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BWW Women in Theater: January 2017


By Lauren Yarger
Welcome to the first monthly column focusing on women in the theater. There is so much going on in New York and around the country that we probably won't be able to cover everything, but I will try my best to keep you updated on the latest news and upcoming opportunities. I hope to feature women and organizations making a difference, so please email me with your ideas.

Women in theater have united to form a chapter of the League of Professional Theatre Women in Connecticut, who have gotten off to an amazing start with two launch events (in Hartford and Westport) and more than 150 women signing up to become involved. I am honored to co-direct the chapter with Marie Reynolds (an actor/producer/director), Tracey Moore (associate professor of theater at University of Hartford's Hartt School) and Mary Miko (special events coordinator at Goodspeed Musicals). For information about the League or the chapter, visit

The League also has chapters forming in Nashville and in the Washington, DC/Baltimore areas. Its International Committee announce the finalists of the 2017 LPTW Gilder/Coigney International Theatre Award reported here in BroadwayWorld .

Theater and politics always have made drama together and women are center stage this month in the spotlight of the presidential inauguration. A Million Women March is planned in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 21, the day after President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

New York Theater members are taking part in "#BroadwayStrong," one of the many sister events to the march.

The group is expected to include the Broadway theatre community at large, affiliate service organizations, industry members, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and not-for-profit organizations. The march starts at 11 am at Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza (833 First Avenue) and will end at Trump Tower. More info at

Theater groups all over the nation also are participating in a "Ghostlight Project" on Thursday, Jan. 19. More than 500 theaters and organizations in all 50 states will light a light and make a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone - regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

The groups will gather at 5:30 pm in each time zone. Women's theater groups participating include:

  • Wildflower Women's Ensemble in Sacramento
  • WP (formerly known as The Women's Project) in New York.

In other news:

Parity Productions in New York, under the direction of Ludovica Villar-Hauser, releases a monthly list of shows in the city which qualify - that is that have creative tams comprised of 50 percent women and or transgender artists. Find out more about them at

We said goodbye to one of the great women in theater, Martha Swope, who died at the age of 88. She was a photographer for the New York City Ballet among others and photographed the lives of artists like George Balanchine and Martha Graham. She also documented more than 800 Theater Productions. She received the Tony Honor for Excellence in Theater in 2004 and a lifetime achievement award from the League of Professional Theater Women in 2007.

Around the nation:

At the Forum Theatre in Wichita, KS, Broadway women composers were celebrated as part of "Music Theatre Today" co-hosted by Kathryn Page Hauptman and Shaun Michael Morse. Among those included were Tony Award winning Jeanine Tesori (FUN HOME, VIOLET, SHREK, THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE), Allee Willis and Brenda Russell (THE COLOR PURPLE), Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman (THE SECRET GARDEN), Dolly Parton (NINE TO FIVE), Mary Rodgers (ONCE UPON A MATRESS and THE MAD SHOW) and the writing team of Zina Goodrich and Marsha Heisler (JUNIE B. JONES, DEAR EDWINA).

Lauren Yarger is an award-winning editor who reviews theater in New York and Connecticut. She is Second Vice President of The Drama Desk, a Voting Member of The Outer Critics Circle and The American Theater Critics Association, a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women (co-founder of its Connecticut Chapter), a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and The Episcopal Actors' Guild and a Contributing Editor for She reviews books for Publishers Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She also is a playwright. Visit her new website at

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