Playwright Jessica Wu

The Tank (Meghan Finn and Rosalind Grush, Artistic Directors) will present their third annual Lady Fest, featuring new work by some of the most exciting lady-identified artists out there, in celebration of womxnhood and the female voice, in all its glory. Lady Fest 2019 will run August 6-28 in both the 56-seat and 98-seat theaters at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues). Tickets ($0-$25) may be purchased in advance at



Written by Katelynn Kenney 

August 8, 9 & 11 @ 7pm, August 10 @ 3pm $20

Tornkid just wants to belong: at school, at home, in their own skin. So what does Tornkid do? Tear themselves in two. Tricky thing is, Tornkid’s other half runs away with their voice, into a mythical land both achingly familiar and unfamiliar. This play by Katelynn Kenney draws on the power of Southeast Asian and Pacific Indigenous mythology to take the audience on an elemental journey to literally find oneself. Under the direction of Cara Hinh and Donna Ibale, with puppetry created by Jess Rassp, and masks created by Tara Cariaso, Tornkid promises to be a feast for the senses and an exploration into a world rarely seen on the American stage.


Created & Hosted by Marcela Onyango, Directed by Michelle Francesca

Friday, August 9 @ 7pm $12

Dystopia is a sketch show that creates dystopian universes where our political, economic or social nightmares have come to reality in order to get the audience wondering could this really happen here? The host Marcela Onyango will interview activists at the end of the show to ask them whether the dystopias depicted in the show are feasible and if there is anything that can be done to stop them.  

One Apple a Day 

Written and performed by Elise B.

Tuesday, August 13 @ 7pm $7

You are invited to a journey, somewhere in the Solar System, in a place with enough water for life, enough life for apples, enough apples for a theatre show. Their names are Adélaïde, Ricarda, Jeanne-Geneviève, and Professor I. They have happened into this place, and they are trying to understand. They are colorful, shaky, structured, hungry, poetic, inefficient, strong, on the edge… present. They need you. To become alive.

Sam Shaber: Life, Death, and Duran Duran

Co-Written and Directed by Lynn Ferguson & Sam Shaber

August 13, 17 & 23 @ 7pm, Saturday, August 24 @ 9:30pm 

Life has three guarantees: you’re born, you die, and if your name is Rio, you dance on the sand. In this hour-long musical storytelling show, indie rocker and Moth Mainstage storyteller Sam Shaber takes the audience on an emotional roller coaster of laughter, tears, and catharsis, from her obsessive, starstruck adolescence to the sobering losses of adulthood, to a triumphant realization about the power of those we love.

Almost Maimed

Written by Rebecca Kane, Directed by Taylor Thomson

Tuesday, August 13 @ 9:30pm $5

In this gory parody, audiences experience modern love presented in ways they’ve never seen before, with body parts they’ve never expected they would see on stage. Between scenes featuring the most literal unhealthy attachments you’ve ever seen, those struggling with love will never feel more related to than they will sitting in the front row of Almost Maimed— and they might also feel a splatter or two. 

The Plague

Written by Rachel Carnes

Wednesday, August 14 @ 7pm & Thursday, August 15 @ 9:30pm $15

A sly send-up of ‘self-actualized’ culture disguises much darker themes in this hilarious play for five women, set in a small-town dance studio. With zombies.

Mindful Fruit

Written by Kalli Siringas

Wednesday, August 14 @ 9:30pm $12

A meditation on the healing powers of subtropical fruit. 

Sylacauga, Alabama

Written by Annie Levy

Friday, August 16 @ 7pm & Saturday, August 17 @ 3pm $10

Sylacauga, AL: On November 30th, 1954, Ann Hodges, a rural woman from an insulated world, is napping on her couch.  Suddenly, something crashes through her roof and hits her just below her stomach: A meteorite. This moment of impact makes Ann the only person to ever be struck by a meteorite and live to tell the tale. The virtually unknown story of what happened to Ann Hodges and her meteorite (the media circus, the legal battles for ownership, the costs of sudden and unwanted fame) are explored in this contemporary take on a local, global and celestial tragedy of improbable cataclysms and their sudden insignificance.   

Party Animal

Written & Performed by Becca Baberaggi, Directed by Michael Newman

Friday, August 16 @ 9:30pm $5

Mental illnesses lie to you and make you believe things that aren’t real but for Becca, it’s just made her REALLY bad at parties. Come join her as she tells some of her favorite stories about how parties are bad, why parties are bad, and how she was probably the reason why. 

