Entertainment » Theatre

Philadelphia Women's Theatre Fest 2nd Annual Celebration of Women Artists

Tuesday Aug 2, 2016

Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival (PWTF) announces the lineup for the second annual festival, August 3-7, which includes staged readings, presented works, devised theatre, cabaret and comedy.

The 2016 festival is a celebration of the risks women have faced and continue to face with strength and conviction. As the 2016 lineup showcases, women take risks every day -- risks to pursue the passion to move, to sing, to dance, to teach, to write, to direct, to engage.

PWTF is taking risks to the next level in 2016 and asking why. Why is male leadership the rule and female leadership the exception? Why do women have to play by anyone else's rules? Why should we be satisfied with little to no pay time and time again? Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival is committed to building a community that honors creating financially and artistically fulfilling opportunities for women in theatre and invites the community to enjoy the festival's risky lineup.


2016 Festival Lineup

Staged Readings

"Molly's Hammer" by Tammy Ryan, August 5th 8 p.m.
In 1980, Molly Rush, a Pittsburgh housewife and mother of six, walked into a G.E. plant in King of Prussia, PA and took a hammer to the nosecone of a nuclear warhead in protest of the buildup of our nuclear arsenal. She and her fellow activists, The Plowshares 8, including Daniel and Philip Berrigan, went to trial and spent time in prison, and the world was pulled back from the brink of nuclear annihilation for the time being. "Molly's Hammer" is the fictionalized story of these events told through the lens of Molly's marriage and the competing narratives of Molly and her husband Bill, a working class steel worker whose only goal is to stop his wife from sacrificing herself to save the world.

"Sure As A Star" by Courtney Boches, August 6th 2:30 p.m.
Award-winning sitcom actress Madeline Sullivan is in New York to star in yet another Broadway revival of "Gypsy," much to the disbelief of everyone else involved. When she hires college senior Emma to be her intern amidst a life-changing medical emergency, they come to depend on one another more than either of them ever expected. They become irrevocably entwined in a web of obscure pop culture references and Chinese take-out as the fictional 'Madam Rose' takes over their lives. A story of musical theatre divas, mothers and daughters, and living a private life in public.

TBD co-production with Philadelphia Asian Performing Artists (PAPA)


Presented Work

"An Afternoon of Solo Performances: ReCalculating" by Lauren Fanslau & "She Moved Through the Fair" by Polly MacIntyre, August 7th 2 p.m.

"ReCalculating" - Sparked by an obsession with the larger implications of a toothbrush holder (yes, a toothbrush holder), "ReCalculating" explores the complicated relationships between seemingly run-of-the-mill objects and the people they represent and/or replace in our lives. From first dates to parting conversations, we watch Girl navigate through her world and her struggle to detach herself from the baggage that disrupts her journey.

"ReCalculating" seeks to explore not only the comfort and the curse of "stuff", but also the struggle against becoming stuck by prescribed notions for which an object or person is intended. If a toothbrush holder is designed for a certain purpose, what happens when that purpose no longer exists? If a girl is assigned a purpose in life, what happens when she is no longer satisfied with prescribed notions and decides to change directions? What risks do we face when we swim upstream?

"She Moved Through The Fair" - The romantic life of a contemporary Irishwoman is illuminated in bittersweet, often comic tales of coming of age, illicit love affairs gone wrong, an unforgettable plan for revenge, and its surprising aftermath. Inspired by, and freely adapted from the works of Edna O'Brien.

"Together Off-Broadway" by Sarah Gafgen and Meredith Beck, August 4th 8 p.m.
"Together Off-Broadway" is a musical journey celebrating the life and friendship of Ethel Merman and Mary Martin, it's inspired by their famous Ford Concert and will include the wonderful music from that concert as well as fun facts about these incredible ladies and true stories of friendship by Sarah and Meredith. The show includes favorites from "Annie Get Your Gun," "South Pacific," "Gypsy," "Hello Dolly!" and so many more.

"BuzzFeed, Donald Trump, and Dead Black Kids" by Haygen Brice Walker, Directed by Elaina Di Monaco, August 6th 7 p.m.
Two Millennials sit on a couch.
Two Millennials sit on a couch behind laptops.
Two Millennials sit on a couch behind laptops while social networking.
Two Millennials sit on a couch behind laptops while social networking and discussing politics.
Everything will be just fine...


Devised Work

"Simone" by Amanda Coffin, August 6th 12:00 pm
Simone de Beauvoir: Philosopher? Feminist? Predator? Biography collides with movement and found text in this devised theatre piece that explores the life of Simone de Beauvoir, one of France's most controversial figures. Romantic partner and collaborator of Jean-Paul Sartre, Beauvoir made the bold claim that women are the "Second Sex," calling marriage, children, and housework oppressive forces women should overcome. This work-in-progress features a company of female actors including recent graduates and current students in Villanova Theatre's MA in Theatre program. This company of artists invites you to witness the beginnings of an important new work that aims to explore what it means to be a woman today and how Beauvoir's work speaks to women throughout the centuries.

Plus, an Opening Night Cabaret featuring Sarah Galante's new musical, "Hear Me War" and an All-Women Stand-Up Comedy Showcase!

The Philadelphia Women's Theatre 2nd Annual Festival will be held August 3rd - 7th, at the Caplan Studio Theater at the University of the Arts Ira Brind School of Theater Arts, 320 S Broad St, Philadelphia, PA 19102.


For information or tickets, visit phillywomenstheatrefest.org or https://www.facebook.com/PhiladelphiaWomensTheatreFest/

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