It's no secret that a society's historical landscape is unevenly cultivated. While the statement "history is written by the winners" is far fetched and fatalist, the fact remains that due to society's innate perspective bias, entire vistas of history's landscape can be lost for generations or even for eternity. Conscious of this fracture in historical perspective Infinite Variety Productions has taken it upon themselves to explore one of history's most disregarded domains, the stories of women.
The company's first production, A Piece of My Heart, which has been revived on multiple occasions in spaces such as Arlington National Cemetery and The Living Theatre, was a discussion of the experiences of women during the Vietnam War. The women who served were forced to sign in as men leaving the estimates of how many participated ranging between ten to 1,000 thousand. While discussing I.V. Productions with me, Artistic Director and Co-Founder Ashley Adelman remarked that it was with this first production that their present artistic ambition was discovered by satisfaction between themselves and their audience, many of whom lived the experiences presented on stage.
I.V. Production's upcoming piece, Censored on Final Approach, looks into the forgotten heroism of over a thousand women who flew planes for the military as civilians in World War II. While the entirety of the company's oeuvre doesn't necessarily focus on tales of women in war, Ms. Adelman finds that such stories are exceedingly pertinent for theatricalization. She finds that artistic discussions of war are often mechanized and depersonalized. War is theatricalized to the point of melodrama with the actors dehumanized to the point of either statuesque hero or demon. She hopes that by presenting the sidelined stories in a theatrical manner which doesn't moralize on the state of war's existence, but rather make the events of war intimate and personal, the audience will be able to reconcile the reality of historic war conflict as a personal and human event.
The focus on women in war is descriptive and not prescriptive to the ambitions of the theatre company. A previous production, Eclipse was one of the earliest plays to discuss the infamous Magdalene Laundries and These Shining Lives which brings to stage the story of The Radium Girls, the first people to sue an entire company. It's also thanks to them that labor laws in America were permanently shifted for the better. Ms. Adelman maintains that it is never the goal of any part of their artistic party to tell the story of a victim. She does not see it as the duty of the characters to hold self-pity, but to live their lives fully despite the wrongs committed to them or, as is often the case, fight against them. It is the charge of the present to learn from repeated offenses of history and thereby counterbalance the repetition in its rhythm.
Infinite Variety Productions is collaboratively funded by the generosity of individuals who hope to see these tales told and the creative staff who volunteer their time and expertise. Many productions are created in association with adjacent no-for-profit organizations such as The Vietnam Women's Memorial Foundation, Women in Military Service for America and Justice for Magdelenes, who offer their resources when possible. Ms. Adelman is vocal on her ambitions to create not only well meaning but aesthetically well-crafted work and is both awed by the support of such individuals but dependent upon them as well. Their crowdsourcing campaign is through indiegogo and can be reached here: