The Insanity of Mary Girard | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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The Insanity of Mary Girard


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Based on actual events, Lanie Robertson's one-act tells the story of a woman whose wealthy, powerful husband has her committed to a mental hospital in 1790s Philadelphia. Although no one knows the truth about the real Mary Girard's mental health, Robertson makes her an unambiguous feminist martyr, wrongly imprisoned and thus entitled to spout female-empowerment bromides. Rather than a piece of storytelling, the play becomes an exercise in judging past sins by contemporary standards. Director Chris Riter does a nice job of creating an eerie, claustrophobic atmosphere for the mental hospital in this GreyZelda Theatre Group production, but Rebecca Zellar's understated, uninflected, decidedly contemporary performance as Mary only reinforces the play's ahistoricism. Through 11/15: Wed-Sat 8:30 PM. GreyZelda Studios, 3729 N. Ravenswood, suite 138, 773-267-6293. $15.

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