Bechdel Fest 3: Find Your Voice (Sept. 20–23), a collection of new works with all-female casts, kicks off the season at the Den Theatre in Wicker Park. The Bechdel Fest, now in its third annual iteration at Broken Nose, requires that all featured plays pass the now-famous Bechdel-Wallace test, a stipulation that at least two of the work’s female characters discuss something other than a man.
The world premiere of A Phase (Winter 2016), Elise Spoerlein’s exploration of gender-specific narratives and sexual fulfillment, follows soon after. Spenser Davis directs.
Artistic director Benjamin Brownson concludes the season with Human Terrain (June 2–July 3, 2016), about a female anthropologist working alongside American forces in war-torn Iraq. The play, authored by award-winning Midwest playwright Jennifer Blackmer, was a finalist in the Yale Drama Competition, a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award in Playwriting, and a finalist for the O’Neill National Playwrights’ Conference.
“Addressing gender parity in theatre, both onstage and off, has been one of our priorities from the beginning,” said Brownson in a statement. “By making all performances pay-what-you-can, we are also doubling down on our commitment to making theatre more economically accessible to wider audiences by removing the financial barrier that prohibits many from seeing theatre.”