Launch for NOplays

NOplays needs YOUR help to continue supporting  women in theatre and the arts! We’re hosting a fundraiser at Launch Trampoline Park in Hartford, CT, and we need YOU to come jump for us!

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The event is taking place Thursday night, June 30th, from 3:30 to 8pm. We need at least 25 jumpers to receive 25% of the proceeds. Just come to Launch Trampoline Park, bring a flyer for the event and/or say you’re with NOplays when you check in.

Launch Trampoline Park is at 91 Brainard Rd. Hartford, CT 06114

Let’s jump for gender equality!

Click here to see Launch’s website:

http://launchct.com/

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A Year in NOplays

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2015 was a huge year for NOplays!

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365 Women a Year at Bennington College, our first production, happened this March. We had an excellent turnout both locally with audience members who attended the event live, and an international audience who tuned into the live-stream. We introduced four new works by female playwrights Shellen Lubin, Maia Villa, Catherine Weingarten, and Natalie Osborne. Their plays celebrate the achievements of extraordinary women such as Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Bishop, Stella Adler, Slyvia Gassel, and Gloria Anzaldua.

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LADIES FIRST, a newsletter for new productions, workshops, readings, and publications by female playwrights, launched it’s first two issues this November and December. The goals of LADIES FIRST are to create greater gender parity in theatre by highlighting the works of female writers and the organizations that promote and produce their works.

None of this would be possible without support from our communities, from the many theatre-makers who have given their time and talents to our projects, and from our followers. Thank you for an amazing year, and we hope 2016 will be an even bigger one!

So What’s Next for 2016?

365 Woman a Year is Back!

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NOplays, in collaboration with Hubbard Hall, will be presenting another production of the 365 Women a Year, Bennington plays. The production will be part of Hubbard Hall’s Winter Carnival this January.

Featuring three returning plays; Making Frankenstein by Natalie Osborne, Feelin’ Lonely by Catherine Weingarten, and After the Thin Man by Shellen Lubin.

The production will also feature one world premiere, Pina by Emma Plotkin.

En El Medio, by Maia Villa, one of the four original 365 Women a Year plays, is currently being workshopped by Chicanas Cholas y Chisme in Los Angeles, and will have a production in March 2016.

The 365 Women a Year performances will take place the evenings of Friday, January 29th and Saturday, January 30th.

Hope to see you there, and have a safe and happy New Year!

 

LADIES FIRST Deadline Approaches

The deadline for the first LADIES FIRST newsletter is this Sunday!

If you’re a theatre or female playwright who has a reading, production, or workshop coming up this November, remember to submit your event to the LADIES FIRST newsletter.

LADIES FIRST is a monthly newsletter of world premiere productions and readings of plays by female authors.

The goals of LADIES FIRST are to:

A.) Promote woman writers and the theaters that produce their works.

B.) Create a wider network of female playwrights.

C.) Provide a platform for producers, artistic directors, and other theatre-makers to find new works by female authors.

The first LADIES FIRST newsletter will be published this November on the NOplays blog.

What we want from YOU:

Your name, the name of your play, 1-2 sentences about your play, the name of the theatre putting your play up, the where and when, and an image of some sort.

Email the info before November 1st to natalie.noplays@gmail.com to be considered for the November newsletter. Only productions and readings happening in November will be a part of the November newsletter.

And a huge shout-out to the Dramatist for this months amazing issue on The Count! We’ve got a lot a work ahead of us in order to create gender parity in theatre, so let’s get to it!

Wellness Week Open Mic Night

As part of Wellness Week, BeWell and the Bennington Drama Collective will be hosting “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby!” an open mic night on consent, safe sex, and sex positivity. There will be new student works ranging from music to poetry to drama, including Me, Myself, and I, a new play by yours truly! Tonight at 10pm in Bennington College’s Downcafe. Hope to see you there!

Interview with Catherine Weingarten

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Catherine Weingarten discusses her new play FEELIN LONELY. This is the first in a series of four posts featuring the playwrights of the Bennington 365 Women a Year Festival.

