Although Betty Friedan's little firestarter The Feminine Mystique is commonly thought of as the birth of modern, mainstream feminist theory, there are numerous earlier examples of women striking out on their own. St. Louis native Kate Chopin's The Awakening, a bold commentary on women's limited choices for personal happiness (read: sexual freedom), is a classic example. Edna Pontellier is a bourgeois wife and mother in nineteenth-century New Orleans who cares little for the maternal life. The arrival of Robert Lebrun, a young charmer who sees her only as a desirable woman, makes Edna rethink her priorities and run afoul of society's expectations. St. Louis Actors' Studio presents a stage adaptation of The Awakening at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 13 through 23) at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-361-9017 or www.mohistory.org). Tickets are $20 to $30.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: March 13. Continues through March 23, 2014