Thank You! HERSTORY 2018 Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who came out and supported HERSTORY last weekend. You all help make this work possible. We had a full house on Friday night and a sold out show for Saturday! We can’t wait to celebrate more amazing women and female artists over the rest of 2019!

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.

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.


She Speaks #Metoo

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

Allie Costa – TWO GIRLS
Diana Burbano – FENIX
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

By Christine Emmert
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Kate Urquhart & Joanna Cleary

By Erin Moughon-Smith
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Shelagh Ranalli & Tracey Eccleston

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

By Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Suzanne Langdon, Robin Bennett & Tracy Biggar

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

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

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

By Donna Spector
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Lynne McIntee

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

By Frances Roberts-Reilly
Directed by Colleen Daley
Performed by Tracy Biggar

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

By Darlene Spencer
Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley
Performed by Cathy Moore

By The Jazz Musician’s Daughter
Performed by Colleen Daley

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 3rd
March 4th


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

We hope to see you there!

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

March 8th through March 11th in Seattle

MISS EDUCATION by Charlie Cook
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*

Linda Cleckler, Jasmine Lomax, and Caitlin McCown

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

* 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!


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

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.


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
BLOODLETTING by Lisa A. Mammel
BABE by Cindy Cooper
UNVEILED By J. Thalia Cunningham
BEATEN by Carol M. Rice


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 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.

Amy Oestreicher on Legacy and Memory

Amy Oestreicher discusses her new play WE RE-MEMBER, part of HERSTORY 3: JOURNEY WOMEN, a festival of new work by emerging female writers. Interview by Natalie Osborne.

Q: How long have you been with 365 Women a Year?

A: I have been with 365 for one year – It’s my first time being involved with such an amazing group of women, and it’s been so wonderful to be a part of this community and see these stories come to light!

Q: Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind We Re-Member?

It definitely started with my Grandma, who was an amazing seamstress. I knew that as a child, because of the beautiful coats and garments she’d make us for temple. Later I learned that she was also a holocaust survivor from Czechoslovakia, which explained her accent. Even later I learned she had survived the death camps of Auschwitz through her sewing, which put her fabrics and garments in a different light. When my grandma passed, I wanted to know more about her story and remember her.

These two sisters in We Re-Member are conflicted, asking the question: how do we wear our past?

Jessie and Sam are sisters who discover boxes left by their grandmother, a Holocaust survivor who immigrated to the Lower East Side after the war, and with her husband, started one of the most successful sewing corporations in the Garment District. Sam, the older sister striving for uniqueness, and Jessie, the younger sibling longing for memory, are drawn towards piecing the fabric together in conflicting ways that threaten to tear them apart.

My grandparents, HANNAH and IRVING STOCHEL, after arriving on the Lower East Side by ship after the holocaust, founded the MYRA Corporation, one of the most successful sewing corporations on the Lower East Side. I’m doing a TEDx talk on their story in April!!!

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced while writing this play?

A: I knew I wanted to honor my grandma but I wasn’t sure how to do that. Little did I know that these sisters’ disagreement of whether to preserve the fabrics as they are, or deconstruct them in order to reassemble them differently, a conflict of philosophies, was really a battle I was going through myself – What will allow their grandparents’ memories to flourish? Is a legacy more valuable once it’s broken apart and repurposed, or kept as is? How do we re-member the pieces of our lives and honor those who came before us? So I battled with how to get all this down to 10 minutes!!!

Q:  In the title of the piece, you describe We Re-Member as a “10-page Forget-Me-Not Play,” can you tell us more about that?

A: The play is about the struggle to preserve, to not forget. I think the lesson is that there is no wrong way to remember, as long as it is in our hearts.

Q: You’re also a performer and a visual artist, how does your work in other media influence your writing and vise-versa?

A: Extremely visually! Especially because I discovered art as a way of healing and expressing what I couldn’t capture through words – I’m actually working on a new piece which incorporates live painting on Stage – eventually, I want to expand on this play, and have the two sisters, who first fight over the best way to put their grandmothers memory together, in order for it to live on, in an actual quilt or tapestry.

I always consider myself foremost a performer, because that’s what I grew up living and loving – musical theatre! As a playwright, it definitely has helped give me perspective on conveying emotions, conflicts and dynamics onstage. I still perform Gutless and Grateful, my one woman musical, all over the country, and writing that was really my first experience performing my own work!

Q: In the play the Grandmother is an immigrant, and a Holocaust survivor. Why do you think stories like this are important based on what’s happening in our country right now?

A: Because we have to remember, in all of this political tumult and conflict, that these stories we hear about in the news, of families being torn apart, these are really people, sons, daughters, wives that experience heartbreak and loss like every one of us. The breaking apart of families, the loss of loved ones, is something that we can’t continue to happen unnaturally.

My grandparents, came here and started a successful sewing corporation as immigrants. They contributed to society passionately, wholeheartedly, and were an inspiration to all they knew. I think it’s important to honor this, with the debates on Immigration in our country right now.

Q: What would you like the audience to walk away with after watching your play?

A: I want them to think about a relative, or someone, something they’ve lost in their own life, and make a decision that’s best for them – because there’s no right way to connect and honor a legacy. There’s not one way to pass on a story. It’s however we feel that we can bring their stories to light. There are many ways to sew, to re-stitch and re-member.

