“Rapture, Blister, Burn” by Gina Gionfriddo
Feminism is a word most people don’t understand. Despite its simple meaning -- the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men -- people turn it into a gigantic beast that must not be disturbed or deciphered. Honestly, it infuriates me, which is why “Rapture, Blister, Burn” has become my favorite piece of art ever performed at the Goodman Theatre.
Gina Gionfriddo’s writing absolutely astounds me, because she is able to explain the history of feminism and show its different viewpoints while making the audience topple over in hysterics. Gionfriddo’s witty writing alone would have won me over, but the actors proved to be the cherry on top of the sundae.
Each character in this show represents a different aspect of feminism, whether a viewpoint or an obstacle, and the actors’ ability to convey these intricate relationships speaks to their talent and understanding of their roles.
Coming into this performance as a person who strongly identifies as a feminist made me loath both Mark L. Montgomery (Don Harper) and is onstage wife Karen Janes Woditsch (Gwen Harper). However as the play continued I began to appreciate the ideas and symbolism they portrayed rather than despising them because of who their characters represented.
Cassidy Slaughter-Mason (Avery Willard) was by far my favorite character. It might just be because I relate to her the most, but she brought her character’s brass opinions and needy codependencies to light in a way that made me jump out of my seat in excitement whenever she stepped on stage.
My instinct is to encourage women of all kinds to come see it. I also encourage men to come see this show because this play triggers thoughts and conversations everyone needs to be having. If that is not enough for you, it also happens to be witty and hilarious. So now you have no good excuse to not come see the innovative, thought-provoking “Rapture, Blister, Burn.”