SWAN Events Showcase Diverse Theatre Women

There are some terrific SWAN events over the next few days that will showcase the diverse voices of women in theatre.

In New York, the Culture Project’s Women Center Stage is presenting Anna Khaja’s Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto, a powerful drama about the former Pakistani Prime Minister which opened to rave reviews this week.

In Denver, the Athena Project Festival is presenting 4 plays in progress and the world premiere of Clinnesha D. Sibley’s Tell Martha Not to Moan, about an elderly African-American couple in Detroit. Our Voices VII will be a day-long celebration of Boston Area playwrights, and on Tuesday, March 19, Actors Equity, the professional actors union in the U.S., is doing a presentation in New York about cross-gender casting of Shakespearean plays.

In addition to the theatre events highlighted below, The Modern-Day Griot Theatre Company in Brooklyn, NY is presenting staged readings of one-act plays by women; Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend, WA is presenting an evening of monologues by women playwrights from around the world; and Liberated Muse Arts Group in Washington, DC is doing a presentation showcasing the voices and views of Lucille Clifton, Zora Neale Hurston, Lena Horne, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday.

These are just a few of the events that have been posted on the Support Women Artists Now/SWAN Calendar, and more are added every day. You are welcome to post any kind of arts or educational event that features women artists, including online events and online fundraising campaigns for women-led arts projects. We have posted instructions about How to Post Your SWAN Event, and we hope you will join us. The idea is to show the world the full power and diversity of women’s creativity.

Shaheed: The Dream and Death of Benazir Bhutto
Written & Performed by Anna Khaja – Directed by Heather de Michele

Writer/performer Anna Khaja illuminates the lives and historical forces surrounding slain Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated in 2007 while attempting to reunite a nation bitterly divided over the ideals of Islam and democracy. Through the monologues of eight characters that take place in the minutes before Bhutto’s death–including Condoleezza Rice and Bhutto herself–we see how Bhutto’s life and death resonate far beyond the boundaries of Pakistan, reshaping the world’s struggle to reconcile the precepts of Islam with those of democracy.

Culture Project, 45 Bleecker St, New York, NYThrough April 1. Tickets & More Info: http://cultureproject.org/current/shaheed/

Our Voices VII A Day-Long Celebration of Boston Area Women Playwrights 
Produced by playwrights Kelly DuMar and Hortense Gerardo
with support from Nora Hussey, Director, Wellesley College Theatre Studies

Our Voices VII

Our Voices VII

Our Voices VII is a day-long event providing artistic support for Boston-area women playwrights. The day will include afternoon play readings with feedback sessions for the playwrights; an afternoon writing workshop; and an evening of staged readings of new plays performed by Boston-area actors and followed by a talk-back.

Sunday, March 17, 2013 Noon-10 p.m.
Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Alumnae Hall, Wellesley College,  MA
More info: http://www.diarydoor.typepad.com/our_voices

Opening Up Possibilities for Women through Non-Traditional & Cross-Gender Casting
Sponsored by the Actors’ Equity Association Equal Employment Opportunity Committee

Joanne Zipay

Joanne Zipay, Judith
Shakespeare Company

This will be an evening of scenes and lecture-demos that will highlight ways to create more opportunities for women in Shakespearean productions and classical theatre.

Actors from New York’s Judith Shakespeare Company, The Queen’s Company and the Messenger Theatre Company will present several scenes from King Lear; As You Like It; Henry VI, Part Two; Macbeth; and The Tempest; followed by a brief talk-back and Q&A.

Joanne Zipay, Artistic Director of Judith Shakespeare Company is lead director of the event.  Additional directors presenting work are Rebecca Patterson, Artistic Director of The Queen’s Company and Emily Davis, Artistic Director of Messenger Theatre Company.

All three directors and their companies have done cross-gender productions of Shakespeare’s plays and other classical works.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Actors’ Equity Association, 165 West 46 St., NYC, 14th Floor-Council Room
This event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.
RSVP to: eeo@actorsequity.org

The Athena Project Festival Features World Premiere
Angela Astle, Founder & Executive Producer

Athena FestivalAthena Project is a professional group of artists dedicated to supporting and expanding women’s artistic contributions to the Denver stage and the wider community.  Each year, they produce an Arts Festival that includes the world premiere production of a new play by a female playwright, as well as female musicians, dancers and artists; a Plays In Progress series that presents workshop productions of women’s plays; and Girls’ Write, a year-long playwriting and play development program for at-risk girls.

This year they are presenting the world premiere of Clinnesha D. Sibley’s Tell Martha Not to Moan. Set in 2007, the play focuses on a devoted but desolate elderly African-American couple in Detroit as the presidential election campaign plays out on the national stage and the 40th Commemoration of the Detroit Riot is marked.

Aurora Fox Arts Theater, 9900 East Colfax Ave, Denver, CO – Through March 31.  More info at: www.athenaprojectfestival.org