Plays, Directors And Cast Of Staged Readings Announced For ARTEMISIA FALL FESTIVAL
Six directors and 30 actors from the Chicago theatre community will collaborate to create staged readings of six new feminist plays in the Artemisia Fall Festival 2018, to be performed September 24-26 and October 1-3 at The Edge Theater at 5451 N. Broadway. Artemisia Founding Artistic Director Julie Proudfoot and Literary Manager Sharai Bohannon have curated the festival from submissions solicited from writers, agents and literary managers across the US with whom the company has had working professional relationships. One play from the six to be performed will be chosen for further development by Artemisia Artistic Director Proudfoot, who will work closely with the playwright over the next two years to develop their feminist story for a full production in Chicago.
Proudfoot defines "feminist plays" as plays that empower women and challenge audiences to see women differently. In a recent interview, she noted how many plays in the existing canon fail to adequately portray women, saying "We don't necessarily have feminist three-dimensional characters with all the flaws and virtues and complexities of great male characters. It matters to me because women are long overdue to be recognized on a level equal to men, especially in terms of leadership, humanity, complexity and agency. I think it should matter to everyone because Artemisia's work inspires gender parity, which has been statistically shown to make for better and safer communities."
While the scripts selected for this year's festival all feature women who have agency and who are the center of their own narratives, the plays have a diversity of topics and genres. Themes to be explored include cultural differences between diverse societies in their treatment and status of women, mother-daughter relationships, and tensions between economic classes. The ranges of genres include dramas, satire and thrillers. The writers are not exclusively female - one male playwright will be represented alongside the five women writers. Proudfoot says, "We believe that men as well as women can be feminists."
Over each of the Festival's six nights, a different new play is staged as a reading. Talkbacks focusing on empowerment, inclusion and diversity will follow each reading. There will be a closing night party on October 3rd.
The six plays to be performed, the performance dates, and the artists involved for each are as follows:
- SCRATCHING THE SURFACE, by Charly Evon Simpson (Pictured). Directed by Rachel Sledd Iannantuoni.
One woman's nightmare, one couple's dream, and the nice female neighbor who likes to drop by unexpectedly with homemade pies collide in this juicy thriller.
Cast: William Burdin, Pauleth Jauregui, Anastacia Narrajos, Brandi Brown Tuesday, September 25, 7:30 PM
- WITCH CAMP, by J. Thalia Cunningham. Directed by Beth Wolf.
When an African-American doctor volunteers at a small health clinic in northern Ghana, she discovers that the women in the camp accused of witchcraft really do have magical powers.Cast: Charlee Cotton, Myesha-Tiara, RjW Mays, Teresa Champion, Tamarus Harvell, Marz Timms, Sonia Goldberg Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 PM
- CASH COWS, by Anthony Fiorentino. Directed by Jamal Howard.
A group of exploited milk cows launch a hunger strike to change their abusive working conditions and the dairy company's CEO wages a ruthless campaign to crush the rebellion.Cast: Caron Buinis, Laurie Gauger, Robin Margolis, Emma Sheikh, Tina El Gamal, Tanyce Caraballo, Dekyi Ronge, Blake Holen, David Morgan Shaw Monday, October 1, 7:30 PM
- THINGS THAT ARE ROUND, by Callie Kimball. Directed by Aaron Sawyer.
Two women, a dentist specializing in existential terror, and the worst baby sitter ever who has dreams of becoming an opera singer, square off in a strange ballet of truth or dare.
Cast: Julie Proudfoot, Alejandra Vivanco Tuesday, October 2, 7:30 PM
- MINE AND YOURS, by Carolyn Kras. Directed by Carol Ann Tan.
A foreclosure loophole pits new buyers against former owners in a struggle to claim the house as their home through cohabitation.
Cast: Barbara Roeder Harris, Steve Silver, Isabella Gerasole, Chase Wheaton-Werle Wednesday, October 3, 7:30 PM
A deep and intimate dive into the combative yet unbreakable relationship between an overworked single mother and her rebellious daughter, both pioneer women in 1848.
Cast: Jennifer Cheung, Patty Malaney, Lucy Pearce, John Wehrman, Tamarus Harvell PLAYWRIGHT BIOS