Women in Theatre Festival (WiT)

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1st Annual WOMEN IN THEATRE FESTIVAL (WIT)

JUNE 2016 at Under St. Marks, ART/NY Studios (in Manhattan and Brooklyn)
JULY 2016 at Theatre Row, in the Studio Theatre

The Women In Theatre Festival (WIT) is a curated three-week festival of new plays and innovative performances by diverse women artists. Our lineup includes full productions, innovative theatre work, solo shows, online content and readings.

Women in Theatre Festival = 88 women (109 total artists), 80% of total artists involved (directors, actors, and technical positions inclusive) were women. Women represented 100% of playwrights/writers in the festival.
In a direct response to gender disparity in theatre leadership, casting, and production, the objective of WIT is to broaden the opportunities for women artists, engage with an audience who seek an indie theatre experience, and add to the canon of women playwrights writing roles for women actors. To this end, WIT is producing new works by women writers and lead artists, to be presented at the festival in an effort to achieve #GenderParity by going #BeyondParity in our programming.
Projects include the NY Premiere of EM Lewis’ searing new play, “The Gun Show,” and Lia Romeo’s dark comedy, “Baby Boom,” two plays about guns and violence.


“Baby Boom” by Lia Romeo, directed by PY Co-Artistic Director Michole Biancosino

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are the perfect couple… except for the baby they desperately want but are unable to have. When a machine gun dressed in baby clothes shows up on their doorstep, they decide to keep it and raise it as their own. But it proves to be more difficult than they expected.

“Romeo playfully spun out her tale until it took a dark turn, infusing her absurd framework with real passions and a bittersweet take on life” -AmbushMag.com

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“The Gun Show” by E.M. Lewis, directed by Shelley Butler, featuring PY Co-Artistic Director Andrew W. Smith

From a farming community in rural Oregon to the big cities of Los Angeles and New York, playwright E. M. Lewis takes aim at her own relationship with firearms in “The Gun Show.” An actor shares Ms. Lewis’s unique perspective and true stories about America’s most dangerous pastime as if they were his own, with brutal honesty and poignant humor. Leaning neither right nor left, “The Gun Show” jumps into the middle of the gun control debate, and asks “Can we have a conversation about this?”

“Human, bold, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, but always honest.” – Newcity Stage, Chicago

*Nominated for a Jeff Award for Best Solo Show

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“Beyond Parity” an article by Abby Fenbert

Saturday, June 11th Online Release

We asked essayist and playwright, Abby Fenbert to answer the question, “Why do we need more women in theatre?” Her response is this astounding essay that inspired us to change our thinking from #GenderParity to #BeyondParity. Read the article.


#ParityPlays SHORTS and KICKOFF party with WeBroadway.org
Sunday, June 12th at Under St. Marks Theatre

A production of new plays featuring majority women casts. Playwrights include Lauren Yee, Erin Mallon, Sarah Dunivant, Beth Raas-Bergquist, Gina Femia, Julienne Hairston, Kat Mustatea and Tasha Gordon-Solmon.


New EPIC Play reading: “Pulp Verite”, by Crystal Skillman (NYIT award winner), directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt

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New Sketch and Comedy: “The Onion Show” by Katie Hartman

“Humorless Feminist Comedy” Show

Tuesday, June 14th at at Under St. Marks Theatre

“The Onion Show” by Katie Hartman

An onion is like a human: thin skinned layers that, when cut, slowly ooze their stinky sticky insides. Or rather, a human is like an onion: layers of misconception and ignorance are peeled back to reveal that meaty core. Or maybe you just take off a sweater cause it’s hot inside your office. Katie Hartman (Skinny Bitch Jesus Meeting; Gypsy Danger) plays many characters in this vulnerable show.

“Humorless Feminist Comedy” Show

Hosted by Katie Hartman, this show features some of the funniest women in NYC.


“Permitted”, by Kirya Traber, directed by Nia Witherspoon
Thursday, June 16th at ART/NY Brooklyn

1948, Gladys Bentley, a once (in)famous Harlem renaissance performer known for breaking the rules for gender and sexuality, finds herself at a crossroads. When her she is denied a permit to perform, she is threatened with professional ruin and time in prison if she doesn’t “change her act” on stage, and in her personal life.


“Guilt Complexion” by Open Booth Theatre and New #Parity Play Reading: “Bridesmaids” by Melanie Marnich, directed by Michole Biancosino

Saturday, June 18th at Under St. Marks Theatre
“Guilt Complexion” New Work By Open Booth Theatre

An original comedy show inspired by that time Katherine spilled juice on the rug and did not tell anyone about it.

New #Parity Play Reading: “Bridesmaids” by Melanie Marnich, directed by Michole Biancosino

A comedy about best friends, turning forty, ugly dresses…and what can go wrong when one bridesmaid tells the truth about marriage.

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#ParityPlays SHORTS and KICKOFF party with WeBroadway.org

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“Dinner With Frenemies” a reading by Cecilia Copeland (Artistic Director of NY Madness)

Tuesday, July 12th Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

CAST: Caitlin Cooke, John Concado, Imran Sheikh, and Marissa Wolf.

