On a recent trip to New York, I had the opportunity to see a remarkable show on Broadway: The Heidi Chronicles. The Heidi Chronicles is the 1988 Pulitzer-and Tony winning play by the late Wendy Wasserstein. It is a show with incredible actors who masterfully take the audience on the journey of Heidi Holland’s life over a 25 year span.
The cast includes Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss who stars as Heidi. She convincingly conveys the choices Heidi faced between friendships, men and career during the years that pass before the audience. Music and changing scenery all depict time passing through the decades and give way to both fond memories and thoughts about how things are still the same today.
The story is relatable to women and men and the cast, which includes Jason Biggs and Bryce Pinkham as the male roles who truly communicate life’s conflicts and challenges. It is a timeless play and the issues facing Heidi in high school still face girls today. There is a scene where she is seated with her two male friends on a talk show. They literally talk over her the entire life experience and it is hard not to relate to a time in our own lives when our voice wasn’t heard.
This play is important for women of all ages but especially for younger generations as they will see the same themes of choice and conflict that existed in the past are recurring today. It is about friendship and male/female relationships as much as it is about choices and the decisions women are faced with as they progress through their lives.
Supporting women in the arts, especially plays that have a woman as a lead, is important for all generations. By encouraging the theater going friends in New York to support women in the arts, and giving a reason why playwrights should continue to feature women in lead roles, we can continue to build the female influence around the world. Giving support to this and other shows like Fun Home and The Audience (both starring women) reinforces the idea that people do really want to see stories about women.
If you can’t make it to Broadway, that’s ok! Show your support in Social Media by tweeting @Heidionbroadway and use the hashtag #iamheidi.