This Week in Feminist Theater (1/31-2/6)

StageRover Dramawerks & 365 Women A Year to Host New Play Festival
From Broadway World: “Rover Dramawerks partners with the playwrights’ group 365 Women A Year to present the first festival of plays written in 2014 in Texas March 19-22. This international playwriting coalition, founded by Jesslynn Eisenberg Chamblee, involves over 200 women (and men) across the world who have signed on to write one or more one-acts about extraordinary women in both past and present history. The project’s ambitious yet focused goal is to write women back into the social consciousness, as well as empower and promote female playwrights, and plant seeds of herstory around the country….Plays range from long monologues to large casts and take place from 400 A.D. to present day and everywhere in between.

In addition to Rover’s festival, six more festivals are currently in the works for the spring of 2015, including two in New York City, one in Madrid, Spain, one in Kentucky, one just outside of Toronto, Canada hosted by She Speaks, and one at Bennington College in Vermont.”

2015 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Finalists
The twelve finalists for this year’s prize, which celebrates outstanding new English-language plays written by women, include: Lisa D’Amour (U.S.) – Airline Highway; Alice Birch (U.K.) – Revolt. She said. Revolt again.; Alecky Blythe (U.K.) – Little Revolution; Clare Barron (U.S.) – You Got Older; Clara Brennan (U.K.) – Spine; Katherine Chandler (U.K.) – Parallel Lines; Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig (U.S.) – The World of Extreme Happiness; Lindsey Ferrentino (U.S.) – Ugly Lies the Bone; Zodwa Nyoni (U.K.) – Boi Boi Is Dead; Heidi Schreck (U.S.) – Grand Concourse; Ruby Rae Spiegel (U.S.) – Dry Land; and Tena Štivii (U.K.and Croatia) – 3 Winters. This year’s winner will be announced in early March and will receive a $25,000 prize, as well as a signed print by acclaimed artist Willem de Kooning. More than 350 plays have been recognized since the award was founded in 1977.

Let’s Talk About Sex – The Awkward Kind
A year and a half ago, Natalie Wall organized a group of fellow comedians for a show at People’s Improv Theater in New York City that featured them telling stories about true-life sexual experiences. It resulted in regular shows and tours with “intimate and cringe-worthy” content that became the women of “Awkward”. The show developed because Wall found in her college years that women were “awkward” about realistically discussing sex.

The show is a joyful celebration of the oddities of sexuality, described as a conversation you might hear at a girls sleepover privately between friends.  Ginny Leise, a member of the touring group, shares that  “the biggest difference [with the show] is, this is sex through a female lens, I think you see a lot of sex everywhere, but it’s through a male lens. A lot changes when you give control of the narrative to a different point of view.” She feels that the best comedy is honest and that audiences are reacting to the vulnerability of women talking about their real lives and having fun. We acknowledge “Awkward” as part of a trend toward powerful female comics in New York.

Jewish Women’s Theatre Illuminates Gender Differences
Jewish Women’s Theatre creates three shows a year, each basd on a different theme, and takes them to JCCs, synagogues, museums and people’s homes. The JCC in Palo Alto will host Jewish Women’s Theatre three times this year; after “He Said … She Said” on Feb. 2, the company will perform “Uncuffed,” a Passover-themed show about people breaking the chains that bind them, on March 31, and “Reckoning with Dad” on June 1, just in time for Father’s Day.

Each show is about an hour and consists of eight or nine pieces, which are a mix of original writings and poems, along with essays collected from books, blogs, newspaper articles and other sources. The first production, “He Said … She Said,” is an intimate show that features performers reading personal stories about family and relationships from the point of view of both genders.

“He Said … She Said,” 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 2 at Oshman Family JCC, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto. $20-$30.

Shows to See
LezWrites! Valentine’s Day Show
Curated by Margery Kreitman
Produced by 3 Girls Theatre
hilarious monologues, and short plays, written, read and performed by lez, bi, and trans writers
February 8th @ 3pm only, Take 5 Café (Berkeley)

The Cable Car Nymphomaniac
By Kristen Guenther (librettist) and Tony Asaro (composer/lyricist)
Directed by Terry Berliner
Produced by FOGG Theatre
Featuring Rinabeth Apostol , Courtney Merrell , David Naughton, Hayley Lovgren, Carey McCray , Steven Ennis, Alex Rodriguez
A racy and uproarious new musical taking a hard and hilarious look at gender roles
Runs thru February 8th, Z Below

Music Direction by Lynne Morrow
Adaptation & Stage Direction by Jane Hammett
Produced by Sonoma State University Departments of Music and Theatre Arts & Dance
Well-behaved women rarely make history
Runs February 5th thru 15th, Evert B. Person Theatre

By Larissa Fasthorse
Directed by Ann Brebner and Jeanette Harrison
Dramaturgy by Duca Knezevic
Produced by AlterTheater
Featuring Michael J. Asberry, Nick Garcia, Patricia Silver, and Emilie Talbot
A new play about the heart of downtown
Runs thru February 1st in San Rafael, AlterTheater
Runs February 5th thru 16th in San Francisco, ACT Costume Shop
* Join WWSF Meetup Group in seeing this show on Sunday February 15th at 2pm!

By Julie Hébert
Directed by Jon Tracy
Produced by SF Playhouse
Featuring Susi Damilano, Cathleen Riddley, Tristan Cunningham, Carl Lumbly with scenic design by Nina Ball
Regional premiere tells story of three generations divided by race, culture and time
Runs thru March 7th, SF Playhouse

We Are Proud to Present…
By Jackie Sibblies Drury
Directed by Molly Aaronson Gelb
Produced by Just Theater
Featuring Rotimi Agbabiaka, Kehinde Koyejo, Lucas Hatton, Patrick Jones, David Moore, Megan Trout
Runs February 7th thru March 7th, Ashby Stage

Images: and


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