It starts with a man in charge denying that his word choice could possibly be a problem. The thing is, what he’s in charge of is a dictionary. Webster’s, actually, which you might say is the dictionary. What follows is a social media storm about gender and obscenity that the lexicographers in the office may or may not want to deal with.
That’s the set-up for Constellation Stage and Screen’s latest production, a new play by Jacqueline Bircher called Webster’s Bitch, which won Constellation’s 2023/24 Woodward/Newman Award.
It can be hard to write a play about contemporary social issues that doesn’t hit you over the head with exposition and big concepts, but Diane Kondrat, who plays Joyce, said there’s a lot of character-driven excitement alongside big issues we need to think about. Jenni Putney, who plays Gwen, understands you don’t want to be there thinking “Ugh, I’m learning.” But this play is a lot of fun. “You could go for date night!” she said.
Listen to more of my conversation with Diane Kondrat and Jenni Putney, above. Webster’s B!+@# runs Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, February 11 at the Ted Jones Playhouse in Bloomington. For more information, visit seeconstellation.org.