Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Girl games

By Meredith Deliso

Are you ready for some gender politics?

A new play from Williamsburg’s Half Straddle Theater Company celebrates high school football, except that the players who punt, pass and kick just happen to be girls.

“I started watching ‘Friday Night Lights’ and got really obsessed,” said playwright Tina Satter, who was inspired to write “In the Pony Palace/Football,” beginning at the Bushwick Starr tonight. “In ‘The Pony Palace,’ they’re female athletes who happen to play football, and it’s not even commented on.”

Of course, it’s difficult to make a play about girls who play football and not have some comment on it. And yes, on one level, it’s about slyly subverting gender norms by reclaiming the most American — and masculine — of sports. But it’s also about team spirit, camaraderie and the teenage politics of high school, as the loose plot follows the girls from practices to parties to games — where they’re even aided by cheerleaders and a live marching band playing Lady Gaga songs.

“It’s almost a weird idealization, like, let’s not even deal with boys,” said Satter. “It’s just girls and they get to rule.”

“In the Pony Palace/Football” at the Bushwick Starr (207 Starr St. between Irving and Wyckoff avenues in Bushwick, no phone), Feb. 8-26. Tickets $18. For info, visit www.thebushwickstarr.org.


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