10/3: This Week in Feminist Theater

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Where are the Plays Written by and Starring Women?

Alexander Woolley of New Republic goes where everyone is going nowadays: gender imbalance in theater – “what is increasingly coming to be acknowledged as an unhealthy fact about theater today: the continuing and significant imbalance between the genders. For instance, between 2003 and 2013 thirty one plays written by women were staged at the National Theatre out of a total of 206 productions. Similarly, just four female writers have ever won the Olivier Award for Best Play. Yet, according to the Society of London Theatres, women comprised 68 percent of theater audiences in 2010. The latest reaction to the gender imbalance is not one of rage, and it is quieter than it has been at other points in time.

“Female playwrights also have a difficult time, despite the fact that their job ought not to be bound up with historical attitudes. In 2011 going on 2012, the top ten subsidized theaters in London produced female-written plays less than 35 percent of the time.”

The article originally appeared in the New Statesman.

Soul-Stifling Jobs in the Land of Plenty

Here’s shining our spotlight on a fearless play: To the Bone by Lisa Ramirez, about immigrant workers, courtesy NYTimes. Ramirez’s play at the Cherry Lane Theater is an unapologetic look at how little choice immigrant women have.

NYTimes calls this “a play about women hoping for a better life, but too cowed to ask for even a morning bathroom break. A distaff answer to Elizabeth Irwin’s My Mañana Comes, which centers on busboys and finishes its run at the Peter Jay Sharp Theater on Saturday, To The Bone explores the toll low-wage work exacts from the spirit. The play observes how this houseful of women — which includes Olga’s daughter, Lupe, and Reina’s niece Carmen — support and betray, protect and harm one another.”

 Women’s Project Theater 2014-15 Season

“Women’s Project Theater, under the leadership of new Producing Artistic Director Lisa McNulty and Interim Executive Producer Jessica R. Jenen has announced the four plays in its 2014-15 season, continuing the theater’s 37 year commitment to producing the finest work by women in the theater. Beginning in October, WP Theater’s season will include new work by Cori Thomas (My Secret Language of Wishes), directed by Daniella Topol (Charles Ives take Me Home, Row After Row); Kate Benson (Lee Miller), directed by Lee Sunday Evans (The Play About My Dad); Tanya Barfield (The Call, Blue Door), directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet–Tony Nominee, Chinglish, Well), and Laura Eason (Sex With Strangers, “House of Cards”), directed by Kirsten Kelly (Slipping).”

35 Years Later: Pioneering Women Directors Lament Dearth of Females Behind the Camera

Late last month, at the Directors Guild of America’s 35th anniversary event, “a group of pioneering women directors spoke out before a full house in the 600-seat DGA theater about taking a hammer to Hollywood’s glass ceiling. The answer, they said, is for female directors to continue to break barriers and bust stereotypes to achieve equality in Hollywood.

During its 35th anniversary celebration at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, the Women’s Steering Committee put out a renewed call to action to develop strategies that would propel women directors to greater access and visibility in the industry.”

WWSF Congratulates Team Rapture, Blister, Burn

Directed by Desdemona Chiang
Lead: Marilee Talkington

WWSF congratulates team Rapture, Blister, Burn on its wildly successful run! Join us in congratulating the team and leave a shout-out to all the women involved at the lively discussion going on at our Meetup recap post!

Shows to See

The New Electric Ballroom

Written by Enda Walsh
Directed by Barbara Damashek

Sisters Breda, Clara, and Ada are trapped within their memories of the New Electric Ballroom. It was the time of their lives… or was it? Playwright Enda Walsh, author of the Tony-Award winning musical Once, creates a brash, darkly humorous, and disturbing tale of sisters determined to live in the past – until the youngest upsets the balance of their delicate world.

Runs Wed through Sun, through 10/5

Lovebirds

Written by Marga Gomez

In her tenth solo play LOVEBIRDS, acclaimed performer Marga Gomez portrays a crew of incurable romantics as they chase their hearts’ desires – into the night, through decades, and to insane lengths.

Runs Fri-Sat, through 10/18

Fire Work

Written by Lauren Gunderson
Directed by Mina Morita

Fire Work is a present day romantic comedy set in a place where the conflict between social conformity and individual freedom turns deadly serious. Ben meets Ana in her father’s retail fireworks shop and the sparks quickly fly between the two. But when a bomb goes off in their town, the young lovers wrestle with their new adulthood and the problems that arise in a war-torn city.

Special offer for WWSF: Use discount code “works” for 10$ off on the ticket.

Runs Fri-Sun, through 10/19

Traveling While Black

Written and performed by Edris Cooper-Anifowoshe

Based on treks through Europe, the Americas and Africa, Traveling While Black is part travelogue and part history lesson and seeks to exploit the tensions between tourism and colonialism as it interrogates boundaries and reveals cultural connects and disconnects. Inspired by Langston Hughes’ I Wonder As I Wander, TWB examines the post-slavery condition of Black travel, both fanciful and forced. The show received original support from Zellerbach Family Foundation.

Runs Fri-Sun, through 10/26

Image courtesy NYTimes

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