Theatre Women Organize in Los Angeles & New York/ SWAN News from Bulgaria & D.C.

Deborah Steinberg, our Director of Artist Services, has written two pieces for the WomenArts Blog this week about groups fighting for gender equality in theatre – the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative and its New York predecessor 50/50 in 2020. We have included excerpts in this newsletter – if you want to see the full articles, please visit the WomenArts Blog.

Please keep sending us your SWAN Day photos and videos. We have news this week from SWAN Festival Bulgaria and a SWAN song suggested by Liberated Muse Arts Group in Washington, DC. Thanks so much to all of you who helped make the Fifth International SWAN Day the best ever!

Martha Richards
Executive Director, WomenArts

Get a Free Badge from the the Female Playwrights Initiative!

Female Playwright Initiative Badge
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The Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative is a Los Angeles-based movement working to ensure fair representation of women playwrights on local stages and beyond.

Are you ready to say “I’m with the FPI?” You can download a free FPI badge or buy one on T-shirts, mugs & more.

The Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, or LA FPI, was formed almost 2 years ago by playwrights Laura Shamas and Jennie Webb as a local, West Coast branch of the national movement for gender parity in American theatre led by the New York-based 50/50 in 2020 movement.The FPI commissioned a study of women playwrights in the Los Angeles area, which found that only 20% of the plays produced locally were written by women. They began working on various fronts to address this paradox, with an infectious enthusiasm for their members’ works and a positive, action-oriented attitude toward the field as a whole. These women know that they are making a difference, and they are excited about doing it.Membership is free and the FPI offers newsletters and a variety of other online resources. Read more about them on the WomenArts Blog>>

Join 50/50 in 2020 – A Grassroots Movement to Achieve Gender Parity in Theatre

50/50 in 2020
Join 50/50 in 2020

50/50 in 2020 is a New York-based grassroots movement that seeks gender parity for professional women theatre artists (i.e. 50% of theatre jobs) by the year 2020.

The members advocate for more opportunities and equal pay for women in professional theatre productions.

They also support theatre works written, directed, and/or designed by women.The cornerstone of 50/50 in 2020 is Works By Women, a group that goes to see productions written, directed, and/or designed by women in New York. Any woman can submit her show for consideration for listing on the Works by Women blog and for a possible group outing, though shows must be on Broadway, Off-Broadway, or Off-Off-Broadway. Works By Women also profiles women theatre artists and their shows in blog articles and interviews.We especially love the idea of women supporting each other by seeing each other’s work. WomenArts’ own SWAN Day celebrations grew from the Women in the Audience Supporting Women Artists Now/WITASWAN groups that Jan Lisa Huttner formed in Chicago to encourage women to see films by women.We encourage women around the world to form groups to support each other, and when you do, please be sure to tell us about it, so that we can feature you in future newsletters.Read more about 50/50 in 2020 in the WomenArts Blog>>

Congratulations to SWAN Festival Bulgaria!

SWAN Day Bulgaria Organizers
Rumyana Tancheva, Nevena Gadjeva, and Dessi Dimova

Congratulations to the organizers of SWAN Festival Bulgaria for their second four-day SWAN celebration. The efforts have been led by musician Dessi Dimova of Art Nova Foundation.

Dimova worked closely this year with Rumyana

Tancheva of Wonderland Events and Nevena Gadjeva of City Center Sofia Mall where many of the events were held. She also formed partnerships with the American Embassy in Bulgaria, Les Fleurs Hotel, the Sofia Municipality, Social Me (check out their cool graphics), and Fresh Swing Dance.

This year’s celebration focused on the active participation of the audience by offering workshops in several styles of dancing, puppet theatre, candle-making, creating batiks, knitting, painting with watercolors (for children), food carving, and food photography.

They also offered their first “SWAN Academy,” a one-week free “boot camp” in documentary film-making led by Minnesota-based U.S. filmmaker Melody Gilbert of Frozen Feet Films.

For more information, please visit:
Note: This site is in Bulgarian, but if you go to Google Translate you can enter the link for the site and Google will translate the Bulgarian to English and many other languages.