She Shorts is a Refreshingly Raucous Riot

The perfect afternoon in South Florida was just right for this immersive theatre experience at The Vanguard Theatre. She Shorts, a short comedy produced in collaboration with City Theatre and Thinking Cap Theatre, highlights stories by the female-identifying. These comedy shorts hit all the right feels throughout the matinée presentation. The Vanguard is a charming black box theater, reminiscent of the found-spaces in NYC, but with South Florida flair…and much cleaner, much more accessible, and did I mention…they have beer and wine? Beer and wine that you are encouraged to enjoy in the theater, along with several other options for refreshment and snacking pleasure, including popcorn. Those of us long initiated with musical performance in the theater nearly started to weep at the overwhelming beauty of options. My afternoon suddenly got even better, and, beer-in-hand, I found a seat near a friend and settled in. 

Webster’s Bitch, written by Jacqueline Bircher, and directed by Gladys Ramirez, gets off to a rough start as the actors settle in to the afternoon, but as the script blooms, the audience begins to grapple with the question at hand: Does context and association matter in regard to certain words? In this short, the team at Webster’s dictionary grapples with the word, Bitch. Before the audience has sharpened their pitchforks to side against the male employee who dared to disregard the abuse implied in the word, Bitch, when used inappropriately, we gradually became aware of the causal and even friendly uses of the word. The beauty of the short was the chin rubbing and thinking faces in the audience as we all grappled, a win for progress.

Square Footage, written by Jessica Moss, and directed by Margaret M. Ledford, was brilliant, with the line, “You need space to love a person,” ringing in the theater. Jordan Patriarca and Daryl Patrice glowed on stage, and Patrice gave us so many wonderful moments. Patrice has a unique ability to snap into character and drive home the emotion of a scene. We were sold from the moment the lights went up, and the beauty of love communicated was clear.

Sweet She, written by Jeff Locker, and directed by Gail Garrisan, here in its world premiere, was a beautiful moment leading up to a proposal. The proposal ended a bit too soon, and could have afforded a few more beats, but we were hooked on the interaction between Bianca Garcia and Stephon Duncan. There were tears in the audience as the recounting of their first meeting was told in conversation. Garcia and Duncan showed amazing skill at holding the scene and building the emotion so that we were totally invested to see them into a happily ever after. One of the most successful scenes of the afternoon.  

The comic win was Egg Timer, written by Christina Luzarraga and directed by Elena Maria Garcia. Garcia puts up brilliant staging and interpretation on this hilarious script. The story of a woman’s eggs begging to be released cut to the soul of every female in the room. As the pressure built on the woman to choose to procreate, the scene almost tipped towards uncomfortable. Then, enter Birth Control. Even the random breakout dance scene did something to shade how ludicrous and pressuring this scenario of procreation had become. As you looked around, the audience reactions added to the hilarity of the scene unfolding: women in the audience were laughing to tears and nodding in affirmation, while men chuckled lightly, their faces splashed with question marks, as Birth Control discussed the importance of cervical mucus. Bravo to Luzarraga ending with the well-meaning Egg who tells the woman, “…when you’re ready.”

The She Short performance attracted a mix of interested generations and backgrounds. The afternoon was a refreshingly raucous riot, filled with excellent theater. She Shorts is running through August 4th.  Tickets can be purchased at the following web address:

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