COLLECTIVE RAGE, A PLAY IN 5 BETTIES: Heeere, p*ssy p*ssy p*ssy p*ssy p*ssy!

Amie Lytle as Betty 2. (Photo: Alison O’Donnell)

Burbage Theatre Co. continues their 12th season with the RI premiere of Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties by playwright Jen Silverman, directed by resident artist Allison Crews. Their clever metaphor to describe the play puts it bluntly: “Do you remember when you were in middle school and you read about Shackleton and how he explored the Arctic? Imagine the Arctic as a p*ssy and it’s sort of like that.” 

Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties is, in many ways, a return to the absurdity at Burbage’s roots,” says Silverman. “This play challenges theatrical convention, turning the form on its head and subverting our expectations of what theater can be — all sustained by a relentless sense of humor.” She goes on to say, “What sets Collective Rage apart is the roiling tumultuous perspective it expresses — repressed and full of rage.”


Burbage Theatre Co’s artistic director Jeff Church explains the progression. “Silverman’s ‘queer and occasionally hazardous exploration’ bursts with life. A fitting successor to Playhouse Creatures, our recent collaboration with WomensWork RI. We have assembled an incredible ensemble for this production, supported by a top-notch production team. We have no doubt this production will excite and engage. We guarantee it will make you laugh and think.” And yeah, it does! 

The synopsis reads: Five different women named Betty collide at the intersection of anger, sex, and the “thea-tah.” Betty is rich, Betty is lonely, Betty’s busy working on her truck, Betty wants to talk about love, but Betty needs to hit something. And Betty keeps using a small hand mirror to stare into parts of herself she’s never examined before. But you don’t have to squirm — she does it for you! 

Amie Lytle loves her role as Betty 2. “If the audience has half as much fun as I do, I consider us a success. This role is the dream! I get to heal my inner child, play with wild abandon, and hopefully, make people feel less alone. I am so grateful for this experience and this story. I want people to see the show and laugh and cry, and leave loving themselves as much as Betty loves her p*ssy.”

All five Bettys are hysterical. Melissa Penick, Betty 1, portrays a hyper, uptight rich wife (think of the stereotypical  Karen). Daria-Lyric Montaquila portrays Betty 3, a super confident sexual force interested in putting together a theater piece. Nina Giselle, Betty 4, works on her car while protecting her heart, but by the end she’s turning her frustration outward and opening her heart to vulnerability. And, Anna Basile is the docile Betty 5, quietly awaiting her turn at love. You can’t help but love them all, especially while you’re laughing!

Kudos to the clever set design by Trevor Elliott. It might go unnoticed if mention weren’t made of the psychedelic pattern on the stage. Upon closer inspection, you will see the pinkish swirls convene into a vulva-ish shape. Overhead projections guide us through the upcoming action while minor set changes are made. Rounding out the very creative team are Riley Nedder with costume design, technical director Andrew Iacovelli, Brittany Costello ATD/props, and lighting design by Anthony Dempsey. Together they’ve created something very… intimate, and you will love it!

COLLECTIVE RAGE runs through April 21. For more information, visit