, Italy and again during their 2014 Fall Italian tour. In 2015, while preparing for the U.S. Premiere of the show and their 2016 US Winter Tour & Workshop Series, they invited the talented Geneviève Durst, based in Chicago, to be their North American Company Manager and Company Swing.