Karen Olivo, Laura Benanti, Alia Jones-Harvey, More Are Part of Virtual Women's Day on Broadway March 12 | Playbill

Industry News Karen Olivo, Laura Benanti, Alia Jones-Harvey, More Are Part of Virtual Women's Day on Broadway March 12 Disney on Broadway's fourth annual event is themed "Reflecting Courageously, Transforming Collectively."
Karen Olivo, Laura Benanti, and Alia Jones-Harvey
Karen Olivo, Laura Benanti, and Alia Jones-Harvey

Disney on Broadway's fourth annual Women’s Day on Broadway, celebrating International Women's Day, is held virtually March 12 beginning at 1 PM ET. The two-hour event—with the theme "Reflecting Courageously, Transforming Collectively"—coincides with the one-year mark since Broadway’s shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic and features two conversations: "Broadway's Moms: How Life Goes on When the Show Doesn’t” and “Broadway’s Second Act: A Conversation about Moving Beyond Intention.”

The "Broadway's Moms" conversation, moderated by Mamas Talkin' Loud podcast co-hosts Cara Cooper and Jessica Rush, brings mothers together to discuss the challenge of parenting and, specifically, mothering during the pandemic. Panelists includes Tanya Birl, Laura Benanti, Vanessa Javier, Julia Jones, and Karen Olivo.

The Secret Life of Bees_Atlantic Theater Company_Opening Night_2019_Lynn Nottage_HR.jpg
Lynn Nottage Joseph Marzullo/WENN

“Broadway’s Second Act,” moderated by ABC News Correspondent Deborah Roberts, focuses on the actionable steps that can be taken to ensure increased representation of BIPOC women in board rooms, writing rooms, rehearsal rooms, and beyond as well as their equal access to power and privilege. Panelists include Maria Manuela Goyanes, Alia Jones-Harvey, Tali Pelman, Eva Price, and Aaliytha Stevens.

Playwright Pearl Cleage will also speak, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, on behalf of The Lillys, will announce a new initiative to honor the legacy of A Raisin in the Sun playwright Lorraine Hansberry and establish a unique opportunity to address gender and racial disparity in American theatre.

Introductions made throughout the event spotlight young BIPOC women ready to join the industry. Many are participants in Black Theatre Coalition’s Winter/Spring initiative, including Marija Abney, Gethsemane Herron-Coward, Tavia Jefferson, Erin Moore, Brittany Monachino, and Phoebe Moore.

"On March 10, 2020, we held our 3rd annual Women's Day on Broadway event, welcoming Secretary Hillary Rodman Clinton as our Keynote Speaker, along with many amazing women from within the theatre community. The next day, the world and our industry shuttered due to the pandemic," said Anne Quart, SVP production and co-producer, Disney Theatrical Productions, in a recent statement. “This year has been unimaginably difficult for our community, who were suddenly cut off from not just their livelihoods but their chosen purpose. With our theatres still dark, we knew it was important now more than ever to gather the Women of Broadway to share our stories and inspire and refresh each other."

Women’s Day on Broadway also features a pre-recorded performance of The Broadway Sinfonietta under the direction of founder-orchestrator Macy Schmidt.

Following its launch in 2018, the free afternoon aims to engage attendees of all gender identities and expressions in a virtual event about gender equality in the theatre industry and beyond. It aims to immerse participants in a series of conversations and inspire each attendee to drive change, make an impact, and discuss how to keep moving forward during this challenging time.

Free registration is open at WomenofBroadway.com.

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(Updated March 12, 2021)

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