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6 Reasons to Attend Women’s Voices Theater Festival

Performance from 2015 Women's Voices Theater Festival - Performing Arts Festival in Washington, DC

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 Women’s Voices Theater Festival, Jan. 15 through Feb. 15, 2018.

And when you're visiting DC for the festival, make sure to celebrate the contributions of women at these must-see museums, theaters and more.

1 Lend your support to female voices and playwrights


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

2 During its first run, the District transformed into world-premiere city
During its first run, the District transformed into world-premiere city Chris Speilmann

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. 

3 The festival is the perfect foray into DC’s performing arts scene
The festival is the perfect foray into DC’s performing arts scene Carol Rosegg / 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

4 Expect the encore to be even more robust

Familiar by Danai Gurira - A Women's Voices Theater Festival Play at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC

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.

5 There’s lots to experience in addition to the performances
There’s lots to experience in addition to the performances Margot Schulman Photography

Choose from a number of panels, presentations and parties as part of the full festival lineup. 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.”

6 The official pass gets you 25% off your tickets throughout the festival

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Washington, DC

Pick up the official Women’s Voices Theater Festival Pass and save on tickets at all participating theaters. The $15 pass gets you 25 percent off your full order. How it works: Once you sign up, you’ll receive an email with a coupon code to apply to any performance of your choice.

More information on the festival and performance tickets is at

Performing arts and theater in Washington, DC - Experience wonder inside DC's acclaimed playhouses