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Karen Hines tackles feminism, sleep deprivation and eating animals

All The Little Animals I Have Eaten opens at High Performance Rodeo

The players on-stage are all fragments of the main character’s imagination, taking on different roles.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

The players on-stage are all fragments of the main character’s imagination, taking on different roles.

A fifth wave feminist stays up for 24 days straight working on a graphic novel based on her experiences at a boutique living space for women.

Eventually her imagination kicks into high gear as ghosts, avatars and well-dressed figments of her mind reveal themselves.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

Karen Hines brings a new comedy to the stage for this year’s High Performance Rodeo festival. All The Little Animals I Have Eaten is inspired by the Bechdal Test – which challenges works for fiction to have more than one female character, and have the characters talk to each other about something other than a man.

Hines fragmented narratives talk us through what might seem like mundane conversations – like an insurance adjuster talking to a women after an accident, or someone who’s stolen intellectual property from another women – but the writers trademark wit and insight breathes a surreal tone into the situations.

“The script has been shaped a lot through the rehearsal process,” said actress Georgina Beaty, who plays a fragment of the main character’s psyche. “Karen’s wonderful and has a really specific and dark sense of humour . She’s obsessed with language – her language is sort of phenomenal, delightful and fast.”

The play sets itself in the eatery of this boutique living space – itself a skewering of women’s only hotels from the 50s and 60s – where there are a number of little animals available to eat. A cursory look at the play’s title will tell you the animals are a running theme.

“There are little animals all throughout the play, and I think she’s asking, ‘what right do I have to my life and to consume another animal,’” Beaty explained.

The play just opened, and runs until Jan. 21.

For more information, visit www.hprodeo.ca.

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