“Dinner With Frenemies” will make you howl at and with everything from Ms. Pacman to vegan appetizers to bidets. It’s a new brand of #feministcomedy in the spirit of telling it like it is… for laughs.

Panel on Women Playwrights

PY Literary Manager Lia Romeo moderated a discussion with working NYC women playwrights.


3 short Plays by: Elephant Run District

Wednesday, July 13th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

Artistic Director Aimee Todoroff brings us a staged reading of three new plays by playwrights: Kelly Zekas, Bernie Fowler, Ciara Ni Chuirc.


“Back from the Dead” reading of a new play by Addie Walsh (winner United Solo Festival, Best Variety Show)

Saturday, July 16th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

A woman, slammed by a mid-life crisis, struggles to cope by employing soap-operatic survival skills, elevator flashbacks and a connection with a younger woman whose obsession with televised romance fuels a miraculous transformation.


“Nice T!ts” Full Production, written & performed by Amy Marcs, directed by Peter Michael Marino

Saturday, July 16th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

Just when life was going so well, Amy got breast cancer. With an American icon by her side, Amy navigates the hills and valleys of doctor visits, toy stores, hellish support groups and her understandably healthy obsession with her rack.

“Simultaneously hilarious and touching. One show you don’t want to miss!” -Bust Magazine


“Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People” by Mariah MacCarthy

Tuesday, July 19th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

Baby Mama: One Woman’s Quest to Give Her Child to Gay People tracks one birth mother’s true adoption journey, from conception to placement with the gay couple of her dreams—while still living her life, dating, and attending the occasional orgy. From adoption agencies to vaginal discharge, from burlesque to good­byes, this intimate night of storytelling is up close and personal. Bring hankies.

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“In The Gray (Adventures of an Ethio-American actor riding elevators to truth)” by Antu Yacob (playwright of “Mourning Son”)

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MOCK by Jess Honovich

Wednesday, July 20th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

In The Gray (Adventures of an Ethio-American actor riding elevators to truth) by Antu Jacob, Directed by Celestine Rae

Ever wonder what an unstereotypical Ethio-American acter is? Do you ponder on what the experiences of a quirky yet earthy Americanized African woman in the entertainment business, in relationships, in cross cultural confusion, in life, must be like? Even if you haven’t, come watch as Antu Yacob tells you more about her life than you ever want to know in the premiere of her one woman show In The Gray: (Adventures of an Ethio-American acter riding elevators to truth).

Mock by Jess Honovich, Directed by Jenny Leon

This new play centers on a champion High School Mock Trial team as they grapple with an assignment that reveals the groups’ true divide.


“Fall Risk”, World Premiere solo show by Dana Jacks (David Cromer’s Our Town).

Wednesday, July 20th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

This is a story about a person who woke up one morning to start her day and then found herself in ICU at King’s County Hospital recovering from a traumatic brain injury. Against the backdrop of her experience acting in Our Town, a play that is all about memory, Dana Jacks opens our eyes to the risks we take every day of living our lives and never knowing where any given day will take us.


“Sumatanga” a New Play Reading by Sarah Dunivant

Thursday, July 21st at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

The quirky staff of Camp Sumatanga struggle to get along after their leader abruptly resigns. Set in rural Georgia, Sumatanga is the story of loyalty, love, and friendship.


“Sycorax: Cyber Queen of Qamara” by Fengar Gael, directed by Cheryl Faraone

Friday, July 22nd at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

A Workshop by PTP/NYC led by Artistic Director, Cheryl Faraone


“Steubenville”, a touring production

Saturday, July 23rd at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

The first rape in America to be live tweeted took place at a high school football party in Steubenville, Ohio in August 2012. Steubenville is a participatory theatrical event where one performer leads the audience through the material of the Steubenville case, allowing us to reflect on rape culture in our communities and our part in it. www.wearesteubenville.com


“The Subtle Powers of Transmutation” by Aaron Ballard, Director and Projection Design by Ben Charles

Saturday, July 23rd at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

In her multi- media experience, The Subtle Powers of Transmutation, Aaron Ballard reveals stories from her sheltered upbringing in small town South Carolina while simultaneously exploring the life of trail blazer Victoria Woodhull, the first woman to run for president of the United States.  Born from her admiration of Victoria Woodhull, this show blurs history with imagination as Aaron contrasts her own life to Victoria’s.  The audience actively participates in this strange, hilarious, touching journey of questioning and self- discovery.


“Naked” by Vanessa Shealy Younger, a solo show by the leader of Younger Child Productions.

Sunday, July 24th at Theatre Row in the Studio Theatre

A woman shows up for an artist, this is her first time to pose as a nude model, but she is too scared and self conscious to take off her robe.


Click here to see WiT photos

#WiTFESTNYC


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The Women in Theatre Festival is generously supported by the Nancy Quinn Fund, a program of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T/New York).

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Funding has been made possible by the Puffin Foundation.