'Women on Love,' a song cycle on practicing unconditional love

2 minute read
Romantic love isn't the only kind of love the song cycle explores. (Image by Jason Lindner.)
Romantic love isn't the only kind of love the song cycle explores. (Image by Jason Lindner.)

For Katya Stanislavskaya, Philadelphia was the first glimpse of the United States. Temple University provided the bulk of her education in musical theater. The story of her work as an artist was first written here, so it was the perfect community to showcase her latest creation, a song cycle titled Women on Love, a meditation on the many ways we experience and receive love: in our families, our relationships, and within ourselves.

How to love you

“I think female-identifying folks have a different kind of pressure about loving and being loved. The most difficult thing for us is to feel unconditional love for our own selves; to cut ourselves some slack, and to forgive our own imperfections and perceived failures,” says Stanislavskaya about why she chose to center women’s experiences. The cycle speaks to experiences both within and without her own, spanning across age, sexuality, and social status. The subjects of love are also richer and more diverse than standard fare: romantic love is there, but so is familial love, self-love, hometown love, and more. Part of love, for Stanislavskaya, is forgiveness.

The cycle pulls from three previous musicals, but each song within is a story unto itself, whether it’s a cabaret-style piece or a more traditional book musical. The material is over fifteen years in the making, and Stanislavskaya compared the selection process to keeping a diary, with director Maggie Anderson collaborating on choosing songs that stand on their own.

The music’s strength makes it a perfect choice for a digital platform. Stanislavskaya’s chance to reconnect with the Temple theatre program and the Philadelphia theatre scene gave her the chance to experience the pool of regional talent that fostered her own art and make theatre great.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

Women on Love, by Katya Stanislavskaya and directed by Maggie Andersen with music direction by Patrick Tice-Carroll, streams live for free on October 9 and 10, 2020, at 7:30pm. RSVP online.

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