You, Me, I, We

Book, Music and Lyrics by Jessica Wu

Saturday, August 17 @ 7pm $5 (Pre-sale only)

YOU, ME, I, WE is an exploration of the crazy and chaotic way our minds work – the voices that direct our everyday actions, the ones that knock us down with harsh thoughts and lift us back up with a song. It’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch meets Pixar’s Inside Out with a touch of Twyla Tharp Dance Theatre. Take a journey inside the beautifully turbulent mind of Yu-Mei Wei.

Cooking with Kathryn

Created by Kate Owens, Directed by Deby Xiadani

Saturday, August 17 @ 9:30pm $12

COOKING WITH KATHRYN, an award-winning dark comedy, comes to LADYFEST! Kate Owens plays a down home, liquored-up southern belle as she stumbles her way to her own birthday party with more wine in her veins than Jesus! 

Runaway Princess: A Hopeful Tale of Heroin, Hooking, and Happiness

Written & Performed by Mary Goggin

Sunday, August 18 & Saturday, August 24 @ 4:30 $20

One woman’s dark comic journey to the other side of the overpass. Mary Goggin shares stories of sex, drugs, and Irish Catholicism, laced with characters based on her experiences as a former professional call girl. As a massive reaction to sexual repression, Mary takes us from the Irish famine to ’70s pimps to joy!

The Valkyries

Written by Jessica Owens

August 18, 19 & 20 @ 7:30pm $15

In The Valkyries the tenuous strands of connection between three women in an all-female doomsday cult start to unravel—revealing how women deal with trauma, what lengths they are willing to go to, what traumas they’re willing to inflict on others, and what portion of their own autonomy they are willing to give up, to feel they’ve regained some semblance of power.


Written by Pat Candaras

Monday, August 19 @ 7pm $12

Pat Candaras is a writer, stand-up comic and storyteller. Survivor of children, their mates and grandchildren. Oh!  And, cancer. 

Believe Me

Written by Flynn Osman, Directed by Tessa Welsch

Tuesday, August 20 & Wednesday, August 21 @ 7pm, $10 Students/$15 General

At 2am in a muggy laundromat, the Miller sisters find themselves alone besides the erratic muffles of a baby monitor. As the humidity rises, and the muffles become louder, Betty and Faith’s patience grows thin, spiraling them into ultimate sibling rivalry.   

The Mess

Tuesday, August 20 @ 9:30pm $7

With Jesse Roth, Directed by Kathleen Kennedy

The Mess with Jesse Roth is a solo variety show, the likes of which have never been seen before. It’s like that metaphor, “throwing spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks” but with comedy. 



Wednesday, August 21 & Friday, August 23 @ 7pm $20

Smashworks Dance presents a work-in-progress excerpt from FEMPIRE — a utopian world run by unharnessed and uninhibited women. An evening length performance of episodic dances, FEMPIREintroduces various women characters of strength and uncensored expressions of truth, playfully pushing against gender normative stereotypes through feminist camp. Featuring choreography by Ashley McQueen in collaboration with Smashworks Dance, and introducing newest performer Hope Salas in collaboration with Justin Cimino, FEMPIRE fuses dance performance with prop-driven physical theatre to present a culmination of our current feminist fight — loud, uncensored, and unafraid. 

Bedtime Plays

Thursday, August 22 @ 9:30 $10  

Everything We Need To Talk About Before We Talk About Sex 

Written by Tatiana Kouguell-Hoell 

Sara wants to, she really does, but if only she could say what she’s thinking out loud. Everything We Need To Talk About Before We Talk About Sex asks the question: what do you have to overcome within yourself to be intimate with another person?  

Teeth written by Ciara Ni Chuirc 

Aaron wants Colleen to tell him what she wants – but talking about it is the opposite of what she wants. Teeth is a darkly comedic play about the difficulties we encounter in talking about sex, and women’s anxieties about asking for what they want in the bedroom.

Bury Me in My Leggings

Written by Scarlet Grace McCarthy, Directed by Margaret Baughman

Thursday, August 22 @ 4pm $15

It’s June 2007. Paris Hilton is in jail and the iPhone launches in just a few days. At the mall, employees at an upscale athleisure store find out what happens when your work bestie turns out to be a total murderer. 

Not a Pipeline Problem: 5, 10-minute plays written and directed by badass womxn

Created by Erin Reynolds

Thursday, August 22 @ 4pm $10

Not a Pipeline Problem: 5, 10-minute plays written and directed by badass womxn is a celebration of femme creative power. Join these five playwrights for an afternoon of questioning… “What’s really the problem? Cause girl, it ain’t us”.

