Q & A with Author Abbey Lenzie

Q & A with Author Abbey Lenzie

On November the 8th at 3:30 in Harbert Auditorium, Birmingham-Southern (BSC) graduate will be speaking about her recently published, award-winning novella, In the Desert. Abbey Lenzie (class of 2013) majored in Media and Film Studies and minored in creative writing. Her novella recently won the 2018 Plaza Literary Prize. Before coming to her event on Thursday, Bagheera asked her a few questions.

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Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World

Reviewing a BSC Underground Theatre Production

Julia Degnan, Salma Crank, Kirstin Quinn, Charity Furr, Tania Alverez, Jada Cato, and Sarah “Charlie” Freeman are all girls cast for BSC’s 2016 Fall Production of Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World. This play, like many other productions at BSC, is designed to make viewers think. On opening night, Emotional Creature was introduced as having “mature content.” Not only did the play have mature content, but, being in the Underground Theater, it was also up close and personal.

This play came about from a book written by Eve Ensler: I am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls around the World. Ensler wrote this book based on her experience when she asked girls if they liked being girls. Most of these girls did not, until one girl stood up and said, “I love being a girl. I’m an emotional creature.”

Emotional Creature is written in a way that not only forces you to think about the issues facing girls in today’s society but also encourages you to embrace your inner girl by using powerful lines such as: “Those feelings make me better. They make me present. They make me ready. They make me strong.”

The cast for Emotional Creature portrayed the unfortunately common struggles that girls in western society face, such as body image, sexual identity, pregnancy, suicide, and sex. The play also delves into issues that still face girls around the world, such as sex slavery, genital mutilation, factory work, and non-consensual surgeries to alter body image.

The opening act of Emotional Creature focuses on a girl trying to take the “perfect” selfie. It is a simple scene, but it portrays the complex expectations of social media, which demands girls put on an appealing façade to show the world. The talented cast transitioned between multiple characters portraying scenes of common subjects that affect girls in our society. In between those scenes, featured cast members performed monologues portraying severe issues that affect girls around the world.

In one scene, the characters play a rather grim game of “Would You Rather”, highlighting the harsh judgments of society if girls should somehow find themselves in these positions. This theater production was heartbreaking, and yet it provokes insight and empowerment as the cast resounds in unity, “I am an emotional. I am an emotional, irrotional*, devotional creature.”

*irrotional is a made up word for rhyming purposes and is thought to mean explosive.

Feature photo and photo via Creative Commons.

October Haunts

A Guide to All Things October in Birmingham

As we reach midterms, take the opportunity to go out and explore Birmingham as a small break from the load of classes and social clubs. Even with the already well-known array of hiking trails, events, and restaurants, this October, our city is offering even more opportunities for residents to get active.

Barktoberfest, an Oktoberfest themed charity event, will take place on the 13th at Cahaba Brewing Company. The beer festival will benefit Hand in Paw, an organization that focuses on animal assisted therapy. From 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm patrons can try a variety beer, eat great food and enjoy the pet costume contest for only $15. In addition to the contest, festival-goers can participate in the beer stein hoist. In this contest, the participant takes a beer stein filled to the brim with water and competes against others to see who can hold it straight out in front of them the longest. The winner gets a special prize in addition to the novelty.

If dogs and beer are not your style, perhaps the haunted houses at Sloss Furnaces and Pelham’s Warehouse 31 are more your speed. Boasting the sights, sounds, and smells of a real horror movie, these two haunted attractions are sure to send you screaming. Sloss Furnaces promises to take you deep into the haunted history of its dangerous work site, while Warehouse 31 provides a pair of 3D glasses to view featured horror movies with themed snacks.

If you like the idea of running, but you do not wish to be scared, check out Sloss Furnaces’ Trick or Trot 5k. The race begins on October 22nd at 8am, and it features a goody bag, shirt, food and a “Bloody Mary bar” for adults. The race also has a costume competition, recognizing the biggest team, most spirited team, most spirited individual, and most spirited kid.

Not wild enough? Try the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, hosted by the Red Mountain Theatre Company on October 23rd. Featuring films about environmental activism, the festival promises to inspire you to go out and make a change in your community with a special series focusing on Alabama and the vast biodiversity of the state.

Finally, Birmingham-Southern will again be hosting the Organ Spooktacular on October 31st at 9pm in Hill Recital Hall. The event, coordinated by Dr. Leon Couch III, features pieces played by BSC students, faculty, and alumni.

These events are sure to surprise and spook all throughout October, so be sure to set aside some time from your busy schedule to enjoy the fun activities that Birmingham has to offer. 

Feature photo by Shannon McGee via Flickr.