Rent Party Opens July 12th at The Tank

WRITTEN BY AMINA HENRY
DIRECTED BY GRETCHEN VAN LENTE 
 
WORLD PREMIERE
JULY 12-21 @ THE TANK
 
The Tank (Meghan Finn and Rosalind Grush, Artistic Directors) in association with Drama of Works will present the World Premiere of Rent Party by Amina Henry, directed by Gretchen Van Lente at The Tank (312 West 36th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues), July 12-21. Performances will be on Friday, July 12 at 7pm, Saturday, July 13 at 3pm, Saturday, July 13 at 7pm, Sunday, July 14 at 12pm, Sunday, July 14 at 3pm, Friday, July 19 at 7pm, Saturday, July 20 at 3pm, Saturday, July 20 at 7pm, Sunday, July 21 at 12pm, and Sunday, July 21 at 3pm. Tickets ($18 adults; $12 kids 18 and under) are available for advance purchase at www.thetanknyc.orgThe performance will run approximately 60 minutes, with no intermission.
 
In the early 1900s African-Americans began to migrate north in large numbers. Harlem was where their community was, so many moved there, despite the high rents. Rent parties became a popular way for families to raise the rent money they needed. They would hire a musician or band, get cheap refreshments and charge a small entry fee. 
 
An innovative toy theater fills the stage, a replica of a Harlem block from the 1920s. Lights flicker on as people awake. We see toy theater puppets, shadows come to life in windows, and at a certain point the whole set transforms. All the while actors frolic in 20s costumes, original saxophone music plays through the speakers and a cat does back alley beat poetry. We’re transported in time to an era poignant and pivotal to the African-American experience in this country and people of all ages should know these stories, hear these words and listen to this music. Come follow Rose, Jenny and Ricky as they help their mammas throw a RENT PARTY to save their home. All they need to do is get the ice, hand out some cards, oh – and get a real live musician to play. Shouldn’t be too hard…
 
The cast will include AnJu Hyppolite, Marlee Miller, Maya Posey, and Christian Roberson with Puppet and Set Design by Gretchen Van Lente, Costume Design by Taylor Harrison, Music Direction by Jessica Lurie, and Lighting Design by Jeannette Yew. 
 
RENT PARTY has been awarded the prestigious Henson Foundation family grant. The show is recommended for ages 10 and up. 
 
Amina Henry (Playwright) is a Brooklyn-based playwright. Productions include: Ducklings at JACK (Brooklyn, NY), The Animals at JACK, Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, Bully at Interrobang Theater (Baltimore, MD), An American Family Takes a Lover, produced by The Cell: a 21stCentury Salon and presented by Theatre for the New City (New York, NY), Water produced by Drama of Works (Brooklyn, NY), The Minstrel Show, produced as part of the 2013 Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood Festival. Her work has been developed by/presented at: The New Group, Clubbed Thumb, The Flea, National Black Theater, Little Theater at Dixon Place, The Brooklyn Generator, The Brick, Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the 2013 Black Swan Lab Series (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), The Brick, HERE Arts Center, The Cell: a 21st Century Salon, HERO Theatre, the Hive Theater, the Bowery Poetry Club and Brooklyn College. She was a 2012-2013 Core Apprentice playwright at The Playwrights Center and a 2013 Finalist for the Leah Ryan FEWW Playwriting Prize for her play Bully. She was a featured playwright at the 2013 Black and Latino Playwrights Conference at Texas State University. Publications include Hello, My Name Is Joe in the compilation 24 Gun Control Plays, published by No Passport Press. Amina Henry is a graduate of Yale University; NYU’s Performance Studies MA program and Brooklyn College’s MFA Playwriting program lead by head weasels Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She has been a member of Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers Group, Page73’s writers group, and is a 2017-2018 member of the Ars Nova writers group. She is a 2017-2018 recipient of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Space Residency and is a 2018 recipient of a space residency at Dixon Place.
 
Gretchen Van Lente (Director) is the Artistic Director of Drama of Works, a freelance theater director and a full-time theater teacher. She has been working in the field of puppetry and visual theater since 1995. Since this time, outside of the over a dozen award-winning shows she has created with DOW, she has directed for Polaris North Theater, Bond Street Theater, Theater for the New City, {your name here} a Queer Theater Company, New Georges, JACK Brooklyn; and at Brooklyn College, where she directed Gruesome Playground InjuriesThe Ferris Wheel and The Fairy Garden, as well as puppetry direction for She Kills Monsters. As a designer she has worked with TheatreWorks USA, Mannes Opera, The Brick Theater, and many others. She received her BFA in illustration from Parsons School of Design, her BA in theatre from Eugene Lang College, an MFA in directing from Brooklyn College, and an MS in Education from Pace University. She is currently a full-time elementary theater teacher for district 75 in New York City.
 
Drama of Works (DOW) “New York’s tightly organized satirists” (In Pittsburgh), are known for their innovative works “high on fantastic production value” (Village Voice) that cross the line between actors and puppeteers. “Whatever it is supposed to be, it isn’t boring.” (Puppetmaster). Led by Artistic Director Gretchen Van Lente (former president of UNIMA-USA), they have performed around New York City, plus all over the East Coast and abroad since 1999 with their unique brand of theatre: gaining members, fans and supporters along the way. Drama of Works has performed abroad at ten international festivals to date, garnering awards and accolades: The International Festival of Children’s Theater in Subotica, Serbia; The FOOT Festival of Original Theatre in Toronto, Canada; The Cooking Fire Theatre Festival, also in Toronto; The Barents Region International Puppet Festival in Oulu, Finland (twice); The Istanbul International Puppet Festival; The World Festival of Puppet Art, Prague (twice); The Prague Fringe Festival; and the World Festival of Puppet Art, Jakarta, Indonesia. They are the recipients of eight Henson Foundation grants, two grants from the Rhode Island Foundation, a grant from the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, an ART/NY Creative Space and Nancy Quinn Fund grant, a Chashama/NEA Performance Development Award and an Ensemble Studio Theatre/Sloan Project Commission. They have participated in various festivals and developmental labs, including HERE’s Dream Music Puppetry Program, the O’Neil Puppetry Conference, the Arts at St. Ann’s Puppet Lab, and many others. Drama of Works prides themselves on including members from a variety of backgrounds, including puppetry, experimental theatre, clowning, classical theatre, folk dance and comedy. They are proud members of Puppeteers of America, UNIMA-USA, Network of Ensemble Theaters and ART/NY. They create work for all ages, including pieces geared toward small children, family audiences and more text-heavy adult-centered pieces exploring deeper themes. They specialize in adapting already-told stories in new and invigorated ways. www.dramaofworks.com 
 
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). www.thetanknyc.org 

Evelyn Puppets’ Home at The Tank May 30-June 2

homeimage.jpg

Home, a new play by Evolve Puppets (Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil) will be performed at The Tank NYC from May 30-June 2, 2019.  

