This month, we would like to recognize the volunteerism of Nina Gooch, the facilitator for the ICWP online playwriting group.
Nina Gooch is based in Atlanta, Georgia. In addition to being a playwright, she is a lighting designer and a stage/production manager. She was a co-founder and Artistic Director of Theatre OUTlanta, an LBTQ theatre in Atlanta. Her ten-minute play Dancing on a Sweet Summer Evening was produced as part of Queer Theatre Kalamazoo’s 2014 Summer Shorts program.
Nina has been a member of ICWP for over ten years. She started as a playwright participant in the pilot program of the online playwriting group right at the start, in January, 2013, and took on the moderator role when the original moderator was unable to continue. “It was a skill I had and I appreciated what I’d gotten from the process….” said Nina.
Initially started to particularly support members in areas where they did not have immediate support, the playwriting group reads each other’s plays and answers questions posed by the playwright. New plays go out about every five to six weeks. As this is a program run by ICWP, all the members of the playwriting group are ICWP members. Playwrights receive feedback from people with very different perspectives. Nina says that she has learned just as much from reading other people’s work as from getting feedback on her own.
There are currently spots open in the ICWP online playwriting group. If you are interested in joining, please email Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Nina, for all the work you do!
Welcome New Members
Beverly Bowers is the director of Womens Way of Oh-Ky, an artistic support group currently working on a play THE BREEZE BENDS THE GRASS, a musical with original score written by the Julliard trained and award-winning songwriter, Krista Detor.
Liesl Lafferty is a Jessie award-winning director, dramaturg and playwright, focusing mainly on creating new Canadian works. She wrote and directed CANARY for the 2010 Vancouver Fringe, a semi-autobiographical comedy about environmental illness. Liesl is member of the Wet Ink Collective Playwriting Intensive. For more information, check out www.liesllafferty.ca.
Eleanor Oberio is an emerging playwright and recently underwent a workshop with the award winning playwright and director Dean Lundquist. She is is also working on an illustrated children's book entitled "Goodnight Emmanuel." In her spare time, she does volunteer work for community and conservation and artistic. She lives in Singapore with her chirpy 3 year old son and husband.
Rosa Nagle is an experimental playwright from Boston. Her play ON THE DEATH OF JUNE had its world premiere last summer during the NYNW Theatre Festival. She is self-producing her site-specific, interactive play OCTOBER.
Articles of Interest
Article on "The Heidi Chronicles" in the NY Times takes a sharp bend to the issue of women playwrights.
A Stage of their Own: Why Women Playwrights are Still Marginalized
Also, Equity in Theatre is hosting a Symposium Monday, April 27th at The Theatre Centre in Toronto. This is a one-day event tackling underrepresentation and gender inequities in the theatre industry in Canada.
Dramatist Third National Conference July 16-19, La Jolla, California
Nominations open May 1 for the 2015 50/50 Applause Award.
Welcome to the ICWP March Newsletter. As you can see, we are trying to spotlight a new member each month. I would like to extend a personal invitation for you to nominate yourself or another ICWP member for the spotlight. We are particularly interested in people in under-represented areas but welcome suggestions from all our members.
Yours for innovative, engaging, and equitable theater,
A Tribute to Jewel
The Member Spotlight for February is a Tribute to Jewel Seehaus-Fisher, longtime member and contributor to the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Jewel was an adjunct professor of English at Rutgers University as well as Artistic Director of Teachers Theater. Twice recipient of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting, Jewel was a talented and prolific writer whose plays and opera librettos have been produced around the country. I could give a lengthy description of Jewel's many productions, awards, memberships, and academic and theatrical positions. However, her best tribute is the words of those who knew and loved her.
Jewel was a dear friend of mine for more than twenty years. . . . She was kind, generous, loving, talented, funny and always supportive of my work and the work of other playwrights. I had seen her with her daughter Mavis at her new opera in NYC just days before her life was ended so suddenly and senselessly. I will always miss her and carry her memory in my heart.
Jewel was known to me through the network of international women writers. Her independent spirit and huge intelligence was a constant support to members and many us of felt we knew her well even without meeting her. This is testament to her success in reaching out to so many. We shall miss her. She was indeed a precious jewel whose worth is far more than rubies.
She was a friend and colleague of mine, and a true lady of the theatre.She will be greatly missed.
Rachel Rubin Ladutke
I’ve always been amazed at her ability, the power of her work, and her willingness to improve her craft and her constant commitment to a number of different theaters and projects over the years.
John Pietrowski, Director, Playwrights Theater of New Jersey
Besides her artistic contributions, Jewel was always ready to donate her time to The Theater Project. I am sure she was equally generous to the other arts groups she belonged to. . . . Jewel was an extraordinarily loving and supportive colleague. . . . We will never forget her generosity of spirit, her artistry and her affection.
