Theater Companies & Collectives

3 Girls Theatre Company (San Francisco)
Founded in 2011 by Suze Allen, A.J. Baker, and Lee Brady, this company has a singular mission:  to put women’s work on stage where it belongs.   The founders — all playwrights — were inspired by their desire to retain control over their own work and challenge the theater establishment’s acceptance of a status quo dominated by the male perspective.

Box Festival (Detroit)
BoxFest Detroit has been running since 2008 and it is an organization that showcases and creates opportunities for women directors that allow them the opportunities to direct original shows of their choice and win awards to help further their careers in directing. Proceeds from each festival are given to one or more directors as a scholarship to help further her career. One director is given the opportunity to attend the Actor/Director Lab at Purple Rose Theater Company free of charge. The winning director of the audience vote competition is given the opportunity to direct a show with Planet Ant Theatre’s Late Night Series.

Brave Spirits Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
Founded by Charlene V. Smith and Victoria Reinsel, Brave Spirits believes they have an ethical responsibility to address the disparity of the female presence in classical theatre. Though women make up 51% of the population, only 16% of Shakespeare’s characters are female. By engaging in cross-gender casting and re-gendering characters, they seek to increase women’s access to and voice in the canon of great dramatic works.

Dramatic Women (Santa Barbara)
Dramatic Women was founded in 1993 to explore and promote the participation of women in all areas of theatre and to produce original scripts by locally-based writers. And in the many years that followed they have produced the work of 30 playwrights, 21 of them women, and 31 directors, 22 of them women.

G!rl Be Heard (Manhattan/Brooklyn, New York)
Girl Be Heard was founded in 2008 by Carol Auerbach, Perry Kerry, and Nigel Barker as a nonprofit theatre company and educational program that brings social justice issues affecting girls center stage by empowering young women to become brave, socially conscious leaders in their communities through theater, dance, and song.

Guerrilla Girls On Tour (USA)
An anonymous theater collective whose mission is to create new plays that dramatize women’s history and address the current state of women in the performing arts and beyond. Their performances use comedic, physical, and vaudevillian-like techniques to prove that feminists are funny. In order to put the focus of their work entirely on the issues they are addressing, each member performs under the name of a dead woman artist and wears a gorilla mask to conceal her true identity.

LA Female Playwrights’ Initiative (Los Angeles)
An advocacy group founded by playwrights Laura Shamas, Jennie WebbVelina Hasu Houston, Paula Cizmar, E.M. Lewis, Katherine James, Mary F. Casey, Diane Grant, and Ella Mart to promote female playwrights based in Los Angeles – specifically by creating an active nexus between theaters, companies, organizations and theater artists who want to produce, promote and employ women playwrights.

LA Women’s Shakespeare Company (Los Angeles)
A nonprofit organization, The Los Angeles Women’s Shakespeare Company (LAWSC)  produces professional productions of Shakespeare’s plays with an all-female ensemble, providing opportunities for collaboration between multiracial and highly accomplished artists – actors, producers, directors, choreographers, designers and educators. LAWSC’s productions illuminate contemporary issues through a classical context, offering a unique political and social perspective.

Luna Sea Theatre (Nova Scotia, Canada)
LunaSea Theatre Company seeks to give voice to women’s stories and perspectives and to showcase the rich diversity of female theatrical artists and to create essential, world-class theatre in Nova Scotia. The company is committed, primarily, to working with actors resident in this province, but is open to working with artists living elsewhere in order to stimulate new ideas and fresh energy.

Moxie Theatre (San Diego)
Founded in 2005 by Jo Anne Glover, Liv Kellgren, Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, and Jennifer Eve Thorn, MOXIE’s mission is to create more diverse and honest images of women for our culture using the art of theater. Through the production of primarily female playwrights and particularly plays that defy stereotypes of what women can write about, MOXIE expands the idea of what is feminine. Their dedication to finding work that is under-produced means they’re discovering the classics of the future.

New Georges (NYC)
Founded in 1992, this company has gained a reputation for innovative productions of ambitious new plays, and as a productive home for the country’s most promising and accomplished women theater artists. One of their special contributions is their long-term commitment to give their affiliated artists (approximately 150 playwrights, directors, actors and designers) the time and resources they need to flourish in a difficult field.

New Perspective Theatre Company (NYC)
Founded in 1991 by Melody Brooks (one of the co-founders of the 50/50 in 2020 campaign for gender parity), New Perspectives is a multi-racial ensemble dedicated to using theatre as an agent for positive social change. Their mission is to develop and present new plays and playwrights, particularly women and people of color, present classic plays in a style that sheds new light on our lives and work, and present theatre to under-served audiences, especially young people.

On Her Shoulders (NYC)
Founded in 2012 by playwright Andrea Lepcio, performer Lillian Rodriguez, and dramaturg/scholar Susan Jonas, the reading series is a new initiative, dedicated to “re-loading the canon” by familiarizing potential producers and audiences with a neglected legacy of plays by great playwrights. On Her Shoulders encourages: teachers to include the plays written by women on their syllabi; students to make use of the materials for monologues and scene study; and professionals to consider plays written by women for production.

Tennessee Women’s Theater Project (Nashville)
5-year old professional company devoted to producing plays that express the human condition in the female voice and to providing acting, directing, design, and management opportunities for women in professional theater.

Venus Theatre (Washington, D.C.)
Founded in 2000 by solo performer Deborah Randall, Venus has produced over 50 plays that empower women. Producing primarily new plays, Venus also offers programs for youth in their storefront black-box theater.

Vertigo Theater (New York)
Vertigo Theater Company was formed in 2013 to foster a diverse, collaborative community that challenges and nurtures creative artists to develop and produce new works and adaptations that strives to make provocative theater accessible to all walks of life.

Weird Sisters Theatre Project (Atlanta)
The Weird Sisters Theatre Project was founded in 2012 by a coalition of artists associated with the Atlanta Shakespeare Company. Their Mission is to foster and cultivate opportunities for women in the theatrical arts. The Weird Sisters Theatre Project is committed to creating theatre by women, for everyone.

Women & Theatre (United Kingdom)
Producing company based in Birmingham, UK, devoted to creating high-quality new theater of contemporary relevance that recognizes and represents women’s experiences, embraces cultural diversity, and reflects the language and lives of ordinary people.

Women’s Theater Company (New Jersey)
Founded in 1993 by three actresses who wanted more opportunities, this company supports the development of new women artists, promotes new work for American theater, and seeks to provide a fertile environment for the advancement of professional women theater artists and to provide quality theater for the community at large.

3 responses to “Theater Companies & Collectives

  1. 20% Theatre Company in Chicago

    Mission: 20% Theatre Company Chicago is dedicated to strengthening the presence and raising public awareness of women artists in theatre. It is estimated that only 20% of theatre professionals are women. By building a community of theatre professionals and fostering emerging female artists through workshops and new plays, we provide opportunities for women directors, producers, designers, and playwrights. 20% Theatre Company Chicago strives to increase the number of women in theatre.

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