“Estrogen Fest 2005: Changing the Rules!” runs 5/11-6/5 at the Storefront Theater in the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. Presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs in conjunction with Prop Thtr, this annual showcase of women’s performance features artists in the fields of theater, spoken word, poetry, dance, and music. The festival consists of two alternating programs of short works. Program A, “History, Fantasy, and Myth,” previews Wed 5/11, 7:30 PM, and opens Fri 5/13, running through 6/4: Fri 7:30 PM, Sat 5 PM. Program B, “We’re Still Here,” previews Thu 5/12, 7:30 PM, and opens Sat 5/14, running through 6/5: Sat 7:30 PM, Sun 5 PM. Tickets for the “sneak preview” benefit shows 5/11 and 5/12 cost $25, which includes cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music. Tickets for shows starting 5/13 cost $15 per program and can be purchased by phone at 312-742-8497 or online at www.ticketweb.com; a festival pass for both programs is $25. Dinner packages are available on Saturday for persons attending both programs. More information is available at www.estrogenfest-chicago.com. Following is the schedule for Wednesday, May 11, and Thursday, May 12; a complete schedule is available online at www.chicagoreader.com.


Program A: “History, Fantasy, and Myth”

A reception with live music gets under way at 6 PM, followed at 7:30 PM by a preview of Program A, “History, Fantasy, and Myth.” Yolanda Androzzo presents a poetry program, I Ain’t Down. Stephanie Shaw contemplates physical activity in Skadi: Norse Goddess of Skiing. Rust Proof is “an athletic dance quartet to Santana” by Cindy Brandle. Emily Schwartz recounts the tale of Rapunzel. Brett Neveu’s new play about “makeup and manipulation, circa 1976,” The Avon Lady, is directed by Kimberly Senior. A Brief Message From Amelia Earhart, written by Miriam Weisfeld and directed by Libby Ford, has the aviator in the afterlife “keeping cool with daiquiris in the Bermuda Triangle.” The Boomer Babes–Pam Peterson and Jan Slavin–celebrate female pop figures like June Cleaver and Mary Tyler Moore in “Boomer Culture Medley.” War Protest 1914, adapted by Marilyn Campbell from women writers of the era, features a large ensemble under Kimberly Senior’s direction. And the “avant-electro-retardo-noise-pop” duo Soft Serve–Eleanor Balson and Michelle Liffick–perform live music.


Program B: “We’re Still Here”

A reception with live music gets under way at 6 PM, followed at 7:30 PM by a preview of Program B, “We’re Still Here.” Katrina Kelley sets the evening’s tone with a rendition of “I’m Still Here” from Follies. Mother-and-daughter team Marilyn Campbell and Maria Merrin “humorously recount the drama” of hair in Mixin’ It Up. Sean Graney’s new play Fear of Scars concerns a woman who refuses a cesarean section that would save her twins. Nana Shineflug presents a performance/dance piece, Gotcha. “Contortion/acrobatic stilts duo” Cat Dean and Jill Heyser of the Actor’s Gymnasium perform Tetsuo, a piece inspired by the music of Geinoh Yamashirogum. Jesse Weaver’s new play, 46A, recounts “the consequences faced by one family that refused to conform and buy the required neighborhood mailbox”; Ann Filmer directs. Funk Cloud is a play by Laura McKenzie. Soft Serve (see Program A listing for Wed 5/11) perform live music.