Feminist Theater News (9/12-9/21)

2015-01-29T221633Z_1159431249_GM1EB1U0H2V01_RTRMADP_3_USA-HASTY-PUDDING-1Feminist Theater News is a news round-up curated by Christine Young (creator of WWSF). If you have news or shows to see that should be included please send details to worksbywomensf@gmail.com.

ICWP Announces 2015 50/50 Applause Awards
The International Centre for Women Playwrights (ICWP) founded the 50/50 Applause Award in 2012 to “increase awareness and applaud theatres that produced a season with an equal or greater number of plays written by female playwrights.”  Several SF/Bay Area theaters have received previous awards including Symmetry Theatre (2011-12 & 2012-13), AlterTheater (2012-13 & 2013-14), Crowded Fire Theater (2013-14), Golden Thread Productions (2013-14), Playground (2013-14), and TheatreFirst (2013-14).  This year’s honorees include 60 companies from 9 countries!  See the complete list of the 2015 award-winners here.  Congratulations to Golden Thread and Playground for being recognized this year and also to Ragged Wing Ensemble for receiving their first award!

The Wild Ride: Saying YES! to a season of women playwrights
The 2015/2016 season at Magic Theatre features five plays written by women!  Artistic Director Loretta Greco shares candidly about the complex process by which this season evolved in an engaging post written for Howlround’s latest season planning series. While planning an all-female season wasn’t originally Greco’s intent, it is a notable outcome for an artistic director who prides herself on choosing excellent work.  My favorite line from her post: “For us, the search for excellence and the new has organically brought parity and diversity.”  May this perspective become the new normal for every theater in America!  

Harvard Women Audition for All-Male Theater Group
Harvard students such as Olivia Miller and Tess Davidson have had enough! They are determined to audition for Harvard’s all male Hasty Pudding Theatricals’ production this year.  The campus theater group, touted as the one of the oldest theaters in America, has a tradition of men performing onstage in both male and female roles while women are only allowed (recently!) to work backstage. Over 17 female students have signed up to audition for the current show with the hopes of ending this outdated tradition.  Earlier this year, comedian Amy Poehler received a “Woman of the Year” award from the group and she brought up the issue of women’s exclusion: “‘I want to say that it’s unsettling that there will be no women on stage tonight,’ she said, according to a WBUR report. ‘You know it’s time for a change when the Augusta National Golf Club has lapped you in terms of being progressive.’”

LAFPI Presents 365 Women A Year Readings
The LA Female Playwrights Initiative (LAFPI) is working with California playwrights involved with 365 Women A Year: A Playwriting Project to present readings of plays about women, written and directed by women, at Samuel French Bookshop in Hollywood. 365 Women A Year was founded by Jess Eisenberg and Gina Scanlon to “write women back into the social consciousness as well as empower and promote female playwrights around the country.” The works featured in the LAFPI event are inspired by important female figures such as Wang Zhenyi, Dolores Huerta, Caroline Branham, Anna Mae Aquash, Sameera Moussa and Rita Hayworth.  Artists involved in the project include: playwrights Anne Flanagan, Allie Costa, Evelyn Jean Pine (Bay Area artist!), Lisa A. Mammel, Jennie Webb, Paula Cizmar, Lucy Wang, Emily Brauer Rogers, Rhea MacCallum, Sara Israel and Monique Simpson and directors Maya Eshet, Anita Dashiell-Sparks, Kitty Lindsay, Jean Bruce Scott, Amber Scott and Olivia Espinosa. LAFPI 365 Women A Year takes place on Saturday, September 26th at 1:30 p.m. Admission is Free.

D.C. Women’s Voices Theater Festival
The coverage continues of this watershed festival of new theatrical works by women which opened two weeks ago throughout the D.C. metro area. Check out details about the launch party as well as this NYT feature.

Photo: Amy Poehler at Hasty Pudding Theatricals award-ceremony (courtesy Boston Globe)

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