Pay Attention to the Women Behind the Curtain: 10 Works By Female Playwrights You Don't Want to Miss

News   Pay Attention to the Women Behind the Curtain: 10 Works By Female Playwrights You Don't Want to Miss offers a look at some exciting new works by female playwrights that will be presented during the fall season.


Controversial topics like hate crimes against homosexuals, opportunities for immigrant workers and race relations will be explored in new plays this fall. While the subjects of these plays and musicals vary widely, they all possess one common trait: All of them are written by women.

With the focus on works of theatre written by women increasing (playwright and Tony voter Lynn Nottage wrote a piece for the New York Times in June titled "Women Are Missing From Tonys and Broadway"), has compiled a list of plays written by women that will be presented in New York throughout the fall season.

Read's interview with Dominique Morisseau, Annie Baker and Sheila Callaghan on the roles women play in the industry and how they think they should change. reported exclusively on the recent changes in leadership at Women's Project Theater. Read that interview here.

Click through to read about exciting new works by female playwrights that can be seen in New York this fall.

Katie Kreisler and Brian Avers
Photo by James Leynse

Poor Behavior
By Theresa Rebeck
Performances began July 29
Directed by Evan Cabnet
Cast: Heidi Armbruster, Brian Avers, Jeff Biehl, Katie Kreisler
The Duke on 42nd Street

This new comedy by the author of Seminar and Mauritius follows two couples spending a weekend in the country that turns out to be less than idyllic.

Samantha Soule and Rachel Nicks
Photo by Matthew Murphy

And I and Silence
By Naomi Wallace
Performances began Aug. 5
Directed by Caitlin McLeod
Cast: Emily Skeggs, Rachel Nicks, Trae Harris, Samantha Soule
Signature Center - The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre

Caitlin McLeod's play explores the friendship between two imprisoned teenagers. The young women — one black, one white — create a plan for survival while they serve time.

Emily Mann
Photo by Matthew Murphy

Scenes From a Marriage
By Emily Mann
Performances begin Sept. 3
Directed by Ivo Van Hove
New York Theatre Workshop

Emily Mann adapts Ingmar Bergman's film "Scenes from a Marriage" for the stage, exploring the intimate moments in a relationship spanning from youth to adulthood to maturity.

Lisa Ramirez

To The Bone
By Lisa Ramirez
Performances begin Sept. 9
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Cherry Lane Theatre

Inspired by actual interviews, this political work by Lisa Ramirez gives audiences a look inside the lives of the invisible work force by following Latina immigrant poultry workers in the United States.

Kimber Lee

brownsville song (b-side for tray)
By Kimber Lee
Performances begin Oct. 4
Directed by Patricia McGregor
Sheldon Best, Sun Mee Chomet, Lizan Mitchell, Chris Myers, Taliyah Whitaker
Lincoln Center - The Claire Tow Theater
The new play by Kimber Lee (fight, tokyo fish story, different words for the same thing ) follows a family navigating life following the loss of their teenage son.

Sarah Ruhl

The Oldest Boy
By Sarah Ruhl
Performances begin Oct. 9
Directed by Rebecca Taichman
Lincoln Center - Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater

The world-premiere production of a new play by Sarah Ruhl (In the Next Room (Or the Vibrator Play), Dead Man's Cell Phone, Stage Kiss) concerns a young American boy, the toddler son of an American woman and a Tibetan man, who is believed to be a reincarnation of a high Buddhist teacher.

Young Jean Lee

Straight White Men
Written and directed by Young Jean Lee
Performances begin Nov. 7
Featuring Austin Pendleton, Scott Shepherd, Pete Simpson and James Stanley
The Public Theater

The world premiere of the new play by Young Jean Lee, the author of Untitled Feminist Show, We're Gonna Die, The Shipment and Lear, offers a take on the classic father-son drama of American canon when a family questions the value of being a straight white man.

Carol Carpenter

Sweet, Sweet Spirit
By Carol Carpenter
Performances begin Oct. 10

Directed by Joan Kane
The Theater at the 14th Street Y  
The world premiere of this play by Carol Carpenter follows a family struggling to cope with a violent hate crime committed by a father to his own son. They must decide who will care for the child - if he survives.

Heidi Schreck
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Grand Concourse
By Heidi Schreck
Performances begin Oct. 17
Directed by Kip Fagan
Playwrights Horizons - Peter Jay Sharp Theater

The world premiere of Heidi Schreck's play follows the relationship between Shelley, the devoted manager of a Bronx soup kitchen, and Emma: an idealistic but confused young volunteer.

Katori Hall
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Our Lady Of Kibeho
By Katori Hall
Performances begin Oct. 28
Directed by Michael Greif
Signature Center - The Irene Diamond Stage

Based on real events, Olivier Award winner Hall's play follows a young girl who claims to see the Virgin Mary. Her schoolmates refuse to believe her and make her an outcast until impossible things start happening in their town in Rwanda.

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