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Sheila Callaghan.

Women’s Voices To Be Heard at More Than 50 D.C.-Area Theatres

Dozens of artists and companies will be part of the 2-month tribute to female playwrights.

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Women’s Voices Theater Festival has announced preliminary details of the programming for the two-month-long festival, which will unite more than 50 professional theatre companies in the D.C. metro area this coming fall. Each theatre will produce a world-premiere play from a female playwright. Highlights include new plays from Sheila Callaghan, Karin Coonrod, Jen Silverman, Jessica Dikcey, Martyna Majok and Caleen Sinnette Jennings.

The festival is the brainchild of Molly Smith, Paul R. Tetreault, Ryan Rilette, Michael Kahn, Eric Schaeffer, David Muse and Howard Shalwitz—the artistic directors of Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Round House Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, Studio Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, respectively—as a response to the current state of gender disparity in the theatre field.

The news release contained a shout-out to American Theatre, where managing editor Suzy Evans reported in our October issue that only 24 percent of productions in the 2014–15 season were written by women.

The artistic directors issued a joint statement which read, in part: “We believe the Women’s Voices Theater Festival will be the largest collaboration of theatre companies working simultaneously to produce original works by female writers in history. The scope of the project—and the speed with which theatres signed on to participate when we first started shaping it in the fall of 2013—is a testament to the desire so many have to hear more women’s voices represented in theatre. This massive undertaking, through the productions and supporting events, is ultimately a celebration of the female voice.”

The confirmed roster of participating theatres and productions so far includes:

