Describing the female experience is like describing the taste of water. When something is so much a part of you, so familiar in every way, pinpointing any single detail is impossible. That I until you have a taste from another source. Perhaps this is why Nana Ghana’s Pelvic Floor employs the stories of eight different women living in a mental hospital and a single female nurse who cares for them all. This form of plural narration has been canonized many times over in popular culture, from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, to Susanna Kaysen’s Girl, Interrupted, and finally Layon Gray’s Diary of A Catholic School Dropout. The latter of the three is the most direct homage, but the references to all of Ghana’s inspirations are made directly and with gusto via audio samplings and video projections. Her characters are herded and prodded through the machinations of their daily routines, and at times they seem like identical clones with the same brand of arrested development. Then one by one they distinguish themselves as individuals, demanding respect for their idiosyncrasies, vindication for their woes, and a semblance of hope. Hope for a future. Hope for love. Hope for a chance to hit rewind. However, with each monologue comes the ever-growing recognition that life only moves in one direction, and thus the only choice is to hit fast-forward. To realize their collective suicide fatality that leads to a momentary sense of belonging and a chance of converting loneliness to solitude. When almost all agency is lost, choosing to whom w say goodnight may just be the final form of empowerment.
Pelvic Floor was performed at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The Play was written and directed by Nana Ghana, with choreography by Kelsey Oluk Cast: Angie Cepeda, Leila Perry, Carina Halle, Cat King, Megan Ozurovich, Ciena Rae, Kelsey Oluk, Nana Ghana.
Written by Summer Bowie