Week of 5/19: Noteworthy News and Shows to See

Lauren English* and James Wagner* in SF Playhouse's "Seminar".

Lauren English* and James Wagner* in SF Playhouse’s Seminar.

Female Playwrights Rising, but not to Broadway

Some of the hottest contemporary plays are authored by women, but only one made it to Broadway this season. And not one woman was nominated for a Tony. Is Broadway is a boys’ club behind the scenes? Live discussion at HuffPost.

Penumbra focuses on female playwrights in 2014-15 season

From Pioneer Press: “Female playwrights are front and center for Penumbra Theatre’s 2014-15 season, which the St. Paul theater company has dubbed Womansong. “We’ve selected artists who deftly reflect our world,” co-artistic director Lou Bellamy said in a news release.”

Women Directors at the Box Office in April 2014

The April releases directed by women were dominated by non-fiction, with eleven documentaries to six features and one anthology film. Here is a special report from the blog at IndieWire: a detailed brief about each release, including synopses, net availability, ranking and box-office figures. 

Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Co adds ‘The Women’s Project’ to 2014-15 Season

From Broadway World: “Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company has added a four-play series entitled THE WOMEN’S PROJECT to its 2014-15 season to highlight the company’s ongoing commitment to equal representation in the performing arts.

Initially conceived by Mildred’s Umbrella Artistic Director Jennifer Decker as a means of providing more opportunities for women in theatre, the series features plays that are either written by a female playwright or explore the feminine perspective in a thematic way.”

On Her Shoulders to Present WOMEN OF PROVINCETOWN PLAYERS Readings on 5/21

“On Her Shoulders will present a FREE staged reading of three short plays by women of The Provincetown Players on Wednesday, May 21: The Widow’s View by Alice Rostetter (1919), The Rescue by Rita Creighton Smith (1918) and Aria da Capo by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1919). Elysa Marden directs; Shana Komitee is dramaturg.”

Pioneering Woman Leads London’s Royal Court Theatre into New Realms

From the Japan Times: “Since she took a first degree in drama at Manchester University, then a master’s in directing after she realized she wasn’t cut out to be an actress, Vicky Featherstone — the first female artistic director of London’s hugely prestigious Royal Court Theatre in the heart of upper-crust Chelsea — has seemed to make light of glass ceilings.

As chance would have it, her first job was as an assistant director at the Royal Court in 1990. She then cut her directorial teeth at regional companies until 1997, when she was appointed to be artistic director of London-based Paines Plough, a company with no home theater that specializes in new writers’ plays and touring in Britain and abroad. Within two years, she had turned around its ailing finances and seen its audience numbers double.”

Shows to See

Seminar at SF Playhouse

Written by Theresa Rebeck; Directed by Amy Glazer

“Five hundred dollars a week for all the abuse you can take. And maybe sex. That’s what four aspiring novelists pay for a ten-week private writing class with the legendary Leonard. It’s a smorgasbord of vicious, and very funny, wordplay, as innocence collides with experience in this biting Broadway comedy about power, sex, and art.

This is the second San Francisco Playhouse production of a Theresa Rebeck work. The Scene, which we produced in 2008, was later released as a feature film, Seducing Charlie Barker.”

Runs through 6/14 at the SF Playhouse.

DIVAFest 2014

The 13th Annual DIVAfest, celebrating the work of women artists, at EXIT Theatre in San Francisco comes to a close on 5/24. This year’s edition featured Margery Fairchild‘s work-in-progress, the “hilarious and dark” Pas de Quatre (concluding show on 5/23) and Kristin Hersh‘s Rat Girl(concluding show on 5/24), as also the White Rabbit Burlesque, the Diane di Prima reading and the DIVAs Tell All showcase.

Begun in 2002 as a response to the lack of opportunities for female playwrights in the larger theater industry, DIVAfest has since produced over 60 new plays by women.

Post image courtesy: SF Playhouse

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