A play with intense audience participation! Engrossing, controversial courtroom drama, where the audience must serve as judge and jury, deciding motions and verdict, in a case against the five women who betrayed the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, the last surviving daughter of the Tsar of Russia. Complex ethical questions on a set of folding chairs.
The Anastasia Trials is a farcical, but profoundly engaging excursion into the hidden world of ethics for women who are both survivors and perpetrators of abuse toward women. The format is a play-within-a-play, where a radical feminist theatre company comes together in order to perform a courtroom drama. The play is shaped by the audience decisions to overrule or sustain the attorneys’ motions, and every night’s audience sees a different play.
In presenting the play, the Emma Goldman Theatre Brigade has instituted a new system to insure equal opportunity for the actors: a lottery. As the women assemble to draw their roles from the hat for the evening’s performance, sisterhood is put to the test. The performance itself is a conspiracy trial against five women accused of denying a woman her identity. The plaintiff is none other than Anastasia Romanov, sole survivor of the massacre of the Russian imperial family in 1918.
"Elegantly conceived...A feminist Noises Off." - Washington City Press
"Powerful." -San Diego Lesbian Press
"Farce, social history, debate play, agitprop, audience participation melodrama, satire [that] makes the head reel!" -San Diego Union Tribune
"Wild... It's lively and moves quickly... Very funny yet poignant." -Washington Blade
“Carolyn Gage’s raucous, multilayered script explores issues of empathy, loyalty, and betrayal among women...” --The Washington Post.
“Verdict: An unexpected delight… ” --Miami Herald, FL.
“… farcical humor, imaginative plot twists, and just pure theatrical fun...” --South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Ft. Lauderdale.
“… fascinating and complex play…”--Fresno Beehive.com
“I am constantly amazed at Carolyn’s ability to make complex social issues not only accessible but also irresistibly fascinating… the play… [The Anastasia Trials ] touched us, made us laugh and gripped us in a white-knuckle intensity usually found only in Hitchcock films.” --R.J. McComish, Literary Manager of the Portland Stage Company, Portland, Maine.
“… fabulously interesting, brilliantly thought-provoking and exquisitely funny… masterpiece of feminist theater...” --off our backs, Washington, DC.
"Each performance could potentially have a different result and many students saw every performance just so they could see how the show ended."--At Oldfields, Glencoe, MD.