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August Newsletter 2019

18 Aug 2019 7:50 PM | Anonymous

Newsletter August 2019 


In this issue of the ICWP Newsletter, we celebrate women's theatre, bring you up-to-date with the latest happenings around the world, and congratulate our contest winners. We welcome new friends, and we say goodbye to a treasured one. Our spotlight this month is on Zimbabwean artist, Thoko Zulu.

Here's to innovative, engaging, and equitable theatre!

Sharon Wallace

Kim Duvall

Newsletter Co-Editors

 Summer Is Festival Season!

Women’s theater is flourishing across the USA. Notable festivals include the Women’s Theater Festival in Raleigh, NC, the Philadelphia Women’s Theater Festival, the Br!NK New Play Festival in Milwaukee, the Ain't I a Woman Playfest in Louisville, KY, and The Tank’s LadyFest in NYC. In Ireland, the West Cork Fit-Up Festival is based on a tradition of traveling companies from the 1950s and showcases the work of playwright Erica Murray.

  Women & Playwriting around the World   

Women’s Work Theater Collaborative is creating opportunities for theater artists over 40 and kicking things off with a season that explores madness.

Audiobook publisher Audible is now producing live theatre, including Margaret Trudeau's Certain Woman of an Age and Diana Nyad's The Swimmer.

In Japan, the Theatre Olympics 2019 will bring together artists from all over the world, including Anne Bogart’s Radio Macbeth and Yukio Mishima’s Madame de Sade (Act II) -- plus a Greek production of The Trojan Women, highlighting female performers.

The Southwick Players, a local amateur dramatics society in Southwick, England, is now playing Moira Buffini's Dinner, a play with West End success more than 10 years ago. ICWP Member Eliza Gull notes that the play “probably single-handedly put an end to dinner parties across the UK and hopefully silenced the ‘chattering classes.’”

Nigerian architect turned dramatist, Ifeoma Fafunwa, is featured in the August edition of The Guardian. She discusses the impact of her play Hear Word! and her dreamy debut in the Edinburgh festival. Read more  

Playwrights Yuki Ellias and Sneh Sapru along with Vidit Tripathi bring Hello Farmaaish to theatres in India this season. Online news journal The Hindu writes that the play is “a heartwarming story of resourceful women who surpass the limitations of society and their surroundings, to reinvent the world they live in.”


Online publication The Theatre Times presents an insightful take on Indian street theatre and its impact on the formation of Indian feminist theatre. The article, written by Praggnaparamita Biswas and originally published by Museindia in 2018, is worth sharing today in our heightened celebration of international women playwrights. 

 3-Minute Playwriting Contest
Congratulations to our three winners! The theme for the July 2019 contest was Social Change. Sanjay Kumar, Director and Chief Facilitator of Pandies' Theatre in Delhi, India, served as judge. We received ten entries.


Metaphysics by Mona Curtis

A Better Ending for Widow Tweed by Tasha Partee

Weather Report by Catherine Haigney (her third win!)

 In Memoriam

Kathi E.B. Ellis passed away July 15 as a result of complications from cancer. She was 59. Kathi was an active member of ICWP for more than 20 years. She was a frequent contributor on the ICWP discussion list, offering support, advice, and artistic insights into the art of theatre and playwriting. She gave her time, energy, and considerable talents by organising reading events of plays by ICWP members to celebrate International Women's Day and then later for SWAN dayRead more about Kathi here.

 Welcome to New Members

Tracy Biggar, Ontario Canada

Sheila Duane, New Jersey, USA

Claire Ince, New York, USA

Barbara Litt, New York, USA

Vita Morales, New Jersey, USA

Rosemary Parrillo, New Jersey, USA

Candyce Rusk, Texas, USA

Welcome to three new Volunteer Staff members:

Yi-Lin Eli Chung, Ohio, USA (Dramaturg and Literary Assistant)

Kim Duvall, Ohio, USA (Newsletter Co-Editor)

Karen Serrano, Arizona, USA (Volunteer Coordinator)


Thoko Zulu is a multi-award winning Zimbabwean artist. Additional footprints include championing community theatre for policy advocacy at Amakhosi Theatre and Nhimbe Trust in Bulawayo, with work used for behaviour change campaigns that examine critical social issues at a national and regional level. She continues creating work, drawing attention to serious humanitarian issues. We spoke with Thoko about her experience as a playwright.   

Q:  What memories do you have of your childhood and how you became a writer?

A:  I was born and grew up in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Life was hard for a family of eight kids living in a two-bedroomed flat where I slept on the floor under the kitchen table. A very blurry childhood traumatised by a family secret. At school I won awards for writing short plays and acting.

Q:  Your biggest challenge as a female playwright in your country?

A:  The industry is dominated by egoistical men who shoot stronger female players down. They resist change and gang up to close doors. Old groupies continue sticking together to win each other contracts and tenders even when not adequately qualified.

Q:  How do you continue to educate yourself?

A:  Downloading and reading a lot plays of successful and flopped shows to see how one play was a success and another a failure. Seminars and mentorships are also useful avenues.

Q:  Achievements you are most proud of?

A:  My play script publication Lunatic! in a British academic journal by Boydell and Brewer under the African Theatre Series Contemporary Dance Play 17.

ICWP is a 501-c-3 Non Profit Organization, incorporated in the State of Ohio, USA

For general questions, contact Margaret McSeveney, Communications Manager:

For the Board of Directors, contact Pat Morin, President:

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ICWP Is a 501- c - 3 Non Profit  Organization, incorporated in the State of Ohio, USA

For general questions,  contact Margaret McSeveney, Communications Manager:

For the Board of Directors,  contact Pat Morin, President

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