Home fuses puppetry, theatre and multimedia into a visually thrilling and emotionally moving story of a woman’s connection to the universe.  Alice is an archaeologist, mother and scholar at the final crossroads of her life.  A visit from an intimidating guardian angel (and his strangely familiar young companion) sends Alice on a trip through time and memory, digging through the layers of the past, unearthing her life with her brilliant but troubled husband and their young daughter, and her years studying the people of Pompeii, frozen forever in their last moments on Earth.

 Home uses live actors alongside lifelike full-figure puppets inspired by Japanese bunraku techniques, shadow play, state-of-the-art digital projections and more to tell Alice’s story through the very contents of her home.  Photos on the walls become animate; plush toys and dolls come to life; clouds of dust form into moving images; furniture travels around the space, opening up to reveal dynamic museum-style dioramas of the past. 

Home is written and directed by Tanya Khordoc & Barry Weil (world premieres of Vàclav Havel’s Motormorphosis and Lord Graham Russell’s Devil and the Deep), who also designed the show’s innovative puppetry.  Original music is composed and arranged by Joel Phillip Friedman (Drama Desk and Outer Critic’s Circle nominee).  Lake Simons (Lincoln Center’s War Horse, Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique) is associate director and movement choreographer.  Home features projection design by Jared Mezzocchi (Obie and Lucille Lortel winner, Vietgone), set design by Tom Lee (Shank’s Mare), lighting design by Federico Restrepo (founder/artistic director of Loco7) and costume design by Sarah Riffle (Lyric Opera of Chicago).  Stage manager is Berit Johnson, and movement assistant is Mark Myles Murray. 

The cast of actors and puppeteers features Mery Cheung, Marjorie Conn, Maggie Gayford, Kevin P. Hale, Ross Hamman, Tanya Khordoc, Caitlyn Piccirillo, Barry Weil and Meghan Maureen Williams. 

Evolve Puppets’ Home is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and administered by LMCC. Earlier developmental presentations of Home were made possible with support from The Jim Henson Foundation, the Puppetry at the Carriage House program and Dixon Place. 

SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCES:

  • Thursday May 30 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday May 31 at 7:00 p.m.
  • Saturday June 1 at 3:00 and 7:00 p.m.
  • Sunday June 2 at 3:00 p.m. 

The Tank NYC is located at 312 West 36th Street, NYC between 8th and 9th Avenues, on the 1st floor.  Tickets are $20 at 212-563-6269 or at brownpapertickets.com/event/4224756.  For more information, visit www.evolvepuppets.com.

LPTW Presents the 7th Annual Women Stage the World Parade @lptwomen #womenstagetheworld

THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN PRESENTS THE 7TH ANNUAL WOMEN STAGE THE WORLD PARADE

Photo credit: Erik McGregor

TUESDAY, JUNE 11 IN TIMES SQUARE 

The League of Professional Theatre Women (Kelli Lynn Harrison & Catherine Porter, Co-Presidents), an organization which has been leading the gender parity conversation and championing women in the professional theatre for over 35 years, will lead the seventh annual Women Stage the World Parade, a march to advocate for equal representation for women in theatre, on Tuesday, June 11 from 6-7pm, beginning and ending at the TKTS booth in Times Square. 

Women Stage the World, an advocacy project of the LPTW, is designed to educate the public about the role women play in creating theatre and the gender barriers they face as men continue to outnumber women by 4 to 1 in key roles such as playwright, director and designer. Women buy two-thirds of the tickets and represent 65% of the audience, yet 80% of the time the storytelling on stage is shaped by men’s voices, not women.

The Women Stage the World Parade and March will prompt ticket-buyers to ask three questions as they make buying decisions: 

(1) Who wrote, directed and designed this play? 

(2) What is this theatre’s track record in giving opportunities to women?

 (3) How can you spread the word and promote women’s voices? 

Like the suffragettes before them, Women Stage the World empowers women and men to become aware, take action and influence others. For the past seven years Women Stage the World has marched through Times Square- educating theatre goers about the importance of gender parity in the American Theater.

March participants will gather at the TKTS booth in Times Square starting at 5:30pm. The march will commence at 6pm and weave through Times Square and the Broadway district. The event is FREE and the League of Professional Theatre Women invites all theatre women and allies to participate in this march, as we boost awareness, lift our voices, and advocate for more opportunities for women in theatre. All march participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite historical theatre woman or in all white. Women Stage the World sashes and signs will be provided, as supplies last.

If you’re a theatre woman or ally interested in participating in the event please email WomenCountMarchRSVP@theatrewomen.org


The League of Professional Theatre Women (a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization) has been championing women and leading the gender parity conversation in the professional theatre for over 35 years. Since its founding, the LPTW’s membership has grown to 500+ theatre artists and practitioners of all backgrounds, across multiple disciplines, working in the commercial and non-profit sectors. To increase visibility of and opportunities for women in the field, the LPTW spearheads events, public programming, advocacy initiatives, media, and publications that celebrate industry luminaries, preserve the legacy of historic visionaries, raise awareness of the importance of nurturing women’s voices, and shine a spotlight on the imperative of striving for gender parity and fostering a diversity of expression, both in the theatre world and the world at large. To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, please visit www.theatrewomen.org

