Never judge a book by it’s cover, a play by it’s title or a woman’s femininity by her height.
Come inside for a recap of my interview with the tallest member of The TALL Girls stage play, Christina Gorman and my thoughts on the play.
1st Quarter: The TALL Girls
The TALL Girls is a play written by Meg Miroshnik, directed by Louis Contey and inspired by Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrickson Zaharias, an olympian from Texas who had a successful career as an athlete during a time when women playing sports was considered un-lady like.
At first glance I’m sure you’re thinking here we go again with associating height to sports. We all just lovvvvve the series of questions one asks when they see a tall girl.
It goes a little something like this…Wow you’re tall, because of course we didn’t know this before they stated the absolute obvious. Followed by, how tall are you? Did you play basketball? Are you a model? I digress…back to the play.
The stage play takes place during the Great Depression. Although the play itself starts off a little slow, it is not depressing and it is not all about height. It is, however, a stage play filled with depth. A play that exposes the complexity of feminism, athleticism, family, friendships, heightism, economic status and even dating during the 1930’s. Some of which is sadly still relevant today.
Click here for details on how to see the play in Chicago this weekend. The play ends this Saturday, February 25th.
2nd Quarter: Why I liked the TALL Girls play
1. It is charming, flirty, sometimes funny, and it pulls you in before you recognize you are completely caught up in every word the characters are saying.
2. It has great depth.
3. Shows the influence a group activity can have on a persons confidence and sense of normalcy – something we address during TALL District’s annual Mommy Affect series, and
4. Any play that can invoke real emotions out of me like welling eyes is certainly worth seeing.
5. Bonus: Its’ about Tall girls. Go #TeamTALL
Seeing each of the 5 characters grow and bond over basketball was really refreshing as a tall girl. Despite the ‘over-association’ of height and basketball it was nice to see the power and pride brought on by the sport. Not to mention, the timing of the play could not have been better. Especially after this weeks controversial commentary by WNBA player Candice Wiggins.
Interestingly enough, one of WNBA’s stars Brittney Griner is attributed with indirectly helping actress, Christina Gorman with character development.
3rd Quarter: A chat with Christina Gorman
Christina Gorman plays the role of Lurlene, the basketball teams tallest, playing the Center position, and most feminine of them all. We’re talking painted nails, a subscription to the red book and an infatuation with all things glam.
“It’s great to use my height in a field I love, a field that doesn’t often celebrate women’s height”
Christina is from Upstate New York and has studied both in Chicago and abroad.
I sat down with Christina to talk about her personal and professional height experience.
4th Quarter: The Interview
J. Enovy: How Tall Are You?
Christina: I’m 5’9.5″
J. Enovy: Where does your height come from?
Christina: My mom is tall. My maternal grandmother was above average height and my paternal grandfather was 6’3″. I am ironically named after my paternal grandmother who was only 5’0″ tall.
“I didn’t feel at home in my height”
J. Enovy: Did your mother have an impact on your experience as a tall girl?
Christina: Yes. She always appeared confident and at home in her height.
J. Enovy: Have you always been confident about your height?
Christina: I didn’t feel at home in my height, especially during high school. I wore baggy clothes and slumped a lot to be shorter.
J. Enovy: When would you say you gained ‘height confidence?’
Christina: It wasn’t until this play and looking up to WNBA player Brittney Griner. I like her style of play, her confidence and it helped that she is the teams center as I am in The TALL Girls play.
J. Enovy: When did you notice your height?
Christina: I was a late bloomer. I didn’t become conscious of my height until high school. I looked up and all of a sudden, in the blink of an eye, I was super tall compared to my peers. I was also very skinny with no muscle mass.
“Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you’re naturally gifted”
J. Enovy: What are your thoughts on tall women?
Christina: I recognize that women over 6’0″ tall experience height differently or more intensely than I do. If you’re over 6’0″ you’re somehow perceived as being threatening to a man. Also, just because you’re tall does not mean you are athletically gifted.
J. Enovy: Were you athletic before this play or did you need some on the ‘job’ training?
Christina: Just because you’re tall doesn’t mean you’re naturally physically gifted. The cast had a basketball coach.
J. Enovy: Height Preference:
Christina: When it comes to dating I’m pretty open. It is nice to date a taller gentlemen. However, I believe that is a notion that was told to us since we were young.
J. Enovy: What are some of the challenges you face in the acting world as a tall woman?
Christina: Tall women are not celebrated in the media and though I hate saying this I believe male actors, on average, are shorter than the average height men. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow is 5’10” and the lead character in Iron Man is 5’8.” Not once did you see her being taller than him. He most likely stood on an apple box during takes where they were filmed together. The only time being a taller woman is seen is during comedy.
J. Enovy: What do you love about the TALL Girls play?
Christina: I love that it challenges the culturally accepted norms of beauty and feminism
J. Enovy: Tell us about your character?
Christina: She’s a girl with a lot of insecurities and is obsessed with Hollywood glamour. Her character battles with maintaining her femininity while discovering how much she loves the game.
J. Enovy: Why should people come see the play?
Christina: This past Sunday, during our Sunday Talk Back the message was ‘we can’t go back to a time when girls were held back because of their athleticism or for any other reason.’ This is an important play for the world we are currently living in.
Many thanks to Christina (pictured on the left) for chatting with me about her height experience and the play. P.S. – kudos to Angie Shriner (right) who plays Jean, the main character. She did an amazing job. The entire cast did an amazing job.