We are in the process of building an exciting new one-woman show focused on the theme of older women leading vibrant and vital lives. Taking our inspiration from characters within the plays in the Western theatre canon, songs from a variety of sources, as well as interviews with living women in their advanced years discussing their lives, choices, and how they have remained vital throughout, we are weaving this material together to create a vibrant, textured, playful, inspiring, and vital new theatrical piece.
Holly Ruth Gale as Fastrada in PIPPIN at Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre. Directed & Choreographed by Jeremy Williams. 2014
A note from Holly Ruth Gale, project creator:
Once I hit my 50's I realized that my theatre character options were becoming more narrow and I would have to be creative and make performing opportunities. So, my husband and I started thinking about ways this could be done. Meanwhile, I started having this conversation with Jeremy Williams. Out of this came a lot of questions. One being why am I defined by age? I still feel vibrant, alive, vital, strong, sexy, as well as every other emotion a human has. So, why do I feel pigeonholed into a decrescendo for the upcoming chapters of my life? No! I'm not going to do that! This has happened to women, and men for that matter, for too long and too often. NO! NO! NO! So, here we are. I am making a show that deals with this conundrum and hopefully we will find some solutions or least start some positive and proactive conversations. I want this show to be fun too. Not a downer...this isn't about being a victim of anything. It is about letting oneself be vital and alive. In fact, I love to laugh, so I plan on there being a lot of that! But of great importance is that this is a thought provoking work.
Thank you for becoming a Producing Partner by making a tax-deductible donation to Femme Vital! Femme Vital is a project of Convergences Theatre Collective. CTC accepts donations through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas. You can donate online with your credit card or by check.
Please make checks payable to “Fractured Atlas” and mail to:
Jeremy Williams/Convergences Theatre Collective
360 W 55th ST 19J
New York City, NY 10019
Holly Ruth Gale (creator/performer) teaches Applied Voice, Vocal Solo Literature, Music Theatre Workshop and conducts the Women’s Chorus and has taught Italian Diction and Opera Workshop at Arkansas Tech University. She stays active as a performer in musical theatre, theatre, recital work, actor, lecturer, and as a clinician.
Holly Ruth spent July and August, 2016 playing the role of Truvy in Steel Magnolias with Highlands Playhouse in Highlands, North Carolina. Holly Ruth has worked with Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre (2012-2015), Music Theatre of Wichita (1996-2005), produced, directed and acted in Greater Tuna (2014), directed Souvenirs (performances in 2013, 2014, and 2015), and in 2010 she created the vocal ensemble Jargon which sings music of early American tunesmiths written from around 1770 to 1810. Jargon has given performances in Williamsburg, Virginia, as well as in Arkansas, Kansas, and at the 2014 American Choral Directors Association Southwestern Division Conference. September 8, 2015 Jargon gave a concert at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.
Holly Ruth is also a frequent lecturer on shape-note music and singing schools. This past September she gave a workshop presentation on Vocal Health and Care at the Europe Camp FASOLA in Chmielno, Poland. She serves on the Executive Board for the annual Shape-Note Gathering which is held at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View. This annual event is the only one of its kind as it highlights various traditions of shape note singing, which is an early American art form. In July of 2013 she taught a singing school session at the Second Annual All-Day Shape Note Singing in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. In 2012 she was a presenter on shape note music singing school traditions in Arkansas for the ATU/K-12 Summer Institute College of Arts and Humanities of Arkansas Tech University.
In November 2015 the second printing of her CD, “Holly and Carol: A Christmas Collection” was released. In December, 2015 Summoners Ensemble Theatre will be using this CD for a third season in its one man production of A Christmas Carol, starring Kevin Jones and directed by Dr. Rhonda Dodd in New York City.
Holly Ruth lives in Russellville with her husband, John. They have two amazing daughters, Talley Beth and Ian Kathleen.
As an artist and creator Kate focuses primarily on visual storytelling through theatre and film. In her many years as a theatrical artist she has performed, produced, managed, crewed, designed, developed, directed, authored and co-authored; over the past decade collaborating on varied projects with colleagues in Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New York. She is a Founding Member of Convergences Theatre Collective. During her time in Austin, TX, Kate worked with the Austin Shakespeare Festival, The Vortex Theatre Company and Austin Playhouse. Her screenplay projects include: SWITCH – A Spanking New Brand of Comedy; Ageless; Shooting Starr; and Bed of Stone (adapted from the novel by Letha Albright.) Her plays, The Shore and June 23rd, are currently in development. Most recently, Kate served as Assistant Stage Manager on the Play Company’s production of INVASION! Kate values vivid stories and richly discovered characters, with a special emphasis on texts that reexamine cultural stereotypes, illuminate unexplored lives, and challenge the notions of what it means to collaborate and create. She lives in Manhattan with her husband Scott and two black cats.
John Gale is a copyright scholar, film and television producer, and has presented internationally and nationally in the areas of copyright law and film. Before assuming the role of department chair, Gale served as the Director of University College at University of Central Arkansas from 2003 to 2006. Additionally, he served as the UCA’s Chief Technology Officer. He has a thirty year background in mass communication, and has been a pioneer in streaming radio and television programming. Gale is particularly interested in the growth and potential of podcasting. Gale was named Communications Teacher of the Year in 1995 by the Arkansas State Communication Association.