Presented each March for Women’s History Month, the Women Center Stage Festival provides the three things that struggling artists need most: Space, Money, and Recognition.
First launched in 1996, the Women Center Stage Festival is a dynamic and diverse laboratory for works in progress from women theater artists at all levels of their careers.
In addition to administrative, technical, and promotional support, the WCS Festival provides production grants to featured projects in the Festival, and empowers the lead artist to determine her own budget and set her own artistic priorities for this stage of her project’s development—a producing model entirely unique to Women Center Stage. A total of five grants are given at the $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 level.
Ticket sales only offset a third of our Festival budget, and funds raised through Kickstarter go directly towards supporting the women artists featured in the Festival.
For more information, visit our website at WomenCenterStage.org
Women Center Stage is Culture Project’s banner initiative committed to supporting and vigorously promoting the work of women artists, and celebrating the unique contribution of women to social justice and human rights. Over the years, the WCS Festival has been an important incubator of new plays, not only for Culture Project’s own Off-Broadway season, but also for projects that have gone on to successful runs elsewhere. WCS has supported early iterations of Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire, Staceyann Chin’s Border/Clash, Geraldine Hughes' Belfast Blues, Lynn Redgrave's Nightingale, Lenelle Moïse’s Expatriate, and most recently, Daphne Rubin-Vega’s solo memoir Frequently Unanswered Questions, which will premiere with LAByrinth Theater Company in 2012.
In 2011, the WCS Festival presented more than 40 performances in 30 days, engaging over 200 playwrights, directors, designers, choreographers, and actors. The Festival featured the work of luminaries like Judith Malina, Alice Walker, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Angela McCluskey alongside up and coming artists like Calla Videt, Monica Hunken, and the 16 women directors featured in our inaugural Directors’ Weekend. Playing to an audience of over 2000 over the course of the festival, WCS patrons and supporters included Salman Rushdie, Liev Schreiber, Heather Graham, Karen Elson, and Lotte Verbeek.
The Women Center Stage 2012 Festival will take place from March 8 to April 7 at The Living Theatre in New York City, home to Judith Malina's legendary radical theater company.
The Festival will begin on International Women’s Day with a cross-disciplinary conversation at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at Brooklyn Museum. Participating artists and more details coming soon!
Our second annual Directors’ Weekend will showcase the work of 13 directors responding to the economic crisis and questions about the idea of “economy” itself: Chloë Bass, Krystal Banzon, Charlotte Brathwaite, Jessica Chayes, Rachel Dart, Morgan Gould, Alicia Dhyana House, Rachel Karp, Katie Naka, Ira Kip, Awoye Timpo, Calla Videt, and Monica L. Williams.
The Festival will feature new plays by JULIACKS and Kathleen Amshoff, Lenelle Moïse, Charity Henson-Ballard, Soomi Kim, Anna Khaja, Dominique Morisseau, Mariah MacCarthy, Eboni Hogan, Caroline Rothstein, and the women of the First Generation Nigerian-American Project. And more artists and special events still to be announced!
Why Your Contribution Matters
Women play a unique and potent role in innumerable struggles for social change – telling stories that don’t otherwise get told, holding community memory, wisdom, and culture; bearing witness and engaging us all to respond.
In the realm of theater and live performance, however, women’s stories are struggling to be heard. The number of plays in production by and about women remains at a shockingly low percentage—according to several studies, productions written by women account for less than 25% of the plays produced annually nationwide. As a producing organization whose mission has always been to amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices, Culture Project sees this disparity as a call to action.
Culture Project is committed to building Women Center Stage into the preeminent developer and presenter of new work by women artists, providing new artistic forums for dialogue, and galvanizing both the theater community and its audience around supporting the voices and vision of women.
Video editing by Lauren Saffa
Music: "Motherland" from the Expatriate Amplification Project, Lenelle Moïse
Production photos by Hunter Canning Photography
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