Mark Spina, Artistic Director, Theatre Project
Sophia Romma, Vice President of ICWP, was able to give a fitting tribute to Jewel at the reading of her play Anthrax at the TheatreLab in New York City on February 16
Remember that March 8 is International Women's Day and Saturday, March 28, 2015 is the official date for the 8th International SWAN Day (Support Women Artists Now.) SWAN Day has very successfully highlighted women's diversity and creativity in the arts. There have been over 1,200 SWAN Day events in 24 countries during its first seven years. WomenArts has a directory where you can find or register events. You can also find it on Facebook.
Yours for innovative, engaging, and equitable theater.
In this issue, we have a Member Corner including New Members and a Member Marquee and news about gender parity in theater worldwide.
In future issues we hope to have more contributions by members, including a Member Spotlight and compilation of important themes from the ListServe. We also plan to put the newsletter on the website as a blog. As always, we welcome your comments.
Yours for engaging, innovative, and equitable theater,
Welcome new members Kal Cahoone.and Ana J. Rogers.
(See the website homepage for details.)
LIGHTENING UP, SUNDAY by Nancy Gall-Clayton, Public Reading on January 18, Louisville, Kentucky.
MAYAN MASK by Lynn Snyder, January 9 - February 12, Oxnard, California
EVERYDAY EDNA MAE by Robin Rice Lichtig, February 18, 21, 24, 27, and March 1, Frigid New York Festival.
BECAUSE OF BETH by Elana Gartner, March 25-28, Auckland, New Zealand.
I AM MARGUERITE by Shirley Barrie, April 10-25, Toronto, Canada.
MY NAME IS NAME by Herlina Syarfudin, April 18-19, Jakarta, Indonesia.
(a good lineup of works by and about women)
An adaptation of Muriel Spark’s The Driver’s Seat
Cora Bissett Roadkill and musical Glasgow Girls to investigate the deep-rooted cultural practice of female genital mutilation.
Douglas Maxwell Yer Granny, a new English language version of Roberto Cossa’s Argentinean smash hit La Nona. Concerning a 100 year-old granny who is eating her family out of house and home.
Compton MacKenzie’s whimsical novel Whisky Galore, touring from April 9 to May 15, is to be adapted into Gaelic for the first time by Iain Finlay Macleod in a co-production with new Gaelic company Robhanis.
The Playwrights Guild of Canada has launched their Equity in Theatre (EIT) Initiative. The first phase will be a research study conducted by Dr. Michelle MacArthur on work being done in Canada and abroad for best practices. EIT will establish a dedicated website for women and equity in theatre.
In April, 2015, there will be a day-long, industry wide symposium event to foster conversations on a national and international scale, develop social actions that will promote change and generate awareness of Canadian women playwrights while drawing attention to the systemic issues that permeate the industry.
This will set up a plan for community events and activities for the following year. EIT is looking for partners and resources to aid them in this endeavor. You can reach out to Rebecca Burton at email@example.com
Also should add the phenomenal news that the new Scottish Government First Minister is female - Nicola Sturgeon and she has just appointed her first cabinet with a 50/50 gender balance. She also publicly urged all companies,corporations, organisations and institutions to achieve 50/50 gender balance by 2020 for their boards and management.
June 29 - July 3
Capetown, South Africa
Early bird registration continues till May 30.
Attend workshops by leading female theatre practitioners, Listen to plays from around the world, See exciting productions from South African companies and Network with the global community of women in theatre.
Let us be thankful for our many gifts. Yet, the greatest gift we can give is ourselves, our time, our talent, our interest, and our passion.
Board member, Kristine Bauske has contributed this month's spotlight highlighting a special member.
It is an honor to shine this month’s spotlight on my good friend and fellow board member Elana Gartner. Aside from being a talented playwright and a busy mom, Elana has been a board member for ICWP for many years, and she has been the chair person or co-chair for the 50/50 Applause Awards since 2011. She is also the Volunteer Coordinator for ICWP. If you don’t know Elana personally, you’ve probably seen her name bandied about in one of these important positions.
Elana has had works produced in a number of U.S. states, including New York, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Georgia. One of her scripts will be produced in New Zealand in March 2015, and two of her monologues are included in “Audition Monologues for Young Women #2: More Contemporary Auditions for Aspiring Actresses”. Elana is a graduate of Oberlin College, where she continues to be active in their alumni association.
During the busy 50/50 Applause Awards season, Elana spends hundreds of hours organizing nominations and verifying the eligibility of the nominated organizations. The task can appear overwhelming, but despite her other job as a busy wife and mother to her fabulous family, Elana always manages to get the 50/50 Applause Awards completed accurately and on time. Not only that, but she tirelessly encourages the rest of the Applause Awards team and does it all with a smile. Elana is a blur of energy and activity, and we are grateful to have this effervescent personality working to further the mission of ICWP.
