by Jane Dingle, Mary Lewis and Liz Solo
“I am not a myth.” - Marlene Dietrich
Three Marlenes is a new three-woman theatre piece that explores the concept of identity as it is shaped through the lens of media.
Marlene Dietrich is viewed as an icon of feminine power, a gorgeous and intelligent liberated woman in charge of her own destiny. How much of Marlene’s image was a reflection of her identity and how much was a construction of the Hollywood star makers? The identity that Marlene projected did not represent the condition of the average woman of her time and, some would argue, belied the woman behind the image. Yet her iconic persona has given generations of people an intriguing heroine, a strong female role model, an image to aspire to. How is this valuable, ultimately, to our society, our cultural identity?
In the digital age identity has taken on a whole new dimension. Millions of individuals have a media presence – fashioning their public identities, either by accident or design, whenever they post to their profiles or upload images and video to their Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, MySpace, Link’din etc. The pursuit of fifteen minutes of fame is a widespread passion. These identities we project via social media reflect how we want to be perceived – but are these mediated identities true reflections of ourselves? How do we process these identities, what does it mean, is this valuable?
Three ordinary women release their “inner Marlenes” in this new play. Three Marlenes incorporates live interaction with media sequences as it examines feminine power, gender roles, stardom and scandal through the social media personas of three very different women. Three Marlenes explores how these women relate to, perceive and customize icons of feminine power.