Presented by Anvil Theatre Written and performed by Melanie Teichroeb
“Funny. Sexy. Fierce. Unapologetic!
Imagine a 10th century Viking TED Talk on what it means to be a Viking warrior woman. As Garrison Commander Ingrid Larsdottir comedically endeavors to engage new recruits, she inadvertently reveals her own tragic and violent personal history. Watching her struggle with her trauma is unsettling. Witnessing her tap into her inner strength is inspiring. Ingrid’s clarion call for equality and new recruits prevails! She empowers women to reclaim the warrior archetype in our modern world.
This modern feminist story uses a character from the past to expose the reality that not enough has changed in the treatment of women since the time of Vikings…one thousand years ago. The show challenges untruths about women and gendered expectations and is based on an historical character who history gaslit the hell out of.
This performance of Shield Maiden at the Anvil theatre in New Westminster will be followed by a post show discussion with Jessica Schneider (ED of Massey Theatre Society). So stick around and dig a little deeper into Shield Maiden’s themes and we take questions from the audience. Folks seem to appreciate having a little more time with Ingrid!
A Port Theatre Discovery Series Presentation ~ Shield Maiden
photo credit: Jeanette Martin
Gabriolan Melanie Teichroeb’s, Shield Maiden, has been staged in Austin, Texas and in the theatre district off-Broadway in New York City and is now Port Theatre presents Shield Maiden in its Discovery Series.
The production is a 10th century version of a Ted Talk on life as a Viking woman warrior. It’s funny, sexy, fierce and unapologetic. Written and performed by Teichroeb,
Shield Maiden shows the audience that they have more in common with medieval era warrior, Ingrid Larsdöttir, than they could imagine.
The solo show shines a light on contemporary issues like inequality and sexism using humour and vulnerability. “The #MeTooMovement sparked conversation and change around these issues,” Melanie explains. “People are still working tirelessly to challenge the status quo. The visual impact of a confident woman warrior on stage resonates with audiences. Ingrid is flawed, but very powerful and relatable.”
Despite the pandemic shutdown of live performances, Shield Maiden hit the stages across BC this summer stronger than ever. Melanie said, “This show is loads of fun to perform and to receive the positive feedback that the message is meaningful to women and men alike is such an honour.”
“Shield Maiden by Melanie Teichroeb is a fierce and funny mash-up of Vikings and a Tony Robbins workshop, and was truly one of the highlights this year of our 26th annual fringe festival, FronteraFest. Not only is it a great script, but Melanie’s performance was just incredible. It was no surprise that it was the best-selling long fringe show of the festival this year. Can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.” – Ken Webster, Artistic Director, Hyde Park Theatre Austin, Texas
PORT THEATRE PRESENTS SHIELD MAIDEN
Adults $20 | Members $18 | Students $15 (with valid student ID)
TICKETS ON SALE 11am October 28th
Please note: This show is for mature audiences and contains language and subject matter that might be offensive to some.
Women and men are feminist warriors. It is a strange time. The earth is in peril, democracy worldwide is threatened. Human rights are stripped away from us at every turn. In a race for global domination, personal rights and freedoms have become trading cards for those in power. Human rights have become currency bartered and traded by corporations and politicians. Those in power ask themselves “How can we further our own economic desires while still convincing people they matter?” All of us feel the impacts of these disturbing trends. And as a result, women and men must be allies rather than enemies.
Consequently activists, politicians, business owners, trend setters, entertainment industry players regularly make headlines by publicly denouncing antiquated and hurtful practices. Organizations make policy changes to cement equality and respect. Women and men are working together to make these critical and urgently needed changes.
Because feminism works to advance the status of women worldwide, it is easy to assume that feminists fight only for women.
I believe that women AND men can be feminist warriors.
Feminist warriors go to bat for all humans. Wikipedia offers this sentence in its definition of feminism –
“Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women’s rights, some feminists, including bell hooks, argue for the inclusion of men’s liberation within its aims, because they believe that men are also harmed by traditional gender roles.”
My play, Shield Maiden, intentionally highlights relationships between men and women. Both positive and negative aspects of the male/female dynamic are brought forward. I address violence, abuse and discrimination directed towards women. So many women HAVE suffered for millennia at the hands of men and patriarchy. I do not know one single woman who has not suffered. The #MeToo movement sparked outrage and that outrage spurred on change. But I also address how men can and do support women.
It is not just men in power who have the power to make change. It can start with a man choosing to see a woman’s accomplishments. Witness her strengths, her enduring fortitude, her determination in the face of repeated defeat. For a woman to be seen rather than “mansplained, manhandled, mistreated or abused” can give a woman such dignity. With that dignity comes focus and success. And that success benefits us all. Begin by seeing. Then take bigger steps to help your sisters, mothers, wives, daughters, aunts, cousins, friends, sheroes. This is not impossible. So many men already are doing this. We simply need more men need to do this too.
Certainly, I believe we will continue to suffer if we do not stridently work together to end abuse of marginalized groups including women, children, people of colour and the economically forgotten. I know that this work is already being done in partnership. My hope is that we continue and don’t falter. It’s truly time to fight like our lives depend on it because maybe, for some of us, our lives do depend on this. The rallying cry is for everyone to take up arms and storm onto the battlefield in a united front against oppression of any kind.
Get your swords and shield ready…I’ll see you in Valhalla! Sköl!