Interviewer: Natalie Osborne

Q: How did you hear about 365 Women a Year? 

A: Last year I got in touch with Jesslynn Chamblee because we both were selected for a few of the same short play festivals. She was super fun to talk to and we ended up commiserating about grad school, being a female playwright and submission opportunities. Then she told me about her awesome project “365 Women” and I decided to join the Facebook group and give it a go!

Q: Why did you choose Elizabeth Bishop as your historical woman? What drew you to her?

A: At Bennington College I took a poetry class my freshman year about intense friendships between poets; and we studied Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell. Ever since then she has stuck in my head. I love how observant, crisp and surprisingly funny her poetry is. Also she was a lesbian and so edgy and strong! Can I be her now!

Q: Can you walk me through the process of adapting a persons life for the stage? What were some of the challenges? What parts really clicked together? 

A: I knew that I didn’t want to be too literal when it came to adaptation. I wanted to take details from her life that did it for me; and then give myself the freedom to imagine my own version of how things could have played out. The challenge is the pressure of being historically accurate/depicting things as they probably occurred; but to tell you the truth that sounds supa boring, so I tried to avoid that and let myself have weird Elizabeth Bishop odd fantasy sequences.

I had a lot of fun creating Elizabeth Bishop as a character because she is so spunky and smart and repressed; what cool qualities for a woman!

Q: The play takes place during Bishop’s time at Vassar College, what inspired you to focus on this part of her life? 

A: Ever since I have been writing plays I have been obsessed with stories about younger people trying to figure out adulthood. The idea of writing about Elizabeth Bishop still trying to figure out her voice and her swag, really did it for me. Also I was a playwriting apprentice at Vassar’s Summer Theater in 2012, so I had a clear image in my mind about the buildings she probably studied in.

Q: What are you most excited about for the reading on the 27th? What are you most nervous about?

A: I am such a Bennington chick, so I am thrilled whenever my alma mater decides to put up my work! I am nervous that people will throw hipster vegan drinks at the stage and cry and say that my play is not historically accurate(which it probs is not).

Q: Are there any playwrights that inspired you while you were working on this piece, or who inspire you in general? 

A: Things that inspire me: coconut cake, Sherry Kramer, Sam Hunter, pink cupcakes.

Q: What has been your favorite aspect of working with 365 Women a Year? 

A: I am a big proponent of female playwrights and minority playwrights having more of a voice on the American stage; so this project is right up my alley. I love feeling like I’m apart of this sketchy secret Facebook group mission that involves a ton of female playwrights.

Q: Do you have any advice for the playwrights joining 365 Women a Year in 2015? 

Don’t worry too much about getting every detail of the person’s life correct. Just try to take what’s interesting to you and then give yourself room to be crae and have fun!

Catherine Weingarten is a recent Bennington College graduate in Vermont and an incoming playwriting MFA candidate at Ohio University. Her short works have been done at such theaters as Ugly Rhino Productions, Fresh Ground Pepper, and Nylon Fusion Collective. Her full length plays include: Are you ready to get PAMPERED!?, Recycling Sexy, A Roller Rink Temptation and Pineapple Upside Down Cake: a virgin play. She is the Playwright in Residence for “Realize your Beauty inc” which promotes positive body image for kids by way of theater arts. She was previously a member of Abingdon Theater’s playwrights group and New Perspective “women’s work” short play lab 2014. You can see her play FEELIN LONELY at the Bennington College Student Center on March 27th, at 7:40pm. Or watch the online stream on HowlRound TV

 

 

See You Later Athena

As rehearsals for HARM’S WAY are gearing up in Denver, I’m getting cozy in Vermont, preparing for NOplays’ first production in collaboration with 365 Women a Year. This March is going to be an amazing month for women in theatre; from the 2015 Athena Project Festival in Colorado, to 365 Women a Year in Vermont and around the world.

No matter where you are, make sure you see some of the incredible new works by female artists!

Thank you Athena Project for an amazing seven weeks, and here’s to future collaboration between us!

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