The Culture Project in association with Planned Parenthood of New York City and the Village Voice present the month-long festival through Aug. 31 which features works of theatre, dance and music — highlighting established and emerging female artists.
The ten-show lineup is as follows:
Kick off of the four-week festival with a night of food, drinks and festivities with entertainment by festival participants, solo dance performer Christine Jowers and acclaimed singer/songwriter Olivia Greer.
A diverse ensemble cast uses music, movement, and monologues to explore the American occupancy in Iraq based on the blog of an anonymous 25-year-old educated Muslim woman known as "Riverbend." Adapted by Kimberly Kefgen and Loren Novec. Directed by Ken Rus Schmoll.
Written and performed by Lynn Redgrave (currently starring in Broadway's The Constant Wife), the solo work is inspired by memories of her maternal grandmother and paints "the story of a woman whose voice, like the small brown bird of the title, can only be heard in the dark."
Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei stars in Carol Gilligan's contemporary look at the Nathaniel Hawthorne tale of a "woman exposed, two men hidden, and a child whose eye for the truth shakes Puritan New England to its foundation." Directed by Wier Harman. Post-performance discussion on Aug. 8.
Lynn Cohen (known to television audiences as Magda from "Sex and the City") stars in this "compilation of selected speeches, letters, and articles by Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood [who] writes elegantly and forcefully about the necessity of birth control in the larger context of personal autonomy, a stronger human race, and the right of every person to love and be loved." Adapted by Katherine Creel. Directed by Mallory Catlett.
Christine Jowers/Moving Arts Projects offer a mini-festival of 5 dance workshops as a space to "retreat" for participants from the daily struggles of being a performer/creator in NYC and the opportunity to share visions of dance, connect with other artists, and explore creative possibilities. Free, but pre-registration is required: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (646) 613-8668.
A new "totally original" show with songs and dances that "celebrate and challenge issues that surround the urban girl experience. Listen to the expressive voices of the next generation of diverse, independent women as they use the magic, sparkle and power of theater to ignite their communities to live healthier, more fabulous lives."
Using the actual words of the doctors, philosophers, politicians, patients, activists, and families involved, the work centers on England couple Raj and Shahana Hashmi who announced in July 2001 that they would attempt to save their son Zain from a rare blood disorder by having a second child using a new technique called pre implantation genetic diagnosis. Written by Timothy Cooper. Directed by Ian Morgan.
The Speed Queen (Aug. 11-26 at 8 PM)
Anne Stockton performs in her adaptation of Stewart O'Nan novel about an Oklahoma Death Row inmate who attempts to set the record straight by "answering questions posed to her by America's most popular horror novelist about the wild life of sex, drugs, and crime that has led to what may be her imminent execution." Directed by Austin Pendleton. Many works that have played at the Women Center Stage have gone on to commercial runs including Staceyann Chin's Border Clash, Geraldine Hughes' Belfast Blues, Yeardley Smith's The Good Life (later titled More) and Heather Raffo's Nine Parts of Desire.
For tickets to the works to be performed at The Culture Project, 45 Bleecker St., call (212) 352-3101. For more information, visit www.womencenterstage.com