Meet Woody Fu & Too Many Asians @woodrowfu #toomanyasians

TMA
Name: Woody Fu
Tell us about you. 
I’m an actor/comedian, a cancer, Slytherin, and introvert. Trained at the Magnet and UCB Theaters in NY, performed at Boom Chicago (Amsterdam), with Baby Wants Candy, and toured nationally with my one-man show Asian Gracefully. Love seltzer and french fries, my spirit animal is a penguin. I’ve appeared on Comedy Central, HBO, TBS, FX and The New York Times. I’m also a lead in the feature Lucky Grandma, which premiered at Tribeca Film Festival this year.
Tell us about your current project? 
Have you ever thought “there’s not enough Asian faces onstage?” After this show you will think “that was TOO MANY Asians!” Too Many Asians! is a live one-man characters show by actor, comedian and writer Woody Fu. Watch him become a KPOP boy band, a very confident pigeon and more in a series of tight comedy sketches. After half an hour, you will be an Asian ally or dead, GUARANTEED. Directed by Hunter Nelson.
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production? 
This show is going up at New York City’s premiere venue for sketch comedy, the Upright Citizens Brigade in Hell’s Kitchen.
What’s next for you? 
I’m making a short film about time travel!
What is the name of the last show you saw? 
The last thing I really enjoyed is the podcast CONVICTION on Gimlet Media.
Any advice for your peers?
Keep doing it. Don’t stop doing it.

Woody Fu performs on Maude Night, Characters Welcome, and Baby Wants Candy at UCB. He was a castmember of Boom Chicago (Amsterdam), and Thrones! The Musical Parody (Edinburgh Fringe). He’s appeared on Comedy Central, HBO, TBS, FX, and The New York Times. He is a lead in the feature Lucky Grandma, premiering at Tribeca Film Festival this year.

His webseries Asian American Studies is an official selection at Slamdance 2019, and his forthcoming series UR Asian Friend was produced by UCB Comedy and Nerdist. His one-man show Asian Gracefully toured New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Austin, and Toronto.

He’s also a professional DJ who loves penguins, seltzer and french fries.

He is represented by Ken Treusch at Bleecker Street Entertainment.

http://woodyfu.com


Show Information:
When: UCB Hell’s Kitchen at 555 West 42nd Street
When: May 13 @9pm / May 31 @7:30pm / June 12 @7:30pm / June 24 @9pm

Meet Amanda Nicastro & I’m Just Kidneying

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Giancarlo Osaben, production photographer
Name: Amanda Nicastro
Tell us about you. 
I write and produce a lot of my own work but that’s not what I originally set out to do. And I still have a lot of self doubt with the definition of “writer.” If you would have asked college aged Amanda, “Is your dream to write and produce your own work?” She would have said, “Heck, no! I want people to cast me in their stuff so all I have to do is memorize the lines!” Ha! But when I look back on my creative career I have pursued and realized a lot of my own creative projects.
Tell us about your current project? 
I’m Just Kidneying is a comedic portrayal of how I donated a kidney for my sister through a paired donation and wound up also helping save the life of a Trump supporter. It all started with a couple funny instances during my living donor evaluation that I turned into comedy sketches. From there I decided I wanted to make it a solo show, and I wanted to use humor as a tool for advocacy. When I found out the other donor was a MAGA Head it added another crazy level to my story.
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production? 
I’m Just Kidneying has a run at Frigid Fringe Festival Feb 22-March 9. My show isn’t a traditional storytelling show nor is it quite a traditional comedy/sketch show. It’s a little bit of both and I find that mix is the perfect recipe of what Fringe audiences are looking for when they are deciding what shows to see.
What’s next for you? 
Edinburgh Fringe! I just signed a contract with a venue and I’m so excited to be bringing I’m Just Kidneying to the world’s first and largest Fringe Festival.
What is the name of the last show you saw? 
Haha! My husband and I actually just saw Hamilton! He’s a huge American History buff and has wanted to see the show for the longest time. The tickets were his joint birthday and Anniversary present.
Any advice for your peers?
Self doubt is your worst enemy. I can’t tell you how many times I almost talked myself out of a creative project that turned out either successful or rewarding.

Show Information:

When:
  • Friday Feb 22nd, 5:30pm
  • Saturday Feb 23rd, 8:50pm
  • Sunday Feb 24th, 1:50pm
  • Monday March 4th, 10:30pm
  • Saturday March 9th, 5:30pm

Where: Under St Mark’s Theatre at 94 Saint Mark’s Place

Tickets: http://www.horsetrade.info/event/be402d57b3d578097f90dcbcdde5e2f4

Social: @TheLastAmanda https://www.facebook.com/imjustkindeying/ $5 off with code DONATELIFE

Meet Kelly Haramis & Hard-Core CORN

image3.jpegName: Kelly Haramis
Tell us about you. 
I’m a Chicago-area actor, writer, and teaching artist. I was a journalist for 12 years (6 of those years at the Chicago Tribune). I returned to my love of theatre 10 years ago. I perform weekly on the House Team at the Improv Playhouse, and I love taking my one-woman shows to fringe festivals. 12 years ago, I became a mom twice in 6 months. I live with my husband, preteen daughters, and Russian Blue cat in the Chicago suburbs.
Tell us about your current project? 
Kelly Haramis is an uncontrollable food addict in “Hard-Core CORN,” a one-woman show directed by David Knoell. And Kelly’s popcorn-jonesing life is about to get flipped upside down after she meets a nutrition guru. Find out what happens when Kelly navigates a maze of maize–through hilarious newscasts, cooking shows and personal confessions–in a world turned against her.
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production? 
FRIGID NY at Under St. Marks, which is perfect because it’s an intimate black box setting that captures the scale of the show. I perform as a host of different characters, but each one speaks directly to the audience.
What’s next for you?
I’m writing a show about my grandparents and their immigration from Greece, Germany, and Puerto Rico. I also plan to perform my show “Double Happiness: A Tale of Love, Loss, and One Forever Family” again because my daughters haven’t seen it yet.
What is the name of the last show you saw? 
“The Skokie Detective Charter School.” My 11-year-old daughter Kallista had one of the lead roles in the middle school production.
Any advice for your peers?
Never give up. There will be performing slumps that will seem longer than forever, but there are always be new opportunities. Sometimes, the best opportunities are the ones you create for yourself.