Untitled Show about OCD

Created by Olivia Levine

Thursday, August 22 @ 7pm $18

Olivia Levine’s untitled one woman show explores her Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and the ways in which it has engaged specifically with her sexuality and relationships over the course of her life. Combining elements of standup comedy, movement, character work, audience interaction and more, Olivia asks herself and her audience to come face to face with her obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors, regardless of how uncomfortable and personal a task that can sometimes be. 


Produced by Francesca Pazniokas

Thursday, August 22 @ 7pm $15

An evening of short films by female-identifying forces of nature. Showcasing work by emerging NYC-based filmmakers, these short films are written, directed, and staring all women.


Co-Created by Michael Murray and Tanya Chattman

Saturday, August 24 @ 9:30pm $15

Rachael Murray, Tanya Chattman, and Naked Theatre Company present #MomVlogLyfe, a deep dive down the YouTube rabbit hole of mom vloggers. Follow a gaggle of mom vloggers in their quest to organize their households and entertain their adoring fans. The Mom Vlogger is a new kind of Mom: She brings home the bacon, fries it up in a pan, and then gets 100,000 viewers to watch that bacon fry. Between checking off items on her endless to-do list and creating high-quality content, she keeps all the plates spinning in style. It’s hard out here for a mom, so she might as well monetize, right? Grocery hauls, unboxings, collabs, sponsored content, and parenting too: This is #MomVlogLyfe.

No Place

Written & Directed by Andrea Ang, Created by Square One Collective

Sunday, August 25 @ 2pm & 7pm $10

Three people play a game… in 2075. In a world where physical existence seems imminently impossible, a political exile, a former radical and a climate refugee go in search of the promised land; a virtual utopia. Alliances are made and broken as personal visions cross and collide in a social experiment that begins to chip away at individual identities. No Place examines the relationships between citizenship, nationhood and personhood and asks What happens to a person when they undertake an extreme journey of migration?

The Surrogate

Written by Rachel Main

Sunday, August 25 @ 2pm

The Surrogate is an all-female-identified play about a woman, Sophia, who wants a baby but can’t have one and the younger woman, Cece, who is going to carry it for her – for a price. As Sophia slowly becomes a surrogate Mother-figure to Cece herself, the blooming of this unexpected bond comes crashing down when there is a complication in the pregnancy, and Sophia has to make a choice that could cost her not only Cece’s trust, but her marriage to her wife, Kit. The play is a meditation on the commercial value placed on the bodies of low-income and marginalized women in our society. It is also an exploration of biological impulses in the LGBTQ+ community and, at its core, a grieving play about four women who are waiting for a baby that may never arrive.


Featuring Be by Anaïs Maviel and Late Duck by Megan Schubert

Sunday, August 25 @ 4:30pm $20

Anaïs Maviel, Megan Schubert, Gelsey Bell and Yoon Sun Choi perform vocal quartets Be and Late Duck written by Anaïs Maviel and Megan Schubert

I Love Avocado Toast

Written by Catherine Weingarten, Directed by Emily Penick

Sunday, August 25 @ 4:30pm $5

When Cassie joins the all-female exclusive social club, The Hive, she’s ready for her boring female life to become way more glam and important! But in this new ultra-hip feminist co-working space-things soon start to get weird! In this satirical new play by Catherine Weingarten, get ready to dive into the world of avocado toast obsession, feminine bonding and so many women-led startups! The play is inspired by Catherine’s real-life experience of joining an all-female exclusive social club in NYC and being bad at it.

Maudie, the Mortician

A Live Performance of a New TV Pilot by Ashley Jacobson, Directed by Aliza Shane

Monday, August 26 @ 7pm $15

After feeling unappreciated at her job at Elsa’s Beauty Salon, Maudie Stevens resolves to finally find a job worthy of her unique talents and point of view. Encouraged by her loud and loving Irish Catholic family in New Jersey, Maudie sets her sights on the big city. But when it’s made clear that there just isn’t a space for someone like her in the elite world of New York City’s cosmetologists, Maudie decides to take the job offered by her funeral director brother as the assistant to his new (handsome) mortician, styling the dead bodies for their viewings.


Written & Performed by Taji Senior, Directed by Matrex Kilgore

Tuesday, August 27 @ 7pm $15

devour. is a theatrical contemplation of the ways in which desire and desirability are further complicated by blackness. What does it mean to long for love while inhabiting a body you’ve taught to fear and hate? At its core, devour. is a synthesis of lived experiences, literature, academic research and activist movements that spans centuries and continents, from the study of the iconography of black bodies in nineteenth-century European art, such as Edwin Long’s The Babylonian Marriage Market and Édouard Manet’s Olympia to the contemplative examination of black womanhood in the poetry of June Jordan, Lucille Clifton and Pat Parker.  devour., deeply excavates facets of the Black American female experience and returns to the surface through movement, poetry, myth and theatrical magic.

