Ladies First December 2018

LADIES FIRST is a list of new productions, workshops, readings, and publications by female playwrights. Our goal is to create greater gender parity in theatre by highlighting the works of female writers and the organizations that promote and produce their works.

The #metoo plays
A tribute to the heroes who speak out, the survivors who can’t. The
#metoo plays are currently running off-Broadway at The Alternative
Theater, now through December 8th.

Selected plays:
A Criminal Report by Mercedes Segesvary
​Can You Hear Me Now by Nicole Amsler
​Crush by Sarah Elizabeth Grace
​Elevator Repair by Steve Apostolina
​Family Planning by John Minigan
​He Said, He Said by Judy Dodd
​Hometown Premier by Carol Hollenbeck
​Normal by Christine Foster
​Some Boys by Daniel Capalbo, Jr.
​The Bedroom Summit by Scott C. Sickles
​The Proceedings by Thomas J. Misuraca
​Tip by Frank Tangredi
​Two Girls by Allie Costa
Washington Monument by W.A. Walters
​When Guys Talk by Angela Cerrito
​Wounded Warrior by Jeffrey Strausser

The plays are running in two series, Resist and Persist.

For more details on the plays, complete with cast lists, visit:
https://www.metooplays.com/copy-of-home

Tickets:
https://www.artful.ly/the-metoo-plays

To submit to the January issue of LADIES FIRST, email natalie.noplays@gmail.com before the end of the month. Send us your name, the name of your play, the name of the theatre producing your work, a sentence or two about the play, the where and when, and an image. Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s LADIES FIRST newsletter.
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Ladies First October 2018

Making Frankenstein

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The #MeToo Play

A tribute to the heroes who speak out, the survivors who can’t. The
#metoo plays will be produced Off-Broadway October 24th through
November 5th. Tickets + location details available soon.
http://www.metooplays.com
https://fundraising.fracturedatlas.org/the-metoo-plays/campaigns/2102

Selected plays:
A Criminal Report by Mercedes Segesvary
​Can You Hear Me Now by Nicole Amsler
​Crush by Sarah Elizabeth Grace
​Elevator Repair by Steve Apostolina
​Family Planning by John Minigan
​He Said, He Said by Judy Dodd
​Hometown Premier by Carol Hollenbeck
​Normal by Christine Foster
​Some Boys by Daniel Capalbo, Jr.
​The Bedroom Summit by Scott C. Sickles
​The Proceedings by Thomas J. Misuraca
​Tip by Frank Tangredi
​Two Girls by Allie Costa
​When Guys Talk by Angela Cerrito
​Wounded Warrior by Jeffrey Strausser

Ladies First May 2018

LADIES FIRST is a list of new productions, workshops, readings, and publications by female playwrights. Our goal is to create greater gender parity in theatre by highlighting the works of female writers and the organizations that promote and produce their works.

On Saturday, May 19th, Four Quarter Theater presents RESISTANCE – a night of short play readings on a common theme.

BOXES ARE MAGIC by Allie Costa
with Shaun Cott / Sarah Hysjulien

FIRESIDE CHAT by Lewis Shilane
with Gene Taylor / Maya Rose Hormadaly / Anthony Castellano

THE WOMENS FOLLOW YOUR DREAM CLUB by Jack Feldstein
with Shaun Cott / Marcella Baglione / Sarah Hysjulien

MISS SMITH SPEAKS TO THE PTA by Adam Seidel
with Jo Walker

DRIVING GREEN by Martin Blank
with Maya Hormadaly / Dana Trottier / Anthony Castellano

FOR HER FINAL ACT by Dana Trottier
with Jo Walker / Dana Trottier

All plays directed by Kirby Mason.

https://resistance.brownpapertickets.com/
Saturday, May 19th @ 8 PM
Comley Studio Lab at the Drama League Theater Center
32 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10013
Doors open at 7:30 PM
$7 in Advance / $10 at the Door

For more info, go to http://www.fourquartertheater.com or email fourquartertheater@gmail.com

Join us for the #metooplays.

