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Allison Fradkin, Featured Author Interview for Audacious Women: An Anthology


HRM's Audacious Women: An Anthology is now released to readers and the public, and we are pleased to share some illuminating thoughts from our contributors about how they view "audacious women," their contributions to the anthology, and what they are working on now.


Today's featured author is playwright Allison Fradkin, who wrote a fantastic short feminist play for this anthology.


How do you personally define an "audacious woman" and what role do you feel audacious women play in the world? What role have they played for you personally? Tell us an anecdote, a brief fact, or a true story.

An audacious woman is one who is witty and gritty, brainy and zany, fearless and peerless. She is unapologetically unapologetic and doesn't hesitate to take up space or vie for visibility. She is indispensable and, society might say, reprehensible. Personally, the role audacious women have played for me is to inform the roles that I play as an actor. I tend to be reserved in real life, so when I get to break out of that and discover my own audacity and, by association, autonomy, it's pretty awe-inspiring.


So, too, is the most authentically audacious woman in my life: my mom. Contrary to popular opinion, it's not every daughter's worst nightmare that she'll turn into her mother. For me, it's my life's ambition. "WWJD?" I ask myself on a daily basis. What Would Judy Do? In fact, my all-time favorite role is and always will be the one I was born to play: Judy's daughter.


What are your work's favorite themes when working with female characters/subjects?

Scriptly speaking, I create satirically scintillating plays that (sur)pass the Bechdel Test and enlist their characters in a caricature of the idiocies and intricacies of insidious isms, especially sexism. I delight in creating characters that are not only audacious, but also tenacious, sagacious, and even a little pugnacious, especially when it comes to fighting for what's right.


Who is your favorite female character in art or literature and why?

Anne in Anne of Green Gables and Celie in The Color Purple. These characters are truly timeless, in that their verve and nerve have never felt outdated or unrelatable.


Can you speak to your piece in the anthology and what inspired it? 

My piece in the anthology is a play called "Holy Inappropriate," which asks the all-important question: Could radical fundamentalism be the gateway to radical feminism? I used to watch a reality show on TLC called 19 Kids and Counting and was always suspicious of the ludicrously laudatory portrayal of the family and their belief system. So I did some digging and discovered the pillars of Christian fundamentalism, which doubles as both a religion and a form of discrimination: purity, piety, patriarchy, and of course compulsory heterosexuality. Even though the play is a satire, which is very effective for exploring and exposing incendiary subjects like this, it was vital for me to portray the characters with empathy, sincerity, and accuracy so that the audience (or, in this case, the readers) can root for their salvation and feel emboldened by their emerging empowerment.


What are you working on right now that lights you up?  Who are you reading that does the same?

I'm working on expanding "Holy Inappropriate" into a full-length play; getting Say Cheesecake!, my feminist musical tribute to The Golden Girls, out into the world; and writing more plays that are personal to me. For example, I just completed a short play called "Heard Mentality" that explores what it's like living with a hearing impairment. As a reading material girl, I don't want to single out any one author, but I enjoy reading own-voices Young Adult fiction, especially novels that celebrate and elevate inclusivity and intersecting identities.



Allison Fradkin is a playwright with thespian tendencies who delights in devising magic moments for both the stage and the page. Scriptly speaking, she creates satirically scintillating stories that enlist their characters in a caricature of the idiocies and intricacies of insidious “isms,” such as classism and heterosexism. An enthusiast of inclusivity and accessibility, Allison acts as Literary Manager of Violet Surprise Theatre, curating new works by queer women; and serves as Dramatist for Special Gifts Theatre, adapting scripts for actors of all abilities.


 

To read work from this awesome contributor in the Audacious Women: An Anthology--and more exciting work that explores the complexity of women in life and literature, get your copy now! Every purchased copy keeps the lights on for small presses doing great things! Thanks for reading!




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