Rage Within/Without, a 75 minute solo
performance piece written and performed by Kathy
Randels, explores anger, aggression and violence in women.
Through movement, personal narratives, historical facts and recent
case histories, Randels tells the story of why women, usually thought
of as the more docile sex, become violent and sometimes kill.
the Illinois Clemency Project for Battered Women, Randels
interviewed two women incarcerated for killing their abusive partners.
By weaving her conversations with these women into Rage Within/Without
, Randels addresses their psychological make-up and the circumstances
surrounding the murders. The text also includes a female gang member,
based on Anne Campbell's Girls in the Gang, and material from Anne
Jones' Women Who Kill, a historical account of female murderers
in America. The remaining text consists of Randels' original poetry
and prose dealing with the roots of women's anger. Of the final
product, Chicago Reader critic Justin Hayford says, "Rising
far above the simplistic and polarizing platitudes that usually
characterize media discussions of topics like domestic abuse...Rage
Within/Without refuses to provide easy answers to deeply disturbing
questions... Rage is a thrill to watch thanks to her sophisticated
acting style and penchant for finding humor in the most harrowing
Rage Within/Without began as an independent
study at Northwestern University, culminating in a performance there
in the spring of 1991. In the spring of 1994, Randels became involved
with the Illinois Clemency Project, and incorporated interviews
with two victim/offenders into Rage Within/Without.. Streetsigns
Theatre Company produced this version of the piece for a 6-week
run at Chicago's Chopin Theatre. In 1996, she received a RAP grant
from the NEA to produce Rage Within/Without and develop a
women's theatre workshop at St. Gabriel's prison for women in Louisiana.
Since that time, Rage has been performed throughout the U.S. including:
Louisiana, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco and Mississippi.
The piece has also toured internationally to: Yugoslavia, Slovenia,
Edinburgh, Denmark and New Zealand.
"The power you give in your performance
completely blasted me out of my seat...Your heart, your soul and
your mind speak as one..."
high school senior, New Orleans
"I appreciate the uplift for I was a battered
woman for 10 years. I feel free now but I know healing has just
inmate, Dixon Correctional Center
"Thank you Kathy, for putting into words
emotions I know that are churning inside my gut...It was kind
of like a slap of reality and yet that slap was like a breath
Loyola University student, Chicago
"...thank you for exploring an ignored
issue...Generations will fly by before people really feel as if
they own themselves and part of that win will be due to your curiosity
audience member, New Orleans