500 plays were submitted. 30 semi-finalists were selected. 10 will be presented at each reading, in May, June, and July. The final eight plays will be chosen to move forward for a fully-staged production Off-Broadway.

The reading on Monday, May 21st will include plays written by Claire Mascarenhas, Nicole Amsler, Jonathon Ward, John Minigan, Christine Foster, Carol Hollenbeck, Russell Nichols, Robin Doupe, John Bavoso, and Allie Costa.

Location:
Duke Ellington Performing Space, 400 West 43rd, New York.

Tickets and more info:
https://www.metooplays.com/get-involved

#metooplays #metoo

To submit to the June issue of LADIES FIRST, email natalie.noplays@gmail.com before the end of the month. Send us your name, the name of your play, the name of the theatre producing your work, a sentence or two about the play, the where and when, and an image. Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s LADIES FIRST newsletter.

Happy International Women’s Day!

We hope you’ll celebrate with us this weekend by coming to see HERSTORY 3: JOURNEY WOMEN at the Institute Library.

Thank you to the following organizations for helping to make this years Festival a success:

    

 

If YOU would like to be a sponsor, there’s still time, BUT HURRY! The deadline is tomorrow at noon. Click here.

Kendra Augustin on Saints and Stigmatism

Kendra Augustin discusses her new play The Astonishing and The Lily, premiering this weekend as part of HERSTORY 3 at the Institute Library. Interview by Natalie Osborne.

Q: What drew you to Christina the Astonishing and Saint Dymphna?

A: One of the playwrights was writing about nuns and it made me want to write about nuns, but somehow researching nuns led me to researching saints and I found Christina the Astonishing. Her story sounded insane and unreal, but it turns out, she, like Jesus, are real people whether or not people believe in the events that happened to/around/because of them. Saint Dymphna was by accident. I told my friend about Christina, but she said Dymphna was the patron saint of mental illness and she would know because Dymphna was her patron saint. But, the end of December came along and I didn’t know what angle I wanted to take with Christina, and I was having a holiday lunch with two fellow artists, one also a 365 writer, and she made a joke about Dymphna and Christina fighting about their title and that’s how the play came to be.

Q: In the play and in real life, Christina was the one who lived with the stigma of mental illness, but it was Saint Dymphna who was recognized by the Church, can you talk more about the importance of this? 

A: The importance of this is that Dymphna is the one that is recognized. Like when I said my friend corrected me that Dymphna was the rightful patron saint that meant that when Catholics give their children saints to protect them they’re likely not doing it with Christina. They probably don’t know Christina which reduces her to a fairy tale/forgotten character in history.

Q: What do you think writers can do to challenge the stigmatism around mental illness that exist in our society today?

A: I notice a lot of stories are about how hard it is to deal with people/be related to people who have a mental illness, so I think when writers write about what living with mental illness means that can help destigmatize. And I know in the theatre we like DRAMA but sometimes you can be “normal” but still be depressed. If we show mental illness, not as just this thing that is so obvious and over the top SO ALL THE WORLD CAN SEE, but something that’s almost like the beating heart in The Tell-Tale heart then maybe audiences will get it. For example, if we can stop showing OCD as people who are just germaphobes that can help. Because it’s much darker and borderline psychosis!  Or show that not all depressed people are not just walking black clouds. Then people will stop saying, “oh, but she seemed so happy.” after someone ends their life. Maybe it’ll inspire people to check up on their friends who make too many jokes about suicide, or seem too pessimistic, or seem too isolated.  I like to think mental illness is like cancer in that you can be in remission and then it can come back. And then it can go. And come back.

Q: Can you talk more about your relationship to Catholicism (or religion in general) and how that shaped your approach to this play?

