Hi! I'm Brenna Freestone-Gilbert, director for "The Revolutionists." I grew up with OpenStage, as my parents, Bruce & Denise Freestone founded the Theatre company before I was even born. I've acted in "Dead Man's Cell Phone," "The Ideal Husband," "Noises Off," & directed "Boy Meets Girl," "Bug," and several other productions for OpenStage Theatre over the years. I am very excited to be back after a nearly ten-year hiatus!
At OpenStage, what does community and family mean to you?
OpenStage IS family! The company is truly the oldest sibling in my family. The extended community of artists that surrounded me throughout childhood and adulthood has certainly helped shape who I am today.
In today's world, what does a revolutionist look like to you?
A person who stands up for equity for all, speaks truth to power, and leads others through inspiration. To me, modern-day revolutionists are groups like The Women's March and Black Lives Matter and people who fought for desegregation, anti-class warfare, and reparation movements like Occupy Wall Street or Land Back.
How does a dominated female-identifying cast and design team echo the strength of this production?
This story showcases feminine power and stamina. These women have been lost in history, or in the case of Marie Antoinette, been vilified by historical records. Who better to pay tribute to their sacrifice than the female-identifying people of today?
Can you speak to the importance of putting new plays on stage like "The Revolutionists?"
The people of today's world are so reliant on the "facts" that truth and history are rarely understood. A fresh take on historical events helps to communicate the importance of learning that history. It's no coincidence that holocaust deniers do not see the correlation between modern-day America and 1930s Berlin.
Where do you hope your work fits amongst 50 seasons worth of storytelling?
I hope that "The Revolutionists" continues the OpenStage legacy of powerful storytelling.
Who is someone you’ve leaned on during this process?
Olympe de Gouges, the French playwright and activist. I had never heard of her prior, but as she is the main character in "The Revolutionists," I have been delving into her story. She is a truly incredible figure! An advocate for women's rights long before suffrage and an abolitionist well before it was widely accepted. Her story is fascinating!
Why now? Why do we need this story?
Girl- January 6th, anyone? The repeal of Roe v. Wade? Immigrant Detention Centers? Police brutality? Karens? So many reasons! Have we learned nothing? Apparently, we haven't!
In one word how would you describe your production?
By Laura Gunderson
Directed by Brenna Freestone-Gilbert
Music and Vocal Direction by Saja Butler
January 14 – February 11, 2023
Playing at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre
“ a play that is wonderfully wild and raucous … It’s a wild ride… Listen closely, … hang on tight.” —Cincinnati Enquire
Come see "The Revolutionists," opening on January 14!
4 Badass Women. 1 Room. Don’t lose your head! A true story. Or total fiction. A play about a play. Or a raucous resurrection… that ends in a song and a scaffold. Playwright Olympe De Gouge, Spy Marianne Angelle, Assassin Charlotte Corday, and ribbon-loving Queen Marie Antoinette hang out, murder Marat, lose their heads, and try to beat back the extremist insanity of 1793 Paris. "The Revolutionists" is a fiery, dream-tweaked comedy about art, activism, legacy, compatriots, chosen sisters—and how to change the world.
Donations made during this production will benefit Planned Parenthood.
CONTENT WARNING: Adult themes and situations. Questions about content? Contact OpenStage at 970.484.5237.