Pictured: Carolyn Kern
Creators Carolyn Kern and Emma Carter have announced the cast for WOMEN OF MEANS, a staged reading of a TV Pilot by Kern.
Directed by Emily Swenson, the one-night event will feature Brianna Woods, Curtis Smith, Ellen Kirk, Emma Carter, J.Will Fritz, Katie Gilchrist
Lydia Rose Miller, Nancy Marcy, Sam Cordes, and Stefanie Stevens.
From the press release: “Harlot, hooker, fille de joie, jeweled bird, shady lady, or soiled dove. Whatever you called her, and there were many a name for her, she was a prostitute. Known mostly for their profession, and nothing more, prostitutes have been seen as merely a footnote to the tall tales of the wild west. Despite her many names, the prostitutes of the American frontier had heart, a story, and were women to be reckoned with. Based upon actual madams of the day, WOMEN OF MEANS follows the story of Mae, a newcomer to the prostitution business. Enamored with the fine way they dress and carry themselves, she visits the bustling and rowdy red light district. On that fateful night, Mae meets Madam Helen, who offers her the opportunity to work in her parlor house. Mae meets her house of soiled doves, and tries to navigate the transition from working in a respectable house to working in a house of ill repute.”
“Unlike the prostitutes, you may remember from Wild West films, many madams were astute businesswomen,” comments writer and creator Kern. “Upon my research in Cripple Creek, Colorado, I found that many madams called the shots of day to day life in their towns. “For example, Madam Millie of New Mexico used her money to help local children go to college, and Laura Evens provided money to patch the roof of a church in a town that (initially) refused to give her a proper burial. They were women with hopes, dreams, desires and a heart. They were women of means and they deserve to be more than a footnote. I’m confident our staged reading will bring their stories back to life.”
WOMEN OF MEANS performs Monday, May 7th at 7:30 at the Squeezebox Theatre in Kansas City. Admission is pay-what-you-can.