A: I guess you can say I’m Catholic if you believe that we inherit the religions our parents also inherited. But, I don’t consider myself Catholic. But, I did get into church (of the Protestant variety) at 16 because I wanted to go to summer camp (and I wanted friends). And that want allowed me to have friends, to have a social life, to learn social skills, and I went to church like 6 days a week because it was where my “family” was!  But, anyway I think being culturally shaped by Catholicism, joining the Protestants for a few years, and living with Seventh-day Adventists my first few years in NYC shaped my approach to this play because when I was peak “mentally unwell” I went back to religion and did not feel better. It’s commonly known that it’s tough, if you have some sort of mental health issue, to be around religious people because you’ll be told to pray or to seek God, or whatever and if you don’t feel better then you end up feeling worse and slipping further into mental unwellness. So, I think that’s what inspired the debate between Dymphna and Christina about what it means to go through mental illness and what it means to heal people who are suffering from mental illness. Another thing that inspired me is that that sometimes, I think mental illness is a good thing that is treated like a bad thing because other people (what some call “neurotypical” ) aren’t as in tune with what “mentally unwell” people are in tune with so they seek to fix them. I mean people do drugs to trip and some of us trip just by being alive.

Q: One part of your play that I found the most thought-provoking and challenging was the conflict between spirituality and religion, can you speak more about this?

A: Don’t get me wrong, Christina is recognized, she has a memorial day, people pray to her, but the Catholic church has not officially approved her and I think it is because she’s a bit more scandalous. Dymphna is lauded for her virtue (she died at 15 though) whereas Christina probably sounded like a nut because she talked about speaking to God, and was horrified by human flesh when she returned from her death and lived a life of no possession legend tells. People, even now, think you’re nutty if you do that. Because it’s that thing about being different from what’s perceived as normal or good. Dymphna lived scandal-free, but again she died at 15! Christina lived till she was 77. It’s like how we learn about Rosa Parks, and not Claudette Colvin because Rosa had the cleaner image. I learned about Claudette, by a random woman on the street while leaving the public library. And of course I thought she was a nut, but she was just telling me a story I hadn’t been told and I think that’s Christina’s thing.

But back to religion and spirituality. I know many Christians who will say I don’t have a religion I have a relationship with Christ. Religion is the rule and relationship is the thing that saves you. If you do believe in heaven and if it is true, your relationship with God is gonna save you and not you attending Church to look good. Somewhere in the Christian bible, God says that there will be people who think they’ll get into heaven, but I’ll say to them I don’t even know you.” Of course, it’s written in a classier way than I wrote it here!

But, I’m glad you asked this question. Dymphna is akin to the model Christian. The reason many people fear going to church is that they think it’s a place for perfect people. But the motto is always: “church is a hospital for sinners.” But, then Christina is the person who actually knows God, but she’s not perfect. She’s “strange” but she has that personal relationship. I like to think of the people on the streets who look homeless, and start speaking about God are actually in tune, and maybe we’re the crazy ones!

Q:  Where would you like to see The Astonishing and The Lily go after HERSTORY?

A: Churches and colleges because why not!

Q: Are you working on any plays for 365 Women a Year 2018? 

A: Yes, this year I claimed Fredi Washington (Peola in Imitation of Life) a Harlem Renaissance era film actress who could have passed for white, but chose not to and that made her career tough!

I also chose Virginia Woolf because this year we can choose women who have already been written about, and I wanted to choose between her and Sylvia Plath the first year, but she was already taken. I know nothing about her really, but I’m excited to learn more about her. I am unfortunately a sucker for female creatives who ended their lives.

I was gonna add Viola Spolin to the list, but I can’t handle that much writing in one year. But, maybe in the next five years, I’ll write about the woman whose book was my textbook for improv in college. Since I am involved in the comedy scene I see Del Close is considered the improv master, but they don’t know about Ms. Spolin except maybe those who took improv in college?

Q: What advice do you have for writers who are writing for 365 Women a Year for the first time?

