The wind is blowing, hitting her face and her body. The woman leaves her clothes behind and heads to the water. She does not see anybody”.
The project begins by asking ourselves about the concept of the ‘feminine’, being aware of the wide range of meanings it has depending on our origin, age or cultural background. During the first rehearsal the actress got dressed as a man, inspired by an Elena Caffarena’s image. This set the question that would turn into our starting point: “Why does a woman decide to get dressed as a man?”
James Barry, Albert Cashier, Billy Tipton, Franklin Thompson, Benedicto III, Lyons Wakeman, Denis Smith among others pretended to be a man for their whole lives in order to be able to have an active role in medicine, music, religion, military or journalism and they were not discovered until their death. Those activities might not be exclusive for men nowadays, but women still find difficulties in those fields because of their gender.
During the creation process we found the book “Sapper Dorothy: The only English woman soldier in the Royal Engineers 51st division.” It was written by Dorothy Lawrence, a 19-year-old journalist who entrenched herself during the First World War after she was forbidden to be a reporter. She did not want to fight in the war, she just wanted to register what was going on in order to inform the rest of the population. However, she was rejected by the military. When her real identity was discovered, she was imprisoned, judged, silenced and declared insane.
Dorothy allows the actress, who comes from a military family, to get in touch with her personal story and to give a new meaning to what she used to consider feminine.