Q: Are there any thoughts or pieces of advice you’d like to give to your fellow writers or the theatre community at large?

A: Find what your passionate about and just start writing – from anywhere – later but figure out what speaks to you right now. Don’t think about what you should be writing. Honesty is what makes art. Or at least it’s the building blocks!

You can see We Re-Member during the HERSTORY Festival, March 9th and 10th at the Institute Library in New Haven. You can reserve your tickets ahead of time here. Tickets will also be available at the door for a $10 suggested donation. If you would like to support HERSTORY by making a small donation, click here or visit our Cafepress Store.

Be a Part of HERSTORY 3!

Would you like to play a part in making HERSTORY 3 come to life on stage?

Want to have your name posted on our website and printed in our program?

Every donation helps us make The HERSTORY Festival happen! No amount is too small, and every little bit brings more female voices onto the stage.

We’re close to reaching our goal for this year’s Festival, all we need is YOU!

Click here to donate through Paypal.


Visit our Cafepress Store where you can get all your HERSTORY 2018 Festival merch!

We couldn’t do this without all of you. Thank you for your continued generosity and support.

Lylanne Musselman on Frida Khalo, Painting, and Identity

Lylanne Musselman discusses her new play Frida Khalo: Heartbreaker, part of the HERSTORY 3: JOURNEY WOMEN. Interview by Natalie Osborne.

Q: Can you tell us more about your experience writing for 365 Women a Year? 

A: I’ve been on-board from the beginning. Jess Eisenberg is doing a great thing where women are concerned with this project to get women, well-known and obscure, on stage. I’ve met a few of the other playwrights from the project, and I was even Festival Director for the 365 Women a Year Festival in Detroit in 2016. I can’t say enough good things about 365 Women a Year!

Q: What drew you to Frida Khalo?

A: Well, I’m a visual artist too and I’ve always loved Khalo’s work – she’s so colorful! I especially love her “Self-portrait with Cropped Hair.” I was so happy to write a play featuring her for the 365 Women a Year project…I was afraid someone else would request her before I did!

Q:  What was a major challenge you had to overcome while writing this play?

A: I really didn’t want Frida to come off as shallow. I also wanted to give the play humor, but not make fun of the situation at hand. I feel that I still gave Frida respect, and I feel that there are some humorous moments without being “mean.” I also didn’t want it to be a takeoff of the movie about her life either…so I wanted to focus on other aspects than were highlighted there.

Q: Your play focuses on a side of Frida Khalo most people are unaware of, what lead you down this path?

A: As a lesbian, that didn’t come out until later in life, I was fascinated when I found out that Khalo had dalliances with women, even though she was always “with” Diego. I felt that writing this play would allow others to see that she had that side to her as well.

Q:  People seem almost as fascinated by Frida Khalo’s personal life as they are by her artwork, if not more so, why do you think that is?

A: As I said, her art is “colorful” and I think we could say her life was pretty “colorful” as well. She certainly lived her life, had a forceful personality, gave Diego as good as he sent, she was politically active at a time women weren’t known to be, and then she had such pain from the bus accident…so I think there’s a lot there for all types of people to be fascinated by!

Q:  During her life, Frida Khalo’s work was overshadowed by her husband Diego, do you see this as a problem women creators still face today?

A: Yes, she certainly was overshadowed by Diego, wasn’t she! Yes, I feel that many women still take a backseat to their partners/husbands today. And, unfortunately, being creative isn’t always seen as an integral part of our society…so if you’re a woman, and you’re creative, you’ve got two hills to climb already, then if you have a man who is not supportive…or is also in the arts, as Diego was, there’s another obstacle! I do hope that with the women’s movement picking back up again, that this will all even out for all of us.

Q:  What are you hoping audience members will be left with after seeing your play?

A: I hope it makes them think that people are attracted to who they’re attracted to…we shouldn’t be so quick to judge and put people in a box. By the same token, I feel that the play shows that if you love someone…they do have a hold over you…for better…or worse.

Q:  What’s next for you? What are you working on now?

A: I’m working on more plays for 365 Women a Year! The immediate play I’m working on is a play about another woman artist, Francoise Gilot.  I find her fascinating because she’s in her 90s now, and she still paints! In addition, she had an affair with  Picasso for 10 years and is the mother of two of his children. She also was married to Jonas Salk until he died in 1995…so I feel like she’s got a lot of interesting twists that I can write a play about! I’m also going to write a play about the poet Ruth Stone after I finish this one. Additionally, I’m always writing poems and painting!

Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

A: I have a full-length collection of poetry coming out this spring, It’s Not Love, Unfortunately, which will be published by Chatter House Press. I’d also like to express my appreciation for being a part of HERSTORY 3! I’m so honored, and especially happy that it is with my Frida Kahlo play. Thank you!

You can see Frida Khalo: Heartbreaker, March 9th and 10th at the Institute Library in New Haven. You can reserve your tickets ahead of time here. Tickets will also be available at the door for a $10 suggested donation. If you would like to support HERSTORY by making a small donation, click here or visit our Cafepress Store.