A: Jess is cool because she doesn’t need it to be the perfect format, she just needs you to write. I say do that. Even if it’s 3 pages, even it’s 320 pages just do it and then also submit it on time. I remember when I was writing about Sylvia I had to stop because I…uh… wasn’t doing so well, but I made it my mission to finish that play by December 31st and by, George, I did it!

Come see Kendra’s play, and the other plays in our festival, Friday and Saturday evening at 7pm. Reserve your tickets ahead of time here.

Ladies First March 2018

LADIES FIRST is a list of new productions, workshops, readings, and publications by female playwrights. Our goal is to create greater gender parity in theatre by highlighting the works of female writers and the organizations that promote and produce their works.

FESTIVALS:

She Speaks #Metoo

March 1st, 7pm-9pm, Paris, France

https://www.facebook.com/events/182898452480666/

featuring
Jean Hedgecock Armstrong – SNOW EVERYWHERE DESCENDING
Allie Costa – TWO GIRLS
Diana Burbano – FENIX
Erin Moughon – OUT OF A BODY ON A TRAIN
Donna Latham – SHE SAID
Paddy Gillard-Bentley IS THERE AN APP FOR THAT?
Brenda Foley – CAMOUFLAGE
Paddy Gillard-Bentley – IT MUST BE GOOD RIGHT
Darlene Spencer – YELLOW CAB – BLACK CAB
Morgan Trant Kinnally – THIS DRESS
Frances Roberts-Reilly – FULL FATHOM MY FATHER LIES
Geralyn Horton – RUTH

Feisty Women Festival

Thursday, March 1st, 7:30 pm at Bernie Wohl Theatre, New York, NY

 

The FEISTY WOMEN FESTIVAL features staged readings of work by Suzanne Willett, Robin Rice, Fengar Gael, Renee´ Flemings, Sharon E. Cooper, Cindy Cooper, Patricia Davis and Melissa Bell, directed by Jessica Bauman, Lucy Gram, Chelsea Anderson-Long and Rachael Murray.
The cast includes Jess Beveridge, William Clark, Cara Feuer, Sarah Kiefer*, Allison Linker, Gabrielle Maisels, Kyle Minshew*, Jared Mason Murray, Abigail Ramsay,  Traci Tolmaire*, and
Crystal L. Ward.

Prepare the Words by Suzanne Willett
The Straight and Narrow by Robin Rice
Tsunami Sisters by Fengar Gael
BFFs by Renee´ Flemings
Fish Story by Patricia Davis
Women’s Health and Wellness by Sharon Cooper
The Accounting Department by Cindy Cooper

Mini’s Comeback by Melissa Bell

Bernie Wohl Theater
​647 Columbus Avenue btw 91st & 92nd Sts

She Speaks: #MeToo  – in Ontario, Canada

March 3rd and 4th

JUST FOR THE WEEKEND
By Christine Emmert
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Kate Urquhart & Joanna Cleary

OUT OF BODY ON A TRAIN
By Erin Moughon-Smith
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Shelagh Ranalli & Tracey Eccleston

CAMOUFLAGE
By Brenda Foley
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Cathy Moore, Scott Cooper & Robin Bennett

IS THERE AN APP FOR THAT?
By Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Suzanne Langdon, Robin Bennett & Tracy Biggar

MAGGIE
By Joanna Cleary
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Bo Margaret (Sat) Darlene Spencer (Sun) & Colleen Daley

SNOW EVERYWHERE DESCENDING
By Jean Hedgecock Armstrong
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Shelagh Ranalli, Robin Bennett & Scott Cooper

RUTH
By Geralyn Horton
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Mary Neil

SALLY’S MONOLOGUE
By Donna Spector
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Lynne McIntee

FÉNIX
By Diana Burbano
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Ámbar Hernández

FULL FATHOM FIVE MY FATHER’S LIES
By Frances Roberts-Reilly
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Tracy Biggar

TWO GIRLS
By Allie Costa
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Joanna Cleary & Tracey Kenyon

YELLOW CAB – BLACK CAB
By Darlene Spencer
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Cathy Moore

IT MUST BE GOOD, RIGHT?
By The Jazz Musician’s Daughter
Performed by Colleen Daley

NEW OLD STUFF
By Kate Urquhart
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Suzanne Langdon

A talkback will follow with the audience. Joan, a staff member from The Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region, will be on hand.

