Parity Productions to Launch with Reading of HOUSEHOLD WORDS, 5/16

Founder and Artistic Director Ludovica Villar-Hauser has announced the formation and launch of Parity Productions - the new theater company that combines art and advocacy, with its mission to create new and innovative work as well as hire 50% women and transgender on every production.

"Parity Productions has its roots in two other respected not-for-profits - Works by Women and VH Theatrical Development Foundation. With the state-of-affairs being the way it is in theater - fewer opportunities for women and transgender writers, directors and designers, we knew it was the perfect time to combine operations and create an even stronger platform as a singular organization", says Villar-Hauser.

Parity Productions launches with an ambitious slate: a reading of Household Words, the new play by acclaimed playwright Gregory Murphy, author of The Countess, and a production to follow late in the fall. The Household Words reading will be held at the prestigious National Arts Club as part of the May 16th company launch and is directed by Villar-Hauser. Household Words tells the story of Charles Dickens and the lengths his favorite daughter Kate goes to escape the corrupting power of his worldwide fame.

Village Stories is the other full-scale production on the Parity Productions slate for 2016-17. With humor and heart, Village Stories is a one-woman play in which the author relates her own life experience - particularly her divorce - back to the experiences of her ancestors, proving that in life and love the more things change the more they stay the same. Village Stories is conceived, written and acted by the award-winning TV and Broadway actress, Antoinette LaVecchia with music by film, theater and opera composer John T. LaBarbera.

"Both of these shows - along with our other shows in development such as the moving- She Calls Me Firefly by Teresa Lotz are quite different, yet dovetail perfectly to our artistic mission. Our works tell stories about the human experience through the lens of people or groups that would typically be marginalized, but refuse to be so", says Villar-Hauser.

Parity Productions also unveils an impressive array of advocacy initiatives toward creating more jobs and opportunity for women and transgender people in the New York theater community: the annual Parity Productions Commission, promotional support for qualifying shows (competitive shows that also hire 50% women and transgender), The Women and Transgender Artists Database and The Parity Store - a digital retail experience to be launched on parityproductions.org.

The Annual Parity Commission awards two commissions per year to two promising female or transgender playwrights who have demonstrated a dedication to the craft of playwriting and a singular talent for storytelling. The selected playwrights will receive $2500 each and developmental assistance.

Parity Productions is also pleased to announce that the company is receiving an unprecedented donation of twenty-five works of art from the estate of Sylvia Sleigh - the renowned, progressive, Welsh born artist famous for her groundbreaking male nudes and feminist contributions. Sleigh's works have been exhibited all over the world and in permanent collections at the National Portrait Gallery and The Tate in London as well as in major museums across the United States. She died in 2010 at the age of 94.

Paula Ewin, co-executor of the Sylvia Sleigh estate says, "Sylvia Sleigh was a champion of equality. Her passion for parity is evident in her works and she encouraged women to support women. Parity Productions is a perfect match for Sylvia, as she was a vibrant supporter of theatre, women and equality. She would be so pleased to have her legacy associated with this important organization."

The launch activities will be held at the Gramercy Park home of Janos Aranyi and Theresa Llorente and The National Arts Club.


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