With Your Little Claws

Written by Iliria Osum, Performed by Sarah Means

Tuesday, August 27 & Wednesday, August 28 @ 7pm $25

A reimagining of Nabokov’s Lolita as a dark comedienne in charge of her own surreal narrative as an adult. Calling herself Dolly, she “resurrects” herself on stage, examines her life with skepticism and gallows humor, and works to puncture her documented legacy. 

Tell Me What I Want

Written by Gina Stevensen

Wednesday, August 28 @ 7pm $15

When a middle school health teacher gets fired after talking about masturbation with her students, she creates a sex ed class for the repressed women of her town. Part play, part interactive experience, TELL ME WHAT I WANT creates a space to address the shame surrounding women’s bodies.


Already Late Enough 

Written by Kristin Renn Parker

Sunday, August 18 @ 1pm FREE

Join us for a reading of Already Late Enough-a brand new play by Kristin Renn Parker- Already Late Enough is a magical realism play about, a woman searching for the last thing she’s left in her childhood home, a Great Grandmother Clock, unused organic tampons, aggressive Thank You Notes, and literal monsters at Christmas. It rawly explores the questions: can you actually sever yourself completely from your family? What’s the cost of leaving your family behind? What’s the cost of staying? And what makes a family anyway? 


Written by Larissa Krusei

Friday, August 23 @ 4pm $5

Beth and Eva haven’t been in the professional world long but they already know that corporate life isn’t for them. When their crowdfunding campaign successfully reaches their financing goal, their dream of starting their own company becomes a reality. Gathering some of their other lady friends, they jump into the more unconventional life of running a startup, but they quickly discover that there is a steep learning curve to running your own business. 

Cameron of Bergen Street

Created by Jordan Coats

Saturday, August 24 @ 2pm $5

There’s only one thing Cameron wants more than to break into the New York comedy scene, and that’s to win the heart of her newly-resurfaced, childhood friend Roxanne. But when Roxanne recruits Cameron’s help to catch the eye of Midwestern, comedy newby (and boy!) Christian, Cam suddenly finds herself the orchestrator of their romance. Set in the 1990s, this rom/com retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac explores gender & sexuality, artistic integrity, and what it really means to fall in love. Jordan Coats is honored to join LadyFest with this reading-style production of her new play.

Dance Moms

Written by Ying Ying Li

Saturday, August 24 @ 2:30pm FREE

Dance Moms is about a group of suburban moms who are in the same dance class. They love to dance and take it very seriously… maybe too seriously.


Written by Jan Rosenberg, Directed by Jessica O’Hara-Baker

Sunday, August 25 @ 7pm FREE

A storm of biblical proportions, and a woman who won’t stop bleeding. GUSHER! is an unapologetic play about what happens when women are allowed to be messy.

How we love / f*ck

Written by Lillian Isabella

Monday, August 26 @ 7pm FREE

How We Love/F*ck, a new play from powerhouse actor/writer Lillian Isabella, is a sex-positive theatre piece in response to the #MeToo movement where she looks to celebrate female sexuality, and how fun sex can be. The play is inspired by documentary-style interviews with a tribe of 28 diverse female-identifying individuals, ranging from 25 to 89 years old. Through candid monologues created from the interviews, Lillian begins to discover her own sexual agency, the healing power of ecstatic experience, and the importance of sharing this new understanding with the world.

The Tank is a non-profit arts presenter and producer. Our mission is to remove economic barriers from the creation of new work for artists launching their careers and experimenting within their art form, and to do so in an environment that is inclusive and accessible. We serve over 2,000 artists every year in over 800 performances, and work across all disciplines, including theater, comedy, dance, film, music, puppetry, and storytelling. The heart of our services is providing free performance space in our two-stage theater complex Manhattan, and we also offer a suite of other services such as free rehearsal space, promotional support, artist fees, and much more. We support work at all phases of development, from readings and residencies to fully-produced world premieres. We keep ticket prices affordable and view our work as democratic, opening up both the creation and attendance of the arts to all.

Recent Tank-produced work includes Drama Desk-nominated productions Ada/Ava (2016), youarenowhere (2016), The Paper Hat Game (2017), the ephemera trilogy (2017), and The Hunger Artist (2018), as well as New York Times Critics’ Picks The Offending Gesture by Mac Wellman, directed by Meghan Finn (2016) and Red Emma & The Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan, directed by Katie Lindsay (2018).  

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