Lois Ruskai Melina, who earned a Ph.D. in leadership studies at Gonzaga University this past spring, has developed a play titled “Mother May I?” based on interviews she conducted with women now in their mid-50s. “Mother May I?” will be performed tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 15) at 7:30 p.m. at the Empyrean Coffee House (154 S. Madison St.) in Spokane. Admission is $3 per person.
Melina conducted the interviews with women who entered college in the early 1970s for her dissertation, which is titled “Beyond Sisterhood and Superwoman: Alternative Narratives of Women in the 1970s.” For women entering college in the early 1970s, Melina says the world seemed to offer extraordinary opportunities. Women entered medical school, law school and engineering programs in record numbers. Married women were able to obtain credit cards in their own names, many for the first time in their lives.
Some women embraced the opportunity to be trailblazers, but some found barriers hard to break through. Most found few female role models in the workplace and discovered that it did not recognize or accommodate parenting responsibilities, while there was ongoing discrimination and sexual harassment.
Brooke Kiener, a theatre professor at Whitworth University, is directing the performance, which is a staged reading of the play. Actors include: Kathleen Malcolm, Kate Vita, Gretchen Oyster, Karen Noble, Valerie McIlroy, Michele Lamb, Maria Caprile and Tony Caprile.
A short discussion will follow the reading. For more information, contact Lois Ruskai Melina at (208) 310-6195 or via e-mail.