Artemisia Theatre hosted their Fall Festival which allowed different directors to showcase their plays for one night during the two week event.
One the plays that was featured in the festival was “Cash Cows.” Directed by Jamal Howard, “Cash Cows” is about actual cows that are a representation of the exploitation of both women’s bodies and minimum wage workers.
Baxter, played by David Morgan Shaw, is a stand in for President Trump. He controls his workers by brain washing them to work more for less and justifies the unfair treatment by saying they are promised a better life in heaven.
Meanwhile, he’s abusing their bodies by overworking them into producing more milk then they’re physically capable of. He’s also filling their minds with racist propaganda stating that there’s Mexican longhorns taking people’s jobs and Islamic terrorist outside of their factory. Baxter belittle their poor conditions and twists the situation so they can appreciate what they do have, even if it’s under bad working conditions. He keeps up these lies, and many more, by controlling their media, stating anything outside of his resources is “fake news.”
Baxter cuts on “health care,” cuts down trees and limits their green land, pays “minimum wage” and refuses to give them maternity leave when a mother is set to give birth to a calf (or bull). But when it comes to their children, the cows have to give them up to “war” or they’re expected to get right to work with their mothers, depending on the sex.
When cows, Hannah (Robin Margolis), Brooke (Emma Sheikh), and Claire (Janyce Caraballo) begin to protest by fasting and resisting to produce milk, it is then that Baxter is met with a resistance. Through their protests and fight for better treatment they are able to overcome Baxter. They see loss and tragedy, but it is through those horrors that they are able to find a common ground and come together to overcome the evil that is Baxter.
The play features a minimal set. It relied on its actors to translate all emotion through limited physical movements, infliction of the voice and tone, and facial features. Despite it seriousness in tone and relevance to today’s administration it still found a way to evoke humor. It was an enjoyable show because of its ridiculous portrayal of Trump, quick witted character and relevance in today’s society and politics. If it were to come back to Artemisia Theatre it is highly recommended.
The feminist theater continued the tradition of empowering all-female plays during the fall festival, something much needed in today’s society.
4 out of 5 Torches