March 3rdhttps://www.facebook.com/events/152186112107670/
March 4thhttps://www.facebook.com/events/326323364538537/

HERSTORY 3: JOURNEY WOMEN

March 9th-10th, New Haven, CT

HERSTORY will take place at the Institute Library in New Haven, CT, March 9th and 10th at 7pm. Plays include We-Remember written by Amy Oestricher and directed by Ingrid Oslund, Frida Kahlo: Heartbreaker written by Lylanne Musselman and directed by Teresa Langston, The Astonishing and the Lily written by Kendra Augustin and directed by Keith Paul, and The Legend of Sigridur Tomasdottir written by Natalie Osborne and directed by Moira Malone. There will be a raffle with gift cards to local business and other fabulous prizes. Refreshments will be served free of charge. There is a $10 suggested donation for entry. Tickets are available at the door or at https://institutelibrary.z2systems.com/np/clients/institutelibrary/event.jsp?event=1203

We hope to see you there!

Fantastic.Z’s 6th Annual New Works Festival: Femme

March 8th through March 11th in Seattle

featuring
MISS EDUCATION by Charlie Cook
WHO SHE COULD HAVE BEEN by Allie Costa
TINY MOMENTS IN BETWEEN by Sarah Haas
THE WAY BACK by Rebecca K. Hsia
PERFORMANCE REVIEW by Nedra Pezold Roberts
I’M LOVIN’ IT by Jessi Pitts

*Opening Night is Followed by an Artist Talk-Back*

DIRECTORS:
Linda Cleckler, Jasmine Lomax, and Caitlin McCown

ENSEMBLE:
Simone Dawson, MJ Jurgensen, Maddy Noonan, Duncan Pound, Stephanie Spohrer, and Emma Wilkinson

DRAMATURG:  Claire Koleske
STAGE MANAGER:  Rebecca K. Hsia
ASST STAGE MANAGER:  Queenelle Gazmen
LIGHTS:  Keny Dutton
SOUND:  Stefanie M. Senior
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Margarita Mouschovias

MARCH 8th – 11th
18th and Union Art Space
1406 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
http://www.fantasticz.org
https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3086683

* Fantastic.Z’s B-SIDES Matinee Saturday March 10th at 2 PM is a pay what you can at the door event.*

INK Fest in Los Angeles

March 9th through March 11th

2Cents Theatre Group’s popular 3-day festival of female playwrights is back for year five and we’re gearing up for the most exciting INK yet!

featuring

34B by Rosemary Frisino Toohey
All We Know is Not Enough by Darcy Parker Bruce
Ava Maria by Anne Flanagan
Dalton by Dagney Kerr
Extra, Extra! by Iona Cruey Holder
Follow Through by Jaime Becker
I Can Speak: the Does by Juanita Chase de Lamont
If I Fell by Laura Stribling
Jim Reaper by Tracey Jane Smith
Little Swan a pas de deux by Allie Costa
Mirror, Mirror by Laura King
Phoenix by Penny Jackson
The Baby Shower by Stevie Stern
The Dreamy One by Brittny Roberts
The Ethel Party by Lolly Ward
The Misfit Mantra by Amy Dellagiarino
The Porch Swing by Alli Miller
This Almost Joy by Barbara Lindsay
Thunder by Wendy Gough Soroka
We Will Not Describe the Conversation by Eugenie Carabatsos
Woman on the Bridge by Julia Pascal
Young Savages by Skyler Barrett

http://2centstheatre.wixsite.com/2centstheatre/actingoutinkfest

Untold Stories of Jewish Women

March 20th-22nd, New York City, NY

Untold Stories of Jewish Women
A Festival of Plays, Music, and Conversation
March 20-22 (All-Day)
at the Museum of Jewish Heritage

This three-day festival of readings and performances, including theater, music, and conversation, will challenge the stereotypes of Jewish women’s lives and elevate their voices.

