Anarchy in High Heels
4 PM PDT | 5 PM MDT | 6 PM CDT | 7 PM EDT
My memoir, Anarchy in High Heels, does not tell a typical personal story, it’s a bit of an outlier. I relate my adventures in Les Nickelettes, a feminist musical-comedy troupe based in San Francisco in the 1970s and ‘80s. The themes of my book are the struggles against society’s dismissal of women’s comedy, and the empowerment that arises when forming a strong sisterhood. I wrote the book because I didn’t want the story of Les Nickelettes swept into the dustbin of history. The book didn’t start out as a memoir, I thought I was writing a non-fiction account of this unique group that I had been a part of. But early readers asked me how I felt about the events I was writing about. They suggested I make it a memoir. Changing the point of view drew me deeper into the story and enhanced the themes. The process took me thirty years to complete. Sometimes I had to put the project aside because other life events took priority, but I persevered.What members will gain/learn from my presentation:
- Don’t believe the tired trope that “women aren’t funny” – women are funny!
- And, feminists do have a sense of humor.
- A different perspective on the second-wave feminist movement.
- Forming a sisterhood is empowering. It lifts all boats.
- Never give up. I’m proof you can publish even after 70 (and beyond).
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Denise Larson is a native Californian: she went to elementary school in the Los Angeles suburb town of Torrance and high school in the San Joaquin Valley city of Manteca, and finally after college, she put down roots in San Francisco. With a BA in Theater from San Francisco State University, she pinned her dreams on becoming an experimental theater artist in the ‘70s counterculture milieu of the Bay Area. Along that path she founded Les Nickelettes. For thirteen years, she helmed the feminist theater company and assumed the role of actress, playwright, producer, stage director, and administrative/ artistic director. Then she gave it all up to become a mother and teacher. After a twenty-year career in Early Childhood Education, she retired, and took up writing. The result is her memoir Anarchy in High Heels recounting her adventures in Les Nickelettes. Denise still lives in San Francisco. She also has returned to her first love; theater. She is collaborating with other performers in a new theatre venture: Cosmic Elders Theatre Ensemble.