Show Information:

When: Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 10:30 p.m.;  Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2:10 p.m.;  Sunday, March 3 at 5:10 p.m.;  Wednesday, March 6 at 8:50 p.m; Friday, March 8 at 8:50 p.m.; Saturday, March 9  at 12:30 p.m.
Venue: Under St. Marks Theater (94 St Marks Pl, New York, NY.)

Meet Mary Goggin & Runaway Princess, a Hopeful Tale of Heroin

Name: Mary Goggin

Tell us about you.

Well..now I am a bestselling, award winning storyteller!! Irish born parents ..New York born.. 31 years sober on February 18, 2019 !! I am a professional union actor for the last 20 years .

Tell us about your current project?

Runaway Princess, a Hopeful Tale of Heroin, hooking and happiness is about hope.. I wrote this show to heal myself and others. I am finding that in government funding , the use of methadone and narcon is recommended..in other words do not talk and do not die it looks better politically. My show is about talking about everything .. and healing and hope!! Big time!!

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

I’m at Frigid Festival now under St. Mark’s ..its somewhere I would’ve gone when I ran away to the village in the 60s ..it’s synchronicity the Frigid Festival is amazing friendly and fair when it comes to $$$

What’s next for you?

I’ve been invited to Savannah to do the show in the county jail I may do Atlanta Fringe ..waiting to hear.. ..Dublin Fringe later this year which just seems right as that’s where the story begins … most of all I am listening to the universe to tell me what’s next! Mostly, I listen to my award winning director, Dan Ruth. I consider Dan to be my mentor as well ..I don’t know if he knows that.. he does now ..but in terms of the path to success iwith a solo show I want what he has ..so I do what he does and follow his suggestions. I am grateful that he is in my life was another instinct situation finding him.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

The Ferryman

Any advice for your peers?

Follow your heart, your passion.. listen to your insides, your instincts… network.. be specific and honest..keep supportive people in your life.


Show Information:

Runaway Princess, a Hopeful Tale of Heroin, Hooking and Happiness Written and performed by Mary Goggin. Directed by Dan Ruth

When: Feb. 20 @ 5:30pm Feb. 24 @ 5:10pm Feb. 28 @ 7:10pm March 4 @ 7:10pm March10 @3:30pm

Where: FRIGID New York @ Under St. Marks, 94 St. Marks Place, New York, NY 10009

Use code 5off for anyone who reads this interview.

TICKETS: Tinyurl.com/runawayprincess

COST: $20.00 ($15.00 for seniors, students and military)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT: http://www.horsetrade.info/frigid-festival

VISIT MARY GOGGIN: http://marygoggin.com

Www.runawayprincessplay.com; Facebook: runawayprincessplay; Twitter: @marypat218; instagram: #marypat218

