Welcome to the Doll Den
By Andrew Andrews
Sixty years ago, when a woman’s place was in the home, the implementation of something as novel as an all-female radio station would seem quaint by today’s standards. At a time when “women’s issues” meant raising a family and maintaining a household, the only thing controversial about a station with programming by women, for women was the notion that its staff was outside the traditional realm of hospital work and secretarial pools. So what happens when the 1960’s and 70’s come around, with progressive attitudes about civil rights and gender roles? Does the station evolve with the times, or hang on to antiquated values for an aging listener base?
That’s the premise of Welcome to the Doll Den, Electric Eye’s play that—along with the topic at hand—is still developing. What started as a twenty minute concept at the Drama League grew to half an hour at Dixon Place before expanding to the ninety minute presentation we caught at The Tank (home of Rule of 7x7), where works exploring gender issues are receiving a special focus this season. The show is, in some ways, a musical, with catchy tunes and choreographed dances that draw you into the story early on before things get more serious, as good stories always do. The ensemble—Evelyn Dumont, Emily Johnson-Erday, Elena Kritter, Lizzy Ana Lincoln, Leah Ogawa, Alana S. Thomas and Rev. Yolanda—are active in the development with director Sarah Plotkin, a real-world parallel to the story they’re creating. And this is a product with plenty of potential to eventually reach Broadway, the circuit and even the silver screen. It’s too late for you to catch this weekend-only production, but keep an eye out for Doll Den to resurface; we have no doubt that it will be even better as the cast continues to rework it into a masterpiece.4
Andrew Andrews attended Welcome to the Doll Den at The Tank in Manhattan on Sunday, February 19, 2017 @ 7:00pm to write this review.