Sample events are below; complete schedules will be available soon.

Tickets for each day are available, as well as tickets to the Celebration held Tuesday from 6 – 8 PM. Or purchase the All Festival Pass which includes all three days as well as the Celebration.

Day One: Jewish Women Before the Holocaust | Tuesday, March 20, 10 AM – 5 PM
•  Excerpts and full-length readings about Biblical figures (Tamar, Lot’s Wife, Devorah) as well as historical figures (Emma Goldman, Stella Adler)
•  Lilith Salon: Historical Perspectives on Jewish Women (moderated by Lilith Magazine staff)

Celebration | Tuesday, March 20, 6 – 8 PM
• Songs and monologues by established and up-and-coming writers performed by actors including Tovah Feldshuh, the writers themselves, and more

Day Two: Jewish Women in the Holocaust and Its Aftermath | Wednesday, March 21, 10 AM – 6 PM
•  Excerpts and full-length readings about well-known women such as Hannah Arendt, Hannah Senesh, Edith Stein, as well as unnamed women of that time
•  Lilith Salon: The Damage of the Holocaust—The Discussed and Undiscussed Toil (moderated by Lilith Magazine staff)

Day Three: Jewish Women in the Twentieth Century to Now | Thursday, March 22, 10 AM – 6 PM
•  Excerpts and full-length readings about Lee Krasner, Shirley Jackson, Monica Lewinsky
•  Lilith Salon: What IS a Jewish Woman? (moderated by Lilith Magazine staff)

Choose from the links below to purchase tickets:

365 Women a Year Festival in Plano, Texas

365 Women A Year, whose focus is to write and present plays about extraordinary women, bring women back into the social consciousness, and plant seeds of herstory around the country.

featuring

BEST ACTRESS 1962 by Allie Costa
EVERY ROSE by Danielle Wirsansky
SARAH’S POEM by Charissa Menefee
OLGA’S LETTER By J. Sanders Nelson
AN UNTIMELY LIKENESS by Nancy Cooper Frank
ADMIRAL GRACE HOPPER REVISITS by Jennifer O’Grady
BLOODLETTING by Lisa A. Mammel
BRYNLEE & THE BULL by Sean Nill
BABE by Cindy Cooper
DAISY, FIRST GIRL SCOUT by Susan Shafer
THREE JUDY GARLANDS by Jess Eisenberg
UNVEILED By J. Thalia Cunningham
BEATEN by Carol M. Rice
BETWEEN US GALS by Sue Yocum

https://www.facebook.com/events/157510558245129/
https://roverdramawerks.thundertix.com/events/113005/performances

READINGS:

The Bechdel Group

Monday, March 5th from 6-9 pm, New York, NY

In Mathilde Dratwa’s Milk and Gall, Vera gives birth to a shape-shifting baby on election night, and attempts to navigate the chaos of that first year as a new mom amid political turmoil.

And in Susan Hansell’s An Ocean of Bees, four characters represent the human species in a post-apocalyptic future. How will they find their humanity?

There’s some exciting stuff here – both in the scripts themselves and in looking at the way they support our mission. What happens when the parameters of ‘the test’ are blurred? We’d love you to be part of the conversation.

We will be at The Tank in midtown Manhattan (312 West 36th Street at 8th Avenue). Hope to see you there!

To submit to the April issue of LADIES FIRST, email natalie.noplays@gmail.com before the end of the month. Send us your name, the name of your play, the name of the theatre producing your work, a sentence or two about the play, the where and when, and an image. Thank you to everyone who participated in this month’s LADIES FIRST newsletter.