Women in the Arts & Media Coalition Announces The 2019 Collaboration Awards

THE WOMEN IN THE ARTS & MEDIA COALITION 
ANNOUNCES
THE 2019 COLLABORATION AWARDS 
 
Acclaimed Collaboration Award Winner, Alysia Reiner
SATURDAY, MARCH 30 @ SVA THEATER
The Women in the Arts & Media Coalition will present the 2019 Collaboration Awards. which recognize women who successfully collaborate to create new and influential work, at the SVA Theater (333 West 23rd St, New York, NY 10011) on Saturday, March 30 at 6:30pm. The 2019 Collaboration Awards Gala will be held on International SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now), along with numerous celebrations around the world supporting women artists.
At the gala, SAG and OBIE Award-winning actor and producer Alysia Reiner (Fig on Orange is the New Black on Netflix) and her collaborative team on the film Egg–director Marianna Palka, screenwriter Risa Mickenberg, and co-producers Michele Ganeless and David Alan Basche (as the one Honorable MEN-tion)–will be awarded the first Acclaimed Collaboration Awardfor a project with greater renown and visibility.
The 6th Biennial Collaboration Award winners are playwright Deborah Yarchun and director Jess Chayes for their play Preservation. Yarchun is a member of the Dramatists Guild, and Chayes a member of both Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the League of Professional Theatre Women.
The Coalition will also be awarding the first ever Student Collaboration Award to the documentary Bread Machine, by Shelby Hougui and Julia De Santis, two students from SVA’s Film and Animation Department, the first Academic Affiliate of the Women in the Arts & Media Coalition.
A limited number of tickets to the Awards Gala are available to the public. Ticket prices are: $15 for members of any of the Coalition’s member organizations / $20 for non-members (early bird rate) / $25 after March 15 and at the door. There will also be a very limited number of Premium Seats (which includes reserved seating and a champagne toast with the honorees) for $100each. Tickets can be purchased online at www.womenartsmediacoalition.org
The complete list of honorees is:
Acclaimed Collaboration Award
EGG (directed by Marianna Palka, written by Risa Mickenberg, produced by Alysia Reiner, David Alan Basche, and Michele Ganeless, starring Alysia Reiner, Christina Hendricks, Anna Camp, David Alan Basche, and Gbenge Akkinagbe)
Collaboration Award Winner 
Preservation     Deborah Yarchun (Dramatists Guild) and Jess Chayes (Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, League of Professional Theatre Women)
Honored Finalists
Courage     Melissa Bell (DG) and Tannis Kowalchuk (TRU)
Click           Katherine Carter SDC (LPTW) and Jacqueline Goldfinger (DG)
United Flight 232     Vanessa Stalling (SDC) and Brenda Barrie (AEA)
Special Mentions
Scars         Ophira Eisenberg (SAG-AFTRA) and Maggie Cino (DG)
The Uncivil Ones Charissa Bertels (AEA SAG-AFTRA) and Ayumi Okada (AFM 802- Associated Musicians of Greater NY – Local 802 AFM/ DG – Dramatists Guild)
Student Film Winners
Bread Machine – Shelby Hougui & Julia De Santis (SVA Film and Animation), co-founders of JuJu Films
Awarded every third year, the Collaboration Awards encourage professional women in the arts and media from different specializations to work collaboratively on the creation of new work. The award recognizes the best of these collaborations and goes to a winning project and its two creators. 2019 marks the sixth time the Collaboration Awards have been presented. Past winners are: playwright T.D. Mitchell and director Sheryl Kaller for the play Queens for a Year (2015), Jane Edith Wilson and Grace Lee for their mockumentary, Janeane from Des Moines(2013), playwright Stefanie Zadravec and director Daniella Topol for their collaboration on the play The Electric Baby (2011); writer Jennifer Gibbs and director Kristin Marting for the play The Stranger (2008), and playwright Jennifer Maisel and director Wendy McClellan for the play Birds (2006).
Women in the Arts & Media Coalition (Yvonne Curry and Avis Boone, Co-Presidents) is a non-profit organization, which represents more than 200,000 women in the performing arts and media through its member organizations and affiliates. The Coalition focuses the power of its member organizations and their memberships together and uses the combined strength to address issues of concern through advocacy, networking and educational events. Member organizations are: Actors’ Equity Association, Associated Musicians of New York Local 802 AFM, Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Communications, New York Women in Film & Television, SAG-AFTRA New York Local, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and the Writers Guild of America, East. Affiliates are: BOLD, Drama Desk, International Center for Women Playwrights, The Lambs, Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, National Theatre Conference, Professional Women Singers Association, 365 Women a Year: A Playwriting Project, Theater Resources Unlimited, Women in Music, The Women’s Media Center, Women Make Movies, and WomenArts. For more information on Women in the Arts & Media Coalition, visit www.womenartsmediacoalition.org.
Alysia Reiner, an award-winning actress and producer, is best known as Natalie “Fig” Figueroa on Netflix’s hit Orange is the New Black, for which she won an ensemble SAG award and you can see her in all 6 binge-worthy seasons. Reiner recently joined the cast of HBO’s The Deuce for season 2 and is returning for season 3. You can also see her in all 3 seasons of FX’s critically acclaimed Peabody Award winning Better Things. Her motherhood dark-comedic feature EGG, which she produced and stars in with Christina Hendricks and Anna Camp, premiered at TFF 2018, and is on iTunes, Amazon & VOD Now. Additionally, Alysia produced and stared in Equity, bought/distributed by Sony Pictures Classics at Sundance 2016. Alysia loves working as a change maker for women, is an ambassador for the Geena Davis Institute for Gender Equality, a member of Times Up, recently received a MUSE “Made in NY” Award from The Mayor’s office and New York Women in Film and Television, and is passionately committed to protecting the environment (see http://livariclothing.com).
Marianna Palka, humanist filmmaker and proud Scotswoman, has previously directed 4 feature films. Her latest film Bitch just sold at Cannes after its Sundance 2017 premiere. Her film Good Dick was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, she returned in 2010 as a Sloan juror, and then again in 2014 with the short documentary The Lion’s Mouth Opens, which was OSCAR shortlisted and Emmy Nominated. Marianna won the prestigious New Director’s Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, and she’s also directed a number of music videos for prestigious artists including Moby, Last Night, Carly Ritter, and Rain Phoenix.
Risa Mickenberg is an NYC-based writer. She grew up in Southbury, CT. Her plays have been commissioned and performed at South Coast Repertory, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Brighton Festival, the SoHo Theater London. Screenplays commissioned by Fred Zollo, Davien Littlefield + Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ideal Partners. She’s written a comedy pilot for HBO and worked on HBO’s Tell Me You Love Me. Author of Taxi Driver Wisdom (Chronicle Books) and Beauty Parlor Wisdom (Chronicle Books). Her fiction and humor have been published in The BafflerPurpleThe American BystanderViceThe Utne Reader, and Grlsquash. She received a Pushcart Prize for fiction. She is the lead singer, co-songwriter and co-producer of the 8-piece cabaret band Jesus H Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse, lauded by NPR, the New Yorker, The Village Voice, Pitchfork. A former member of the BMI Lehman-Engel Lyricist’s Workshop, she’s received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is a member of the WGA East and SAG/AFTRA.
Michele Ganeless, Co-President of MO Studios, is best known for her tenure as President of Comedy Central, a position she held from 2004-2016.  Under her leadership, the network grew to be the number one brand in comedy. Prior to her role as President at Comedy Central, Michele held programming and leadership roles at USA Network, Comedy Central and MTV.  During her multiple terms at Comedy Central, Michele oversaw the growth of the Comedy Central brand as franchises including the Emmy® and Peabody® Award-winning “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, “The Colbert Report”, “South Park,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Key & Peele”, dominated the cultural landscape. Since leaving Comedy Central, Ganeless has focused her energy and expertise on producing. Her first feature film, Egg, starring Christina Hendricks, Alysia Reiner and Anna Camp, premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, and had its theatrical premiere in January. She is also a producer on Irreplaceable You, which premiered in 2018 and is currently airing on Netflix.  Both films were written and directed by women, and were produced with a clear mandate: hire more women behind the camera, thus helping to level the playing field for women in entertainment, a mission that is at the heart of MO Studios. Ganeless is a board trustee of Comic Relief, Inc, dedicated to ending child poverty around the world, and on the advisory board of Northwestern University’s School of Communications.
Deborah Yarchun is a NYC-based playwright and a member of the 2018-2019 Civilians’ R&D Group. Her honors include two Jerome Fellowships at The Playwrights’ Center, a 2017-2018 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellowship, an EST/Sloan Commission, The Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, the Richard Maibaum Playwriting Award, and the Iowa Arts Fellowship. Deborah’s plays have been produced and/or developed at places including Ensemble Studio Theatre, EstroGenius Festival, Fusion Theatre, Jewish Ensemble Theatre, the New Harmony Project, the Philadelphia Fringe, Playwrights Horizons’ Peter Jay Sharp Theater by Young Playwrights Inc., Rattlestick, TheatreSquared, the William Inge Center for the Arts, and Williams Street Rep. M.F.A., University of Iowa.
Jess Chayes is an award-winning director and the BOLD Associate Artistic Director at Northern Stage as well as a founding co-artistic director of The Assembly with whom she has co-created and directed ten original productions. Recent directing includes Intelligence (NYTW Next Door), Venus Rising (Northern Stage), The Flick (Warehouse Theatre), Holidays In/Coyote (The Tank), Lipstick Lobotomy (The Juilliard School), and The Providence of Neighboring Bodies (Dutch Kills). She has developed new work with The Vineyard, The Playwrights Center, Ars Nova and New York Theatre Workshop, among others. Jess is a NYTW Usual Suspect, a 2018 Audrey Resident with New Georges, a co-founder of New Georges Jam artists’ lab, and alum of The Civilians R&D Group and Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Jess is the recipient of the 2017 Lucille Lortel Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. www.jesschayes.com

