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5 Reasons to Attend Women’s Voices Theater Festival
The stage is set for an impressive second installment of this performing arts festival, Jan. 15 – Feb. 15, 2018
Following the success of the inaugural festival in 2015, DC’s theater community comes together again to mount a citywide festival in celebration of female playwrights. Start making your plans to attend the arts event of the coming winter, Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Jan. 15 through Feb. 15, 2018.
The mission of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival is to showcase and support female and female-identifying playwrights. More than 50 DC-area theaters participated in the inaugural Women’s Voices Theater Festival in 2015, including powerhouse playhouses like the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Studio Theatre and more.
The festival hosted 52 world-premiere plays in 2015 and, perhaps even more importantly, launched a conversation about the underrepresentation of women writers in the theater community. Several highly anticipated world- and U.S.-premieres have already been announced for the next iteration: Arena Stage, one of the festival’s founding theaters, will premiere Mary Kathryn Nagle’s Sovereignty, while Timberlake Wertenbaker will stage the U.S. premiere of her play Jefferson’s Garden at Ford’s Theatre.
The New York Times called the festival “an energizing showcase.” While it drew national attention during its first go-round, DC offers an already-thriving theater scene in which several world premiere plays have gone on to mount productions in other American cities. Two recent examples are Tony-nominated productions currently on Broadway, Come From Away and Dear Evan Hansen.
Women’s Voices continues building buzz with more than 30 new and returning theaters signed on for the next iteration. While the inaugural festival limited eligible plays to world premieres, the 2018 fest will expand its scope to include plays on their second or third run, allowing existing plays to gain needed exposure.
Look for a number of panels, presentations and parties to also be added to the festival lineup as the date nears. As Molly Smith, artistic director at Arena Stage and an instrumental voice in getting the first festival off the ground, told The Washington Post, “The Women’s Voices Theater Festival was a shot heard ’round the country. And this isn’t an issue that’s gone away. So let’s do it again.”
More information on the festival and performance tickets is at womensvoicestheaterfestival.org.
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