At a crucial early juncture of “Peepshow,” a video screen flashes a list of names recently in the news, starting with former film studio chief Harvey Weinstein and moving on through dozens of other prominent men, identified of late in the wide-ranging reports of sexual misconduct and harassment.
This ignominious listing — a national Dishonor Roll — goes on and on, and of course, as you sit in Woolly Mammoth Theatre’s rehearsal hall, where the heavily didactic, mostly satirical show runs through this weekend, you are compelled to reflect anew on the kinds of behavior these men have gotten away with, how a male-dominated culture has allowed them to do it — and how a reckoning is finally taking place.
Consider the visually playful, raucous, collegiate-in-spirit “Peepshow,” by the interactive company Dog & Pony DC, an element of that reckoning. As conceived by Rachel Grossman, Tosin Olufolabi and Ivania Stack, and directed by Grossman, the production unfolds as a series of skits, designed to remind you of the ways women have been objectified in popular culture and tacitly encouraged the bad acts now being exposed everywhere.
The approach here might lean heavily toward silliness — in one long sequence, called Feminist Fight Club, female wrestlers and boxers costumed as “housewives” and “suffragettes” pummel their male chauvinist opponents — but there is an undercurrent of revolutionary fervor suffusing the evening. Are women supposed to confine themselves to distinct rules of comportment when expressing their disgust and pent-up frustrations? No freakin’ way, says “Peepshow.”
Some of the statements come across as hackneyed in this 90-minute revue, the only piece in the Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, “Peepshow” declares, written, produced and performed entirely by women. There are moments of the production that echo declarations you heard in feminist tracts back in the ’60s and ’70s. But at least the rawness and loudness here are amplifying things that authentically deserve to be restated, widely and often.
Peepshow, conceived by Rachel Grossman, Tosin Olufolabi and Ivania Stack. Directed by Grossman. With Elaine Yuko Qualter, Ouida Maedel, Natasha Gallop, Kerry McGee, Olufolabi, Amelia Hensley, Sandra Mae Frank, Carol Spring. About 90 minutes. $20-$25. Through Sunday at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D St. NW. Visit dogandponydc.com.