Tony Winner Kathleen Marshall Gets Her Act Together for City Center

By Carey Purcell
16 Jul 2013

Renee Elise Goldsberry
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
"The issues that it brings up are the same for any era," she said. "This woman, on her 39th birthday, is trying to figure out what she wants to say. In this case, because she's a singer and songwriter, she's trying to figure out what she wants to say in her act — but she's also trying to figure out her authentic voice and be true to herself.”

While the main character is a woman, the themes of I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road are issues that both men and women can identify with, Marshall said.

"It deals with a lot of things about expectations for women and gender roles. She's a single mother," she said. "I think those are issues that anybody can relate to. And men as well can relate to getting to a certain point in life where she says, 'I want to do something for me, as opposed to what other people expect me to be.' That had a boldness at the time."

It is this boldness that can help to defy gender stereotypes that exist within entertainment regarding the types of movies, plays or music men and women enjoy.

"As if only women are interested in stories about romance or family, and men aren't, which is sort of ridiculous," Marshall said. "This music and Heather's act within the show, and the show itself, may have a sort of central female character, but it doesn't mean it only speaks to women. Both then and now, it can speak to a wider range of people."

One aspect of I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking It On the Road that remains relevant in today's culture is the stigma of age, especially regarding female performers.