The League of Professional Theatre Women present the 2019 Theatre Women Awards

THE LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL THEATRE WOMEN
ANNOUNCES
THE 2019 THEATRE WOMEN AWARDS 
THE ROAD TO PARITY
 
LPTW Lifetime Achievement Award winner Graciela Daniela Photo credit: Walter Kurtz
MONDAY, MARCH 25 @ THE SHEEN CENTER
The League of Professional Theatre Women (Kelli Lynn Harrison and Catherine Porter, Co-Presidents)an organization which has been leading the gender parity conversation and championing women in the professional theatre for over 35 years, will present the 2019 Theatre Women Awards at The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture (18 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012) on Monday, March 25 at 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm). For more information on the 2019 Theatre Women Awards, and to purchase tickets, please visit www.theatrewomen.org.
This year’s Theatre Women Awards will honor director/choreographer Graciela Daniela (Lifetime Achievement Award), director May Adrales (Josephine Abady Award), acting teacher and author Mari Lyn Henry (LPTW Special Award), the founding members of the feminist activist and advocacy group The Kilroys (LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award), scenic designer Mimi Lien (Ruth Morley Award), translator/director/producer Joanne Pottlitzer (LPTW Special Award), producer/dramaturg Natasha Sinha (LPTW Lucille Lortel Award), and playwright Karen Zacarías (Lee Reynolds Award).
The League of Professional Theatre Women’s annual Theatre Women Awards are dedicated to promoting the visibility of the theatrical work of women artists and their contributions to the field, across all disciplines. For decades the LPTW has celebrated women who are consistently creating and working in every facet of the theatre industry. The diversity in disciplines of this year’s awardees, including choreographers, translators, casting directors, dramaturgs, educators, designers, playwrights, actors, and producers exemplifies the vast talents theatre women contribute to the art-form. Although some of these positions are not often recognized, they are critical to the success of the theatre industry, and the LPTW is proud to recognize their vital work in our community.
The theme for this year’s Theatre Women Awards is The Road to Parity. At last year’s Awards, LPTW launched its advocacy campaign   #OneMoreConversation, which, in addition to taking off on social media, included direct contact with approximately 400 theatre leaders, decision-makers, and educators across the country encouraging leaders to have one more conversation — with a theatre woman — before making a hire.  As 50/50 in 2020 approaches, #OneMoreConversation is only one step in the League’s Road to Parity. The breadth and scope of the 2019 TWA awardees’ experience and talent are a call to action: the goal is parity; the time is now.
Graciela Daniela (Lifetime Achievement Award) has directed on Broadway, at Lincoln Center and the Public Theater, and at regional theaters and has earned ten Tony Award nominations and six Drama Desk nominations. Her Broadway Director/Choreographic credits include Chita Rivera, The Dancer’s LifeAnnie Get Your GunMarie ChristineOnce on This IslandChronicle of a Death Foretold and Dangerous Game. She has Musical Staged/Choreographed such shows as Ragtime (Astaire, Ovation [L.A.], NAACP, and Callaway Award), The Goodbye GirlZorbawith Anthony Quinn, The Rink starring Liza Minnelli and Chita Rivera, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. She choreographed the New York Shakespeare Festival production of The Pirates of Penzance on Broadway, Los Angeles and London, the motion picture of Pirates, and three Woody Allen films including Mighty Aphrodite, for which she won the 1996 Fosse Award, and Everyone Says I Love You, for which she won the 1997 Fosse Award. Ms. Daniele directed and choreographed A New Brain, which enjoyed an extended run in the summer of 1998 at Lincoln Center Theatre. She is recipient of the 1998 “Mr. Abbot” Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Director/Choreographer. Ms. Daniele directed and choreographed the Michael John LaChuisa’s Little Fish (Second Stage) and Bernarda Alba (Lincoln Center Theatre) along with the Lincoln Center Theatre production of William Finn’s Elegies, A Song Cycle. Most recently, she has choreographed The Visit on Broadway and the world premiere of Sousatzka at the Elgin Theatre in Toronto.
May Adrales (Josephine Abady Award) is a director, artistic leader and teacher and has directed over 25 world premieres. She recently was awarded the prestigious Theater Communications Group Alan Schneider award for freelance directors. She is a Drama League Directing Fellow, Women’s Project Lab Director, SoHo Rep Writers/Directors Lab and New York Theater Workshop directing fellow, and a recipient of the TCG New Generations Grant, Denham Fellowship and Paul Green Directing Award. She proudly serves as an Associate Artistic Director at Milwaukee Rep. She is a former Director of On Site Programs at the Lark Play Development Center and Artistic Associate at The Public Theater. May has directed and taught at Juilliard, Harvard/ART, ACT, Fordham, NYU and Bard College. She has served on faculty at the Yale School of Drama and Brown/Trinity MFA program. MFA, Yale School of Drama. World premieres include Qui Nguyen’s Lortel Award and Obie Award winning, Vietgone and Poor Yella Rednecks (Manhattan Theatre Club, South Coast Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Seattle Rep); Lauren Gunderson’s Natural Shocks (WP Theater); Kemp Powers’s Little Black Shadows (South Coast); Idris Goodwin’s The Way The Mountain Moved (OSF); Chisa Hutchinson’s Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage Theater) and The Wedding Gift (Contemporary American Theater Festival); JC Lee’s Luce (Lincoln Center); Katori Hall’s Whaddabloodclot!!! (Williamstown Theater Festival); A. Rey Pamatmat’s Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and after all the terrible things I do (Milwaukee Rep); Thomas Bradshaw’s Mary (The Goodman Theatre) and The Bereaved (Partial Comfort Productions); Zakiyyah Alexander and Imani Uzuri’s girl shakes loose her skin (Penumbra); In This House (Two River Theater Company); Richard Dresser’s Trouble Cometh (SF Playhouse); and Tommy Smith’s The Wife (Access Theater). She directed David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad at Signature Theater; Kimber Lee’s Tokyo Fish Story (Old Globe); Stefanie Zadravec’s The Electric Baby (Two River); Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop (Milwaukee Rep); Chinglish (Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage); Everything You Touch, (CATF); In the Next Room, or Vibrator Play and Disgraced (Syracuse Stage); and Breath and Imagination(Cleveland Playhouse). Upcoming Projects: Lloyd Suh’s The Chinese Lady at Milwaukee Rep and Hudson Valley Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing.
The Josephine Abady Award is given in memory of Josephine R. Abady, a stage and artistic director, and leader of the nonprofit theatre movement in the United States. The award is given annually to a woman theatre artist who has created work of cultural diversity. 
Mari Lynn Henry (LPTW Special Award) has guided thousands of actors to successful careers in film, TV and theatre for over 45 years. Upon leaving her position as Director of Casting, East Coast for ABC/NY, which she held for over thirteen years, she launched an image and career coaching business. Her book, How to Be a Working Actor, (co-written by Lynne Rogers) is currently in its 5th Edition and continues to be the “Bible of the Biz.” Her workshops on on-camera audition techniques, sight reading, script analysis and impression management have been well-received in cities and universities throughout the U.S. as well as Toronto, London, Oxford and Sydney. As a guest faculty member at the Circle in the Square Theatre School, she advises the second-year students about career preparation and monologue auditions. She is the Dean of Students for the Tom Todoroff Conservatory in New York City, where she teaches the business of acting. For several years she also has been the industry showcase consultant for the New World School of the Arts in Miami. She has been a board member and V.P. of Programs for the League of Professional Theatre Women and is head of their heritage program. In 2013 she founded the Society for the Preservation of Theatrical History which produces a program about famous actresses of the past entitled Stage-Struck Sampler. She earned her BA in Speech and Drama at San Jose State University and a master’s degree in theatre from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Mari Lynn Henry is receiving a LPTW Special Award for her service to the industry as a casting director, acting coach and teacher, and the author of one of most widely used manuals on the business of acting, as well as her service to the League in establishing theatre history and heritage as an important parity advocacy tool for the League.
