Arts & Culture » Stage

Sister act


According to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on earth. She was graced with many virtues and talents; her name translates to “all-gifted.”

When she was presented to her male counterpart, Epimetheus, as a gift, her new companion had a jar (some versions refer to it as a box) in his possession that contained all sorts of nasty stuff. Pandora was told not to open it under any circumstances, but she did anyway (since we know all women are nosy and can’t follow instructions) and — oopsie! — she unleashed a tidal wave of horrors and plagues upon all mankind.

So, in a nutshell, a woman fucked up everything. Sound familiar? Like a certain lass in a garden?

When Ann Arbor thespians Maureen Biermann and Shannon Camara Sanville were kicking around the idea of creating a night of theater from local female directors, they needed a catchy title.

They settled on Pandora’s Box Fest.

“It’s a story of a woman who does something that’s not expected of her,” says Biermann. “Pandora and Eve were women doing things they were told not to do, and we’re told they unleashed evil into the world. … Just because a woman does something unexpected doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.”

Biermann says the presentations vary from a string of 30-second monologues to a personal tale of childhood abuse. The directors include Biermann and Sanville, Alana Dauter, Carolyn Hayes, Lynn Lammers and Wendy Wright.

“We got women we knew were interested in directing,” says Biermann. “Some of them have some experience; a few haven’t directed at all.

“We’re trying to keep it open so the directors have the freedom to do what they want,” she adds. “We didn’t necessarily want to make it about women or women’s issues. It’s really just for women who want to become directors.”

The show will also feature artwork from local female artists.

“We’re really just trying to open up the art world for women, to give them a forum where they can be recognized, and move in whatever direction they want,” she says.

Sounds like one box worth opening.


Pandora’s Box Fest takes place on Aug. 26, 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. and Aug. 29 at 2 p.m., at the Blackbird Theatre, 1600 Pauline Blvd., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $10; call 734-332-3848.

Sarah Klein is the associate arts editor of Metro Times. E-mail