Next time you’d like to volunteer for a project or you need a volunteer, look forward to a quick chat or an engaging email from this month’s spotlight member, Elana Gartner!
The ICWP Volunteer Program provides opportunities for members to use their talents and expertise to collaborate on ICWP projects. Past opportunities have included awards committees, nominations committees, research, assistance with our website and artistic design. Our current board is creating new opportunities in 2015 to work with members in many different ways. You can always reach out to Elana about volunteer opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ICWP has had seven new members since November 1, 2014. Lisa Alder of Horizon, Gweneth Hughes, an American living in Paris, Andrea Markowitz, Sabrina Masud, Madeline Puccioni, Abigail Rezneck, and Mary Spletter.
In my previous newsletter, I asked what you wanted incorporated in our newsletter. One suggestion was for information about theaters willing to publish cutting-edge plays. Another was a call for members to write short reviews about plays they have seen, especially those outside of the US and Canada. If you have something you would like to share, reply to me and I will try to include it in the Member Corner of the January Newsletter.
Yours for engaging, equitable, and innovative theater,
The ICWP board feels it's important to communicate its goals, achievements, opportunities, and needs with its constituency, and we plan to put out a newsletter at least monthly, perhaps more often. That is where you come in. We sincerely seek feedback as to what you want in a newsletter.
A few of the items that we have agreed upon include our organizational achievements, recognition of important volunteers, and items of importance in theater, especially as it relates to women playwrights.
50/50 Applause Award
In that light, let me begin with extraordinary success of the ICWP 2014 50/50 Applause Award, given to theatres producing works by women playwrights more than 50% of their season.
This year, over 100 nominations were received and 67 recipients from 9 countries received awards. By comparison, the first awards in 2011 had 5 recipients from one country. It is becoming a sought-after award with theaters and directors self-nominating, expanding the reach and influence of ICWP.
ICWP would also like to recognize the Herculean efforts of the individuals on the 50/50 Applause Awards committee: Rita Barkey, Amy Drake, Elise Geither, Ellen Margolis, Adrienne Pender, Debbie Tan, Lucia Verona and Sharon Wallace.
This committee did their work as a team, in addition to their individual research. They supported one another and were quick to respond to challenges others were encountering. Members who had previously volunteered on this committee lent their wisdom and advice.
Through their efforts, we were able to reach out to theaters in more countries than ever before, send press releases to international theater bloggers, and translate our communications into multiple languages.
After the nominations window, they offered thoughtful suggestions on improvements for next year, based on their experiences. ICWP sincerely thanks and recognizes the work and efforts of this group who truly worked as a team.
Read More http://womenplaywrights.org/award Recipient
Theatres thank you video http://womenplaywrights.org/award-video
Many prestigious competitions and fellowships do not have open submissions. They require nominations from organizations or agents. Playwrights of New York and Lark Play Development Fellowship offer a one-year residency in New York. Living expenses, medical insurance, and artistic support are provided to a serious young playwright.
ICWP was asked by the search committee to submit a nomination. After reviewing the Fellowship's goals, ICWP nominated Madhuri Shekar, Indian-American writer and ICWP member.
Ms. Shekar was strongly recommended by her professor, Paula Cizmar also an ICWP member, as a unique and poignant writer in a critical point in her career.
It is an honor for an organization to be asked to nominate and careful consideration and appropriate recommendations legitimize our organization and position us to participate in other nominations.
For this reason, ICWP is creating an awards committee that will be responsible for selecting candidates when ICWP is asked for recommendations.
Read More about the Lark PONY Award http://www.playwrightsofnewyork.org/about.html
Women Playwrights International has been dedicated to planning and convening inspirational triennial international conferences, for women playwrights and allied theater artists, that began in 1988.
It has organized conferences in different parts of the world in an effort to give access to underrepresented regions.
Next year's conference will be June 29 - July 3 in Cape Town, South Africa.
ICWP President, Karen Jeynes, is active in organizing the event.
Registration is now open at http://www.wpiconference.com/
The Member Directory link has been moved to a more prominent position on the website, linked from the Homepage. Here you will be able to see how your playwright profile looks to the public. http://www.womenplaywrights.org/member-directory
Now, I leave it up to you. Please give me feedback about the contents of this newsletter and your suggestions for future issues.
I am also interested in including personal accounts from members, not production notices but informative accounts of working on a play in any capacity.
This would be a mini-article where you could expand upon your experience for the benefit of all.
Yours for equitable, engaging, and innovative theater.
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For general questions contact: Margaret McSeveney email@example.com
Board of Directors contact:Pat Morin, President firstname.lastname@example.org