The Women’s Voices Theater Festival kicks off this week, and DC Metro Theater Arts is excited to cover this important event.
For the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, 24 plays penned by female playwrights will be produced at leading theaters in the DC and Baltimore metro areas over the course of the next two months.
DC Metro Theater Arts plans to review all 24 shows. In addition, we will provide both macro analyses of the over-arching topics addressed by the plays in the festival as well as interviews with individual playwrights, actors, and directors. We look forward to providing the community with a unique and thoughtful take on the festival and its wider meaning.
Following the success of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival, which also took place in Washington, DC, this second festival shines a light on female playwrights at a time when harassment and abuse are front page news.
Indeed, the Festival’s Honorary Chair, Allison Janney, took home a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture at last night’s Golden Globes Awards ceremony which was marked by political discourse surrounding the #me too and “Time’s Up” movements that have sprung up as a result of numerous allegations of harassment in industries including TV, Film and Theater.
Only 22% of produced plays are written by female playwrights, according to the Dramatists Guild-Lilly Awards survey released in 2015. The 26 WVTF plays are being produced at theaters all over the DC area and Baltimore, including Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company.
The topics covered in the plays include the stories of women of color, immigration, warfare, incarceration, gun violence, sexual orientation, religion, mental illness, and many more.
Women’s voices have always been present, but underrepresented in the arts. This festival represents a wonderful opportunity for women from many different cultural backgrounds, and with many different experiences, to share their work on DC area stages.