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Solo show ‘Emma Goldman: Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs’ at Civic Center Studio

McCready Baker as Emma Goldman.
McCready Baker as Emma Goldman.
Howard Wise

Anarchist and feminist Emma Goldman said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." Advocate for the working class, free love and gay rights Goldman was a woman ahead of her time. “Emma Goldman: Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs” by Jessica Litwak is a whirlwind solo performance about the life, loves and radical philosophies of the activist who said, "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution."

Set in the confines of a Chicago apartment where she was hiding from the police in 1901, anarchist Emma Goldman makes great strides in a short 60 minutes, probing her past, her passions, and ultimately her vision of a radically altered future. Scored with a punk rock soundtrack, “Emma Goldman: Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs” is a tour-de-force performance by stage and screen actress McCready Baker (“The Car Plays,” “Fables du Theatre”), helmed by critically-acclaimed director Gina Young (“Tales of a Fourth Grade Lesbo,” Femmes: A Tragedy”).

In “Emma Goldman: A Documentary History of the American Years, Volume Two,” editor Candace Falk writes, "History tells us that every oppressed class gained its true liberation from its masters through its own efforts... The demand for various equal rights in every vocation in life is just and fair, but, after all, the most vital right is the right to love and be loved. Indeed if the partial emancipation is to become a complete and true emancipation of woman, it will have to do away with the ridiculous notion that to be loved, to be sweetheart and mother, is synonymous with being slave or subordinate. It will have to do away with the absurd notion of the dualism of the sexes, or that man and woman represent two antagonistic worlds. Emma believed that both of the sexes must progress together."

Convinced that the political and economic organization of modern society was fundamentally unjust, Emma Goldman embraced anarchism for the vision it offered of liberty, harmony and true social justice dedicating her life to the creation of a radically new social order. McCready Baker first found Goldman in the late 90's, but her own fight for human rights began at the young age of 12 when she taught herself sign language to facilitate a friendship with a young woman at her school. She also volunteered every morning with the students who had physical and mental challenges, because Baker has known from a young age that everyone has a right to be heard, to participate, to be included.

Emma Goldman: Love, Anarchy and Other Affairs” is a project of the Pasadena Arts Council EMERGE Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

“Emma Goldman” performs 8 p.m. May 14-17, 2014. Tickets are $20. The performance on Thursday, May 15 will be half-off for women under 21 and followed by a post-show discussion.

Civic Center Studios are located at 207 S Broadway in Los Angeles.

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