February 22, 2015
This summer, I'm getting a new sister. My brother is marrying this amazing, smart, talented woman named Emmi. She is a theatre director. She founded and runs a magical realism theatre festival in Chicago called Something Incredibly Marvelous Happens. She was a math major at Northwestern University. I asked her if she'd write a little about her experience being a woman in math and theatre. Thank you, Emmi!
I was super lucky.
As a child, my dad always told me I could do anything I put my mind to. And I believed him. Which made it true. I grew up learning to dream big, take chances, and trust myself, and I sincerely hope we can raise the next generation of women with similar values.
The attitude I grew up with empowered me during to stick it out in male dominated college and grad level math courses to complete my math major. I left school feeling smart, capable, and agile. The logic and problem solving skills I learned throughout my short-lived math career has definitely made me the artist I am today. As a theatre director, I now have a penchant for telling clear stories that are accessible to audiences even when obscure. Surprisingly, leadership in theatre is also male-dominated. As I attempt to build a career as an artistic leader, I draw on that early-formed confidence every single day.
Princess Awesome, by providing a means of expression, supports girls as they grow up and fosters their natural interests in mathematics and science, and other inherently male dominated fields, so that later when they pursue those fields (or not), they have an internalized idea that they can succeed. They have choices. I can't wait to see how the dresses will inspire both a curiosity for learning and celebration of empowerment.