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ARTEMISIA FEMINIST PODCAST To Launch Virtual Play Readings And Discussions

Virtual reading series to launch October 6.

Artemisia, the Chicago theatre company dedicated to developing and performing plays that empower women, will devote its podcast series that began in May 2020 to readings of rarely produced classics and all-new feminist plays; and to discussions of the plays with the creative teams.

In producing audio readings for the podcast, now renamed ARTEMISIA FEMINIST PODCAST and shifting to a bi-weekly release schedule, Artemisia Founding Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot will team with Charlique C. Rolle, Managing Director of Congo Square Theatre, as Co-Curator and Co-Director of the readings. Completing the creative team for the readings will be Willow James as Sound Designer.

Each reading will be followed by a full-length podcast, released two weeks later, that will deliver a discussion of the plays and the impact of their messages and social justice themes. The podcasts will be released biweekly on Tuesdays and listeners can visit to subscribe to the podcasts and Artemisia's newsletter.

Proudfoot says, "We hope to recreate the passion for women-focused plays generated by Artemisia's past Fall Festivals by presenting virtual performances and exciting discussions about rarely produced classic and all-new plays by BIPOC & white feminist writers."

The series of readings and discussions will launch on Tuesday, October 6 with the release of a virtual reading of the 1919 classic THEY THAT SIT IN DARKNESS, by the pioneering African American playwright Mary P. Burrill, directed by Rolle. Burrill's plays were considered protest plays because they advocated progressive stances on issues of race and gender. THEY THAT SIT IN DARKNESS explores how legal restrictions that limited women's access to reproductive rights affected their welfare and that of their families. Burrill's work was controversial because it advocated birth control as a means to escape poverty in 1919, long before women were given reproductive rights in the U.S. in 1972. The cast will include RjW Mays (Malinda Jasper, the mother), Keisha Champagne (Elizabeth Shaw, a visiting nurse), Angela Oliver (Lindy), Emerson Elias (Miles/John Henry), James Lewis (Aloysius), and Anita Kavuu Ng'ang'a (Mary Ellen). Willow James will be sound designer. The podcast to be released on October 20 will be a discussion of THEY THAT SIT IN DARKNESS with the creative team about the process of working the play and the impact of its social justice themes. Julie Proudfoot will moderate.

A new play, EVERY WAITING HEART, by Lauren Ferebee, will be the virtual reading to be released on November 10. EVERY WAITING HEART, the winner of Artemisia's 2018 Fall Festival of new feminist plays, had been scheduled for a full World Premiere production by Artemisia in June 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic closed theaters. Its plot centers on the relationship between an overworked single mother and her rebellious teenaged daughter. Counterpointing this main storyline is the complex and surprising relationship between two pioneer women courageously settling the Nebraska Territory in 1848. Julie Proudfoot will direct a cast to be announced. Proudfoot will lead a discussion of the play and its themes for the podcast to be released on November 24. Willow James will be sound designer.

The series will continue in 2021 with an additional eight virtual play readings. Titles and casts to be announced.

Podcasts are released biweekly on Tuesdays. visit and subscribe to the theatre's newsletter to get all the latest updates.

October 6, 2020
Virtual reading of THEY THAT SIT IN DARKNESS, by Mary P. Burrill. Directed by Charlique C. Rolle. Sound design by Willow James.

October 20, 2020
Discussion of THEY THAT SIT IN DARKNESS with creative team of the reading, led by Julie Proudfoot

November 10, 2020
Virtual reading of EVERY WAITING HEART, by Lauren Ferebee. Directed by Julie Proudfoot. Sound design by Willow James.

November 24, 2020
Discussion of EVERY WAITING HEART with creative team of the reading, led by Julie Proudfoot

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