Entertainment :: Theatre

The Most Massive Woman Wins Out

by Christopher Verleger
Contributor
Thursday May 8, 2014
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’The Most Massive Woman Wins’
’The Most Massive Woman Wins’   (Source:Contemporary Theater Company)

Four women seated in the waiting room of a liposuction clinic strip down and bare their souls in Madeleine George’s brief yet powerful performance piece, "The Most Massive Woman Wins," presented by OUT LOUD Theatre and directed by Kira Hawkridge.

Within its 45-minute running time, "The Most Massive Woman Wins" tackles a myriad of social issues, including eating disorders, bullying, workplace discrimination and criminal assault, all of which stem from each woman’s relationship with an image of her own body, and what past and present circumstances helped them arrive at the decision to have the surgery.

These women share their stories with a combination of monologues, reenactments of significant life events, occasionally accompanied by children’s hand-clapping and jump rope and choreographed movement. Each profile is harrowing and heartbreaking, yet honest and hopeful.

This profound and often funny production reminds the audience of theater’s inherent ability to entertain while provoking thought.

Carly (Siobhan LaPorte-Cauley) remembers what it was like when her classmates rejected her for team sports and when she failed to find work as a waitress because of her appearance. Rennie (Sarah Leach) is haunted by photos that remind her of when she starved herself to please her mother, which left her in too weak a state to defend herself from an attack.

Sabine (Christine Cauchon) tries to educate herself and the audience with her thesis, focused on society’s disjointed view of what a woman should look like, yet despite her iron will, she just wants someone to love her. Cel (Amelia Giles), meanwhile, resorts to the most extreme measures, attempting to (literally) burn away the unwanted fat from her body.

This profound and often funny production reminds the audience of theater’s inherent ability to entertain while provoking thought. When fine direction and acting are combined with compelling words, all it takes is an empty room and an open mind.

"The Most Massive Woman Wins" continues through May 10 at Contemporary Theater Company, 327 Main Street, South Kingstown, RI. For info and free tickets, visit OUT LOUD Theatre’s website.

Chris Verleger is an avid reader, aspiring novelist and self-professed theater geek from Providence. Email cwverleger1971@yahoo.com.

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