With Ted finally back from a month in Europe, he and Lisa explore the ramifications of her recently directed run of “Bechdel Test” improv shows.* After a playful warm-up game of Finish the Word (3:23), Lisa and Ted recount their performer and audience perspectives on the show’s portrayal of stories about women (16:12). Eventally, they connect explorations of gender to those of racism and other opressions (33:23) and to recent developments around sexual harassment in the national improv community (37:07). Ted shares some recent heartbreaking news from a past employer and acknowledges one of his own skeletons (44:38). The pair close the episode invoking an invitation from Zen monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh (52:54).

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*What has come to commonly be called the Bechdel Test should really be the Bechdel-Wallace Test, created by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel and her friend Liz Wallace. The test measures a work of fiction’s minimal inclusion of women’s stories by asking 1) Are there at least two female characters? 2) who talk to each other? 3) about something other than men? Occasionally, you hear the added criteria that those characters be named.

San Francisco improvisors Ted DesMaisons and Lisa Rowland explore the beautiful, surprising and unruly intersections between mindfulness and improvisation as they seek to befriend that oft-hidden and sometimes scary part of all of us that can lead to a life well-lived.

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The post Monster Baby #11: Passing the Bechdel Test: On Gender in Improv and Facing Old Demons appeared first on Anima Learning.