New York theatregoers will be spoiled for choice this June, as two theatre festivals dedicated to amplifying women's voices will run back to back (with some overlap in between) at two Off-Broadway venues.
First up is the Women in Theatre Festival presented by Project Y Theatre Company at A.R.T./New York Theatres. Showcasing 10 productions, including two fully staged world premieres from playwrights Megan Monaghan Rivas and Amina Henry, the festival will run June 5–30.
The second festival is the She NYC Arts Summer Theater Festival, which will be at Off-Broadway's Connelly Theater, June 19–30. The event will showcase eight new full-length plays and musicals, including a brand-new work created especially for the festival by resident playwright Natalie Margolin.
The Women in Theatre Festival will kick off with the world premiere of Rivas' Three Musketeers: 1941 (June 5–29). The thriller, inpsired by the well-known Alexandre Dumas novel, tells the story of five women in a secret room in the Nazi-occupied Paris of WWII. The second world premiere, which was similarly commissioned by WIT, is Henry's Sleeping Beauty (June 22–30). This new take on a classic fairytale features a prince who prefers baking to waking sleeping beauties and a princess who likes fighting with swords rather than sitting pretty.
Rounding out the lineup of new works on offer at the WIT Festival are Ilana Becker's Argument Sessions, Dana Jacks' Fall Risk, Sheila Bandyopadhyay's Rise/Fall, Gina Femia's The Violet Sisters, and an adaptation of 10th century playwright Hrotsvitha of Gandersheim's work co-written by playwrights Eliza Bent, Susan Bradbeer, Antu Yacob, Laura Pittenger, Kaaron Briscoe Minefee, and Kelley Nicole Girod.
Beginning June 19, She NYC Arts takes over the Connelly Theater with its fourth annual festival of summer theatre.
The lineup is made up of Ciara Kay's Swim Before You Drown; Exposed, conceived by Kristin Heckler, with Jacob Sebastian Philips, Sara Raimondi, and Pauline Sherrow; Caroline Wigmore and Jen Green's The Bachelor Girls; Courtney Bailey Parker's Immersion; Elinor T. Vanderburg and Drew Vanderburg's Dancing Girl; Jen Rudin's Beautiful Pasadena; and Kate Brennan's The Shoebox.
Rounding out the programming will be Margolin's play The Day the Butcher Shop Closed, which is being developed in the lead-up to the festival as part of the New Play Residency.
She NYC Art's new educational program, CreateHer, will also present staged readings of four new short plays written and produced by female high school students.