The Kilroys (LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award) are a gang of Los Angeles and New York City-based playwrights, directors, and producers who are done talking about gender parity and are taking action. For the past five years The Kilroys have been advocating for equal representation on American stages, and have released an annual list of under-produced plays by woman, trans, and non-binary writers. They mobilize others in their field and leverage their own power to support other marginalized theater artists. The current class of The Kilroys are Jaclyn Backhaus, Hilary Bettis, Jennifer Chambers, Claudia de Vasco, Emma Goidel, Christina Ham, Jessica Hanna, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Obehi Janice, Hansol Jung, Chelsea Marcantel, Caroline V. McGraw, Bianca Sams, and Gina Young. The founding members are Zakiyyah Alexander, Bekah Brunstetter, Sheila Callaghan, Carla Ching, Annah Feinberg, Sarah Gubbins, Laura Jacqmin, Joy Meads, Kelly Miller, Meg Miroshnik, Daria Polatin, Tanya Saracho, and Marisa Wegrzyn.
The LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award and accompanying grant is awarded from time to time to aspiring theatre women working outside the parameters of production, embody the spirit of Lucille Lortel and the League, and who show great creative promise deserving recognition and encouragement. This is only the 4th time it has been awarded.
Mimi Lien (Ruth Morley Award) is a designer of sets/environments for theater, dance, and opera. Arriving at set design from a background in architecture, her work often focuses on the interaction between audience/environment and object/performer. In 2017, Mimi won the Tony Award for her design of Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812.  In 2015, she was named a MacArthur Fellow, and is the first set designer ever to achieve this distinction. Mimi is a company member of Pig Iron Theatre Company, and co-founder of JACK, a performance/art space in Brooklyn. Selected work includes Model Home (a performance installation commissioned by WoW Festival, La Jolla Playhouse), Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812 (Broadway), An Octoroon (Soho Rep/TFANA), John (Signature Theatre), Appropriate (Mark Taper Forum), Preludes & The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center), Black Mountain Songs (BAM Next Wave). Internationally, Mimi’s designs for dance have been presented in the Netherlands and Russia, and her work has been exhibited in the Prague Quadrennial. Her sculpture work was featured in the exhibition, LANDSCAPES OF QUARANTINE, at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. She is also a recipient of the Cullman Award for Extraordinary Creativity at Lincoln Center Theater, a Bessie Award, Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, American Theatre Wing Hewes Design Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, and an OBIE Award for sustained excellence.
The Ruth Morley Design Award was initiated in 1998 in honor of costume designer Ruth Morley, one of the profession’s leading designers for theatre and film who also served on the LPTW Board of Directors. It is given annually to an outstanding female theatre designer in the field of costumes, scenery, lighting, or special effects. 
Joanne Pottlitzer (LPTW Special Award) is a writer, theater director, and translator who has produced many Latin American plays in New York and is the winner of two Obie Awards, two Senior Fulbright Awards, two NEA translation grants, and multiple producing and writing awards. She has directed plays in New York, Los Angeles, Tucson, and Santiago de Chile. Her English translations of Latin American plays and screenplays have been produced, published, and distributed in New York and throughout the U.S. Among them are José Triana’s Common Words; Mario Vargas Llosa’s La ChungaThe Young Lady from TacnaKathie and the HippopotamusDaedalus in the Belly of the Beast by Marco Antonio de la Parra; Nelson 2 Rodrigues by Antunes Filho; Striptease and Saying Yes by Griselda Gámbaro; The Toothbrush by Jorge Díaz; and Mythweavers by Arturo Uslar Pietri. She also translated the dubbed version of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s film The Holy Mountain.
Joanne Pottlitzer is receiving a LPTW Special Award for her service to the industry as a translator, producer and archivist of Latin American theatre, and her service to the League in establishing the International Committee.
Natasha Sinha (LPTW Lucille Lortel Award) is a producer and dramaturg, focusing on new plays and new musical work. As Director of Artistic Programs at Signature Theatre, she spearheads new artistic programs for Signature, and she is artistic line producer for select plays and musicals. From 2012-2018, Natasha was Associate Director of LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater which exclusively produces premieres (including Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, Rude Mechs’ Stop Hitting Yourself, Dave Malloy’s PreludesWar by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner, Ghost Light by Third Rail Projects, Martyna Majok’s Queens, and Antoinette Nwandu’s Pass Over). She kicked off the LCT3 Spotlight Series with SHABASH!, hosted by Danny Pudi and Parvesh Cheena. Natasha was previously the Associate Producer at Barrington Stage Company. In addition to producing and developing new plays, Natasha has worked on new musicals, including projects by Michael R. Jackson, Sukari Jones & Troy Anthony, Grace McLean, Shakina Nayfack, Sam Salmond, and Kit Yan & Melissa Li. Natasha is a co-founder of Beehive Dramaturgy Studio, which works with individual generative artists as well as organizations such as Page 73, Musical Theatre Factory, Astoria Performing Arts Center, and SDC. Natasha is on the Advisory Boards of SPACE on Ryder Farm and Musical Theatre Factory (where she co-moderates MTF’s POC Roundtable, exclusively for musical artists of color, and advises on various programs). She has also served as a judge on many award committees, taught classes, written articles, and created events to center a range of exciting new voices from historically underrepresented communities.
The LPTW Lucille Lortel Award and accompanying grant was founded in 2000 with a bequest from the estate of Lucille Lortel to annually honor “an aspiring woman in any discipline of theatre who is showing great creative promise and deserves recognition and encouragement.”
Karen Zacarías (Lee Reynolds Award) was recently hailed as one of the most produced playwrights in the US. Her award-winning plays include Destiny of Desire, Native GardensThe Book Club PlayLegacy of LightMariela in the DesertThe Sins of Sor Juana, the adaptations of Just Like Us, Into the Beautiful North, Ella Enchanted, and How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent. She is the author of ten renowned TYA musicals and the librettist of several Ballets. She is one of the inaugural resident playwrights at Arena Stage, a core founder of the Latinx Theatre Commons, and a founder of Young Playwrights’ Theater. Born in Mexico, Karen resides in Washington DC with her husband and three children.
The Lee Reynolds Award, in memory of producer and League member Lee Reynolds, is given annually to a woman or women active in any aspect of theatre whose work through the medium of theatre has helped to illuminate the possibilities for social, cultural or political change. 
The League of Professional Theatre Women (a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization) has been championing women and leading the gender parity conversation in the professional theatre for over 35 years. Since its founding, the LPTW’s membership has grown to 500+ theatre artists and practitioners of all backgrounds, across multiple disciplines, working in the commercial and non-profit sectors. To increase visibility of and opportunities for women in the field, the LPTW spearheads public programming, advocacy initiatives, events, media, and publications that raise awareness of the importance of nurturing women’s voices, celebrate industry luminaries, preserve the legacy of historic visionaries, and shine a spotlight on the imperative of striving for gender parity and fostering a diversity of expression, both in the theatre world and the world at large. To find out more about how you can support its endeavors, please visit www.theatrewomen.org.
The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture Named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s, The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a project of the Archdiocese of New York, presenting more than 75 events in theatre, film, music, and thought per season. The state-of-the-art complex has a 274-seat proscenium theater equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio with thirty-two onstage inputs; an 80-seat black box theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. This facility is the newest arts center in Manhattan in 35 years and a significant addition to the growing artistic community in NoHo/East Village.  www.sheencenter.org

