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Centre Stage

A blog for women-related theatre issues worldwide.

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  • 13 Mar 2011 6:55 PM | Deleted user
    International Readings in Port Townsend, WA, USA for International Women's Day

    ICWP Member Mara Lathrop organised a readings event for two performances, March 7 & 8, 2011, at  Key City Public Theatre of Port Townsend, WA, USA. This was the 3rd Annual "Here, There & Everywhere"   in honor of International Women's Day. The program featured nine monologues by women playwrights from the US and India.

    1. Me Vs. My Subconscious by Rebecca Goldberg, Seattle, WA
       A technicolor dream transforms a woman's waking life.

    2. Untitled by Hina Siddiqui, Pune, India
        Two very different women; one terrible secret.

    3. Nellie's Memory by Rebecca Redshaw, Port Angeles, WA
        An old woman recounts the day a steamship blew up on the Hudson river.

    4. Belt Loop Man by Barbara Lindsay, Shoreline, WA
        Is he the answer to a woman's prayers ...or is he just trying to drive her crazy?

    5. The People by Vicki Caroline Cheatwood, Dallas, TX
        Eight years white; twenty-eight years Commanche. The true story of Cynthia Ann Parker.

    6. The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman by Carolyn Gage, Portland, ME
        In 19th century New York City, an actress studies prostitutes to prepare for a role.

    7. Big by E.M. Lewis, Princeton, NJ
       Some people are just born that way.

    8. Chinese For Dummies by Denise Fleener, Sequim, WA
        It's never too late to learn a new language.

    9. The Hunter by Gloria Calderon Kellett, Los Angeles, CA
       A woman lays it all out at Speed Dating Night.

    The 2011 HT&E was curated and directed by KCPT Literary Manager Mara Lathrop. Monologues were performed by DJ Adams, Denise Fleener, Erin Lamb and Amanda Stuerer.  2011 HT&E raised $850 for the Port Townsend chapter of the American Association of University Women's scholarship fund.

  • 01 Mar 2011 5:52 PM | Deleted user
    L.A. Female Playwrights Initiative Study
    Only 20% work on stages in the Greater Los Angeles area written by women

    ICWP member Laura Shamas, one of the founding members of the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative (LA FPI) was deeply involved with a study initiated by LA FPI into the percentage of female authored plays presented on LA theatre stages. Laura writes below about how the study came about and her involvement in it.

    Starting Out
    In September 2009, I met with Jennie Webb and we decided to reach out to others to get data from L.A. about women playwrights, and to organize on behalf of women playwrights and female theater artists. We were very inspired by the push in New York in 2008/2009, and we kept waiting to hear Los Angeles numbers. We, as did many other L.A. women playwrights, soon realized that someone needed to organize to get some Southern California stats. In November 2009, Jennie and I approached theater artist Ella Martin, who is an actor/director/writer/scholar, and asked if she would help us with the L.A. data. Luckily for us, she agreed. We owe Ella Martin, our Study Director, a huge debt! 

    First meeting
    LA FPI had our first official meeting on March 6, 2010, at Theatricum Botanicum, in the middle of a very stormy L.A. downpour. But wonderful people made it out to Topanga Canyon that day, and the movement took off from there. 

    Ellen Geer made the first donation to the cause. Many talented playwrights, women and men, at that meeting donated enough money to get Survey Monkey going, so that Ella Martin could run a local survey of women playwrights. We began to have quarterly meetings to report our progress and solidify Calls to Action. We received key support from the Los Angeles STAGE Alliance and Larry Dean Harris of the Dramatists Guild. 

    Study Results
    Ella Martin compiled and coordinated all the results in early 2011. Her final report is phenomenal. Thank you to Ella Martin, the theaters who participated in the survey, the women playwrights who volunteered their data, and to all the folks who have supported LA FPI. 

    Other Volunteers
    In the past year, many other people have joined up; we have an e-list of 150+. Volunteers are working on other LA FPI projects now, such as direct outreach to theaters, meetups to see shows by women, our terrific blog which features fantastic L.A. women playwrights each week (so inspiring!); even more L.A. gender parity data which is still forthcoming, and other positive calls to action. We, the collective of LA FPI, offer everything for free to anyone who's interested. Much of this is coordinated through the website and the terrific Jennie Webb. We celebrated the one year anniversary of our initiative by releasing the study results.

    More Research Needed
    Statistics on this issue need to be gathered from everywhere. Playwrights wrote to us from other major cities in California, asking us to please include their cities in our data, too (such as San Diego, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco). But we had to focus on Los Angeles County and Orange County. It would be wonderful if someone could get funding to 'count' in other places, too, in cities across the world. In New York, after percentages and counts were released related to gender parity and playwriting, there were more productions for women playwrights in the next theater seasons. Consciousness-raising works. We hope the same change will be true in Los Angeles. It is a very difficult time for all theater artists, and we want to support theater-makers. We love theater. We want to participate.

    here is the link to the study report:
    Laura Shamas
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