What Girls Know
Brenda Currin co-created What Girls Know with Jessica Balboni out of their desire for adolescent girls to thrive and succeed. It is a theatre approach to trying on life.
As participants of What Girls Know, the girls have a chance to interact with each other and develop theater skills through carefully sequenced games, exercises and improvisations. They also learn to constructively critique and analyze the work at hand. Each girl exercises her right to strive for personal excellence while being part of an intense collaborative efforts, her right to pretend and to safely experiment with who or what she is and in the process of taking on the role of someone else, discover something important about herself.
At the end of each workshop, the What Girls Know Company presents their original play in a professional setting for family, friends, community and perfect strangers coming to see the latest creation of What Girls Know. Favorites include: "Between Two Worlds," "My Voice My Bandana," Boom Chicka Boom," "One Size Fits All," and "Unwrapped."
On Valentines Day 2001 at Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, an ensemble of girls from radically different ethnic and economic backgrounds fulfilled the challenge given to What Girls Know by Eve Ensler, founder of V-Day. "Create a theater-music-movement piece that is fierce, powerful, honest and undeniable for V-Day 2001." The girls performed at the star-studded event and brought 18,000 people to their feet in a rousing ovation. This triumph represented for each girl countless obstacles overcome, character development, and the blood, sweat and tears of hard work. Equally valuable was the experience of play and playfulness. Girls also have a great need to talk and build relationships with each other. Advocacy for one another is one of the consistent outcomes of the program.
Brenda has directed the workshop throughout New York City,
Harwich, Massachusetts - as well as Wilmington, North Carolina under the auspices of the Linda Lavin Arts Foundation. In winter 2007, Brenda took What Girls Know to the Hawaiian island of Kauai where she directed simultaneous programs to teenage girls and adult prospective facilitators also from Kauai . Together, all created "Unwrapped," a wild and wooly, brave, funny and true depiction of scenes from the lives of "the Obsessettes,"
What Girls Know was established in New Orleans in 2003 and has offered continued programming since that time. In New Orleans, What Girls Know has found a home at the
Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), giving the girls the good fortune of meeting every day in a beautiful, safe, supportive and professional environment, as well as performing in the main theater, thanks to Marie Lamb, Education Curator at CAC.
Miranda Barry, founder and Executive Director of the Loire Valley Theater Festival in France, joined forces with What Girls Know in 2005. With exciting links between the missions of both theater programs, France and New Orleans, the dream was to bring New Orleans girls to France to perform their original work, to participate in workshops with young actors from different parts of the world, and just to revel in soaking up a glorious experience. That was before Hurricane Katrina. Post-Katrina, What Girls Know is more committed to offering structured programming and helping the girls discover the transformative power of making theater. With the April 2008 unveiling of "In Our Bones, we move closer to our dream of taking the play to France (old Orleans ) in the Spring of 2009.