Lisa McNulty, producing artistic director of the Women’s Project Theater, has a long history with the organization—the largest and oldest company in the country dedicated to developing the work of female artists. McNulty was offered her first paying job with WP as literary manager in 1997, and returned as associate artistic director in 2002. In 2014, she took on her biggest role at WP yet, at the helm. She’s now ready to tackle her third year as artistic director with her feet “firmly underneath” her.
“I feel like I’m just starting to catch up with myself. The first two years were amazing but a whirlwind,” she tells Playbill. “I feel like I can occupy this space with a little less craziness now.”
Later this month, WP will kick off its 2016-17 season with the world premiere of Lisa Lampanelli’s Stuffed, a moving and hilarious look at how women relate to food, eating disorders and body image.
“Lisa’s play feels like it’s doing the thing that this institution should do, which is introducing new women’s voices to the American stage,” says McNulty. “Lisa has been a journalist and a stand-up comedian, but she’s never been a playwright. I’m so excited to have her tell this story that feels so important.”
In March 2017, WP will stage another world premiere: Sundown, Yellow Moon, a play with songs by Rachel Bonds, featuring music and lyrics by indie-rock duo The Bengsons.
“I’m also super-excited to be collaborating with Ars Nova—I’ve known them for a long time now—and to be working with playwright Rachel Bonds, who I’ve also known for years. Also, to welcome a little music into our space for the first time,” continues McNulty.
In addition to an exciting season, WP also recently announced its new Lab residents, made up of playwrights, directors and producers. The residency provides its members with a professional network, entrepreneurial and leadership training, and opportunities for development and production. The 2016-18 Lab will culminate in another Pipeline Festival, which will showcase the work of its resident artists. This year’s festival garnered critical acclaim and helped numerous projects receive further development and production.
“The Lab is probably the most gratifying thing that I do in my job,” says McNulty. “To have spent two years growing a cohort of artists to go out into the world—hopefully as each other’s primary collaborators and support network—feels like a powerfully important thing to do... We’re generating work so that people can no longer say: ‘We’re not making work by women because there’s no interesting work being made.’”
Meet the cast of Stuffed below:
Meet the Cast of Lisa Lampanelli's Stuffed
For more information visit WPTHEATER.ORG.