Meet Jessica Bashline & Wickedest Woman

N

Photos by Braddon Lee Murphy

Name: Jessica Bashline

Tell us about you. 
I work primarily as a freelance theater director and a professor of Acting at NYU, some recent and favorite credits; Loving Repeating (NYC Premiere), Life of the Party (NYU-Premiere Production of Larry O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin’s new musical), at NYU Steinhardt Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, with Strange Sun Closer Than You Think (World Premiere), The Drowning Girls (NYC Premiere). Playwriting is a new venture. In the past four years I have written two full length pieces, Wickedest Woman and Garden of Memories. I am currently working on a third full length play which jumps through time and space in NYC. I have a BFA in Acting from Boston University and an MFA from Goddard College. In addition to my work as a director, writer and teacher my research focuses on both feminist theater and progressive pedagogical approaches to teaching acting and directing; on both the university and high school levels. My most important gig for the past 12 years is raising my daughter Athena– who is a fabulous inspiration and support.
Tell us about your current project? 
Wickedest Woman tells the true story of Ann Trow Lohman, a female doctor (midwife and abortionist) in New York City throughout the 1800’s. Known as Madame Restell, when Ann began performing abortions in 1838 they were legal in the United States and when she committed suicide almost 40 years later at the end of her career, they were illegal. Madame Restell became the face of evil that the anti abortion movement used to rally people to their cause. A gender bending cast of 7 actors tells this epic story of Ann’s rise to notoriety and her struggle to keep her life intact as the scrutiny and even physical danger became ever more intense. I was inspired to write Ann’s story when I saw this article in the NY Times a few years ago– about the midwife and abortionist who outbid the Catholic Church for land adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. I WAS HOOKED. When I began to do my research I learned that NOTHING had ever been written in Ann’s voice. Throughout a 40 year career there was nothing left for posterity that told her story from her point of view. So I made a promise to help find her voice.
Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production? 
We are performing at the WP Theater– and that seemed like an obvious fit!
What’s next for you? 
I head back to NYU for Spring semester teaching 4 classes which I love– and then I will be heading to Oslo to direct a play in the Spring.
What is the name of the last show you saw? 
We’ve been in rehearsal since before the holidays– it’s been a while. But I think it was India Pale Ale – Jaclyn Backhaus’ piece.
Any advice for your peers?
Be brave and take risk.

Show Information: 

WHEN: January 19 – February 2

WHERE: WP Theater at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre,2162 Broadway at 76th Street, New York, NY 10024

TICKETS:www.strangesuntheater.com

Follow on Twitter @wickedestwomantheplay