Exclusive: Graciela Daniele, Mandy Gonzalez, Dominique Morisseau, and More Take the Stage at Women’s Day on Broadway

Broadway News   Exclusive: Graciela Daniele, Mandy Gonzalez, Dominique Morisseau, and More Take the Stage at Women’s Day on Broadway
 
The second annual event from Disney Theatrical Group (March 12) marks a communal celebration and convention for actionable change for women in theatre. Here’s the full itinerary.
Graciela Daniele, Mandy Gonzalez, and Dominique Morisseau
Graciela Daniele, Mandy Gonzalez, and Dominique Morisseau

When the hashtag “metoo” first bubbled on social media, and the Times Up movement emerged, the conversation about women in the workplace swelled across the entertainment industry. The gender pay gap, workplace safety, women in leadership—everything was up for discussion, and not just in Hollywood. In March 2018, Disney Theatrical Group presented the inaugural Women’s Day on Broadway, a day-long convention to celebrate stories by, for, and about women.

READ: 10 Powerhouse Female Creators Discuss This Moment of Change for Women on Broadway

On March 12 at the St. James Theatre, Women’s Day on Broadway returns for its second year, and Playbill has learned exclusively who is appearing and what the programming has in store to meet these criteria.

Women's Day on Broadway 2018
Women's Day on Broadway 2018 Courtesy of Disney on Broadway

The event will feature Leslie Barrett, Adrienne Campbell-Holt, Kristin Caskey, Rosdely Ciprian, Graciela Daniele, Lear deBessonet, Jill Furman, Mandy Gonzalez, Maria Manuela Goyanes, Susan Haskins, Christine Jones, Julia Jordan, Young Jean Lee, Anaïs Mitchell, Dominique Morisseau, Dessie Moynihan, Eva Price, Anne Quart, Theresa Rebeck, Ryann Redmond, Lauren Reid, Tara Rubin, Heidi Schreck, Leigh Silverman, Michele Steckler, Paula Wagner, Thursday Williams, and Syndee Winters. (See the full itinerary below.)

The group represents casting directors, advertising professionals, producers, directors, writers, designers, performers, and executives from the business. Disney SVP and Women’s Day co-producer Anne Quart, for one, is elated by the caliber of participants on the roster and the different segments of the industry to which they can speak and connect.

“Sustainable change happens in meaningful steps over time, all of which is more achievable if there is a community that can gather to share their experiences and be there for each other,” says Quart. Women’s Day on Broadway strives to create such a community for women in the industry to catalyze evolution.

But for change to occur in actuality, it takes the full strength of the Broadway community; it is hoped that—in addition to women—men in the industry also attend March 12. “[Women’s Day] is open to everyone,” says Quart. And women need to feel the support of each other and their male colleagues.

More than a celebration of community, Women’s Day also wants to provide tools for tangible action. “The one thing we heard more than anything else after last year’s event was ‘What’s next?’” she says. So Quart and company recruited organizations paving the road to gender equality (The Actors Fund, BOLD, Girl Be Heard, The League of Professional Theatre Women, Maestra, Open Stages, PAAL, She NYC Arts, The Kilroys, and The WP Theatre), which will be showcased throughout the day.

“I hope this year’s attendees leave with a greater understanding of the many organizations that have been working in this space for years that they might be able to connect with or support, and an excitement about what each of them can do in their own day-to-day to help lift up other women.

“Our goal for this year is to have an authentic dialogue about where we are in terms of women in theatre and where we want to be,” Quart adds. A brief presentation from The Lillys, which has been conducting statistical research about representation and participation of women in theatre, will provide that baseline, and Women’s Day hopes to turn it into a launchpad.

Quart hopes Women’s Day can be a model for “the power of sharing each other’s stories,” she says.

“To talk, connect, be vulnerable, it is enormously powerful.”

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Full Itinerary for Women’s Day on Broadway (1PM–5PM):

Welcome
What the Constitution Means to Me playwright and star Heidi Schreck and her co-stars Rosdely Ciprian and Thursday Williams

The Numbers
Julia Jordan, executive director and co-founder of The Lillys, briefly shares the organization’s statistical findings about where women in theatre currently stand—because the numbers say it all.

Panel 1: “Spotlighting Marquee Women”
Scenic designer Christine Jones (The Cher Show), playwright Young Jean Lee (Straight White Men), playwright Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud), and director Leigh Silverman (The Lifespan of a Fact), moderated by Maria Manuela Goyanes
A discussion with women creators making a splash on Broadway this season.

Spotlight on Organizations for Gender Equality in the Arts

Panel 2: “Stage, Screen and Studios”
Composer-lyricist Anaïs Mitchell (Hadestown), writer Theresa Rebeck (Bernhardt/Hamlet), and producer Paula Wagner (Pretty Woman), moderated by Theater Talk host Susan Haskins
With perspectives from Mitchell, who comes from the music industry, Rebeck, who works across theatre and television, and Wagner, who has produced blockbuster films in Hollywood, what ideas from those segments of entertainment can we apply to theatre?

INTERMISSION

Panel 3: A Conversation: What It Takes to Be a Changemaker
Serino Coyne’s Leslie Barrett, director Adrienne Campbell-Holt (Hatef*ck), actor Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton), facilitated by Fly Loft Group’s Michele Steckler
As this panel examines what it takes to be a changemaker, Women’s Day attendees can take part by completing a questionnaire at WomenOfBroadway.com/question.

Spotlight on Organizations for Gender Equality in the Arts

Panel 4: “Employing Change”
Ambassador Theatre Group’s Kristin Caskey, director Lear deBessonet (Hercules), The Shubert Organization’s Dessie Moynihan, and casting director Tara Rubin, moderated by The John Gore Organization’s Lauren Reid
The final conversation of the day will address practical ways to create more opportunity and visibility for women in theatre.

A message from Anne Quart

Closing thoughts from ten-time Tony-nominated director-choreographer Graciela Daniele (Ragtime, Once On This Island)

Take a look back at Women’s Day on Broadway 2018:

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