  • 1st Stage: TBA
  • Adventure Theatre MTC: Caps For Sale, the Musical, based on the children’s book by Esphyr Slobodkina, adapted by Ann Marie Mulhearn Sayer and Michael J. Bobbitt, music and lyrics by William Yanesh, Sept. 11–27
  • Alliance for New Music-Theatre: Women of Troy/Voices from Afghanistan by Susan Galbraith, Oct. 14–Nov. 1
  • Arcturus Theater Company: The Point by Marilyn Ansevin Austin, Sept. 24–Oct.10 in Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church
  • Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater: Destiny of Desire by Karen Zacarías, Sept. 11–Oct. 18 in the Kreeger Theater, and Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End by Allison Engel and Margaret Engel, Oct. 16–Nov. 8 in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle
  • Atlas Performing Arts Center: Stay Awake by Mary Hall Surface, Oct. 2–12
    Compass Rose Theater
  • dog & pony dc: Sing Me A Song by Wyckham Avery
  • Doorway Arts Theatre Company: The Colony by Allyson Currin
  • FABUM, Inc.: TBA
  • Faction of Fools Theatre Company: Frankenstein by Lindsey D. Snyder, Oct. 8–Nov. 1 at Eastman Studio Theater at Gallaudet University
  • Factory 449: Memory Like Water by Allyson Currin, Sept. 3–27 at the Anacostia Arts Center
  • First Draft at the Rose Theatre: Stolen Beauty by Leslie Kobylinski, October–November at the Andrew Keegan Theatre/Arts Club of Washington
  • Flying V: The Oregon Trail by Bekah Brunstetter, Sept. 4–20 at The Writer’s Center
  • Folger Theatre: texts and beheadings/Elizabeth R, devised and directed by Karin Coonrod, Sept. 19–Oct. 4
  • Ford’s Theatre: The Guard by Jessica Dickey, Sept. 25–Oct. 18
  • Forum Theatre: TBA
  • Guillotine Theatre: Hootenanny by Monique LaForce, Oct. 2–11 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Oct. 16–18 in the Receiving Vault at Ivy Hill Cemetery
  • The Highwood Theatre: Duir-wyyd: The Dreamer’s Doorway by Sandra Kammann, Oct. 2–25
  • Imagination Stage: When She Had Wings by Suzan Zeder, Sept. 23–Nov. 1 at The Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre
  • The Interrobang Theatre Company and The Strand Theatre Company: Kerrmoor by Susan McCully Oct. 29–Nov. 14 at The Mercury Theatre
  • The Keegan Theatre: The Magic Tree by Ursula Rani Sarma at the Andrew Keegan Theatre, and The Dealer of Ballynafeigh by Rosemary Jenkinson at the Andrew Keegan Theatre
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: Darius & Twig by Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Oct. 31–Nov. 8 in the Kennedy Center Family Theater
  • Live Garra Theatre: A Matter of Worth by Marcia E. Cole, Oct. 12–27
  • Longacre Lea: Bones In Whispers by Kathleen Akerley, Aug. 12–Sept. 6 at The Callan Theatre, and How We Died of Disease-Related Illness by Miranda Rose Hall, Aug. 12–Sept. 6 at The Callan Theatre
  • MetroStage: Uprising by Gabrielle Fulton
  • National Museum of Women in the Arts: TBA
  • NextStop Theatre Company: The Maternity Project by Ginna Hoben, Sept. 24–Oct. 11 at The Industrial Strength Theatre
  • Olney Theatre Center: Bad Dog by Jennifer Hoppe-House, Sept. 30–Oct. 25 in the Mulitz-Gudelsky Theatre Lab
  • Pallas Theatre Collective: Clover by Laura Rocklyn and Ty Hallmark
  • Pinky Swear Productions: a play by Donna Reinhold
  • Pointless Theatre: Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana! The Carmen Miranda Story by Mel Bieler and Patti Kalil, Oct. 16–Nov. 14 at Capital Fringe’s Trinidad Theatre
  • Quotidian Theatre Company: Maytag Virgin by Audrey Cefaly, Oct. 2–Nov. 1 at The Writer’s Center
  • Rep Stage: Technicolor Life by Jami Brandli, Oct. 21–Nov. 8 at Rep Stage Smith Theatre/Horowitz Center for the Arts
  • Round House Theatre: Ironbound by Martyna Majok, Sept. 9-Oct. 4
  • Scena Theatre: Lady Lay by Lydia Stryk
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company: Salome, adapted and directed by Yaël Farber in the Lansburgh Theatre
  • Signature Theatre: Cake Off, based on the original play by Sheri Wilner, book by Sheri Wilner and Julia Jordan, lyrics by Julia Jordan and Adam Gwon, music by Adam Gwon, Sept 29–Nov. 22
  • Single Carrot Theatre: Phoebe in Winter by Jen Silverman
  • Spooky Action Theater Company: Can’t Complain by Christine Evans, Oct. 1–Oct. 25
  • Studio Theatre: Animal by Clare Lizzimore
  • Synetic Theater: Alice in Wonderland by Lloyd Rose, Sept. 30–Nov. 8
  • Taffety Punk Theatre Company: Playwright Liz Maestri, Sept. 18-Oct. 10
  • Theater Alliance: Night Falls on the Blue Planet by Kathleen Akerley, Sept. 3–28
  • Theater J: Queens Girl in the World by Caleen Sinnette Jennings, Sept. 16–Oct. 11
  • Thelma Theatre: Whenever You’re Near Me I Feel Sick by Jennie Berman Eng, Sept. 17–Oct. 4 at Trinidad Theatre, and Princess Margaret by Patricia Connelly, Sept. 17-Oct. 4 at Trinidad Theatre
  • Tonic Theater Company: A Hero of the Revolution by D.W. Gregory
  • Unexpected Stage Company: Trish Tinkler Gets Saved by Jacqueline Goldfinger, Oct. 8–18 at Randolph Road Theater
  • Venus Theatre Company: Witches Vanish by Claudia Barnett, Aug. 20–Sept. 13 at
  • Venus Theatre Play Shack: Raw by Amy Bernstein, Oct. 22–Nov. 15 at Venus Theatre Play Shack
  • Washington Improv Theater: The October Issue by Jaci Pulice and the October Issue ensemble, Sept. 17–Oct. 10 at Source
  • Washington Women in Theatre: Just Between Us by Marilyn Hausfeld
  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company: Women Laughing Alone With Salad by Sheila Callaghan, Sept. 7–Oct. 4
  • Young Playwrights’ Theater: Girls Write Out! by four young female playwrights

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