Rage Within/Without

Rage Within/Without, a 75 minute solo performance piece written and performed by Kathy Randels, explores anger, aggression and violence in women. Through movement, personal narratives, historical facts and recent case histories, Randels tells the story of why women, usually thought of as the more docile sex, become violent and sometimes kill.

Through the Illinois Clemency Project for Battered Women, Randels interviewed two women incarcerated for killing their abusive partners. By weaving her conversations with these women into Rage Within/Without , Randels addresses their psychological make-up and the circumstances surrounding the murders. The text also includes a female gang member, based on Anne Campbell's Girls in the Gang, and material from Anne Jones' Women Who Kill, a historical account of female murderers in America. The remaining text consists of Randels' original poetry and prose dealing with the roots of women's anger. Of the final product, Chicago Reader critic Justin Hayford says, "Rising far above the simplistic and polarizing platitudes that usually characterize media discussions of topics like domestic abuse...Rage Within/Without refuses to provide easy answers to deeply disturbing questions... Rage is a thrill to watch thanks to her sophisticated acting style and penchant for finding humor in the most harrowing moments."

Rage Within/Without began as an independent study at Northwestern University, culminating in a performance there in the spring of 1991. In the spring of 1994, Randels became involved with the Illinois Clemency Project, and incorporated interviews with two victim/offenders into Rage Within/Without.. Streetsigns Theatre Company produced this version of the piece for a 6-week run at Chicago's Chopin Theatre. In 1996, she received a RAP grant from the NEA to produce Rage Within/Without and develop a women's theatre workshop at St. Gabriel's prison for women in Louisiana. Since that time, Rage has been performed throughout the U.S. including: Louisiana, New York, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco and Mississippi. The piece has also toured internationally to: Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Edinburgh, Denmark and New Zealand.

"The power you give in your performance completely blasted me out of my seat...Your heart, your soul and your mind speak as one..."
--Zuri McCormick
high school senior, New Orleans

"I appreciate the uplift for I was a battered woman for 10 years. I feel free now but I know healing has just begun."
--Terri Tiggers
inmate, Dixon Correctional Center

"Thank you Kathy, for putting into words emotions I know that are churning inside my gut...It was kind of like a slap of reality and yet that slap was like a breath of life.
--Judy Han
Loyola University student, Chicago

"...thank you for exploring an ignored issue...Generations will fly by before people really feel as if they own themselves and part of that win will be due to your curiosity and work."
--Renee Rednour
audience member, New Orleans