TWTP gears up for fifth annual Women's Work festival 5/6-5/22

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Tennessee Women's Theater Project returns to Nashville's Z. Alexander Looby Theater for the fifth year running - beginning Friday May 6 - for its annual Women's Work festival of performing and visual arts created by women. Running through Sunday, May 22, the festival cuts a broad swath across styles and genres to offer eleven completely different programs: poetry and essays; one-woman shows; staged readings of new plays; film, dance, music and a display of visual art works in the theater lobby.

The inspiration for Women's Work, according to TWTP's founder and artistic director Maryanna Clarke, came out of adversity, when a back injury forced her into weeks of painful inactivity.

"This was early 2007, and after several weeks with my walker and my pain medication, I was forced to give up on directing the play we had scheduled for May," she recalls. "We reached out to women artists, offering our stage for their plays, poems, films or any other creation we could accommodate. The response was immediate and amazing - women came from Nashville and across the country to present their work. This told me that women artists really need an outlet for their work. I knew then that Women's Work should be an annual event, and it has gotten better every year."

This year's fifth annual festival includes a performance by the Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville, the return of several popular poets, singers and playwrights, and the Women's Work debut of Aerial Fabricators: duo aerialists Molly Graves and Alicia Williams.

Theater offerings include a reading of Chlamydia Is Not a Flower - and Other Love Lessons I Missed, by Lauren Schmitzer, along with Motherland by Melissa Bedinger Hade; Ismene's Press Conference and Interpreting a Dream by returning presenter Judy Klass; Black Girl Lost by Mary McCallum; Merrill Farnsworth's Jezebel's Got the Blues . . . and other works of imagination; My Father's Chair by Lisa Soland; and Unscathed and Door Number Four by 2010 presenter Robyn Brooks of Berkeley, California.

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One-woman shows include Thus Spoke the Mockingbird, written by Joanie McElvoy, starring Joy Tilley Perryman as novelist Harper Lee; Kill the Rabbit. a one-woman play by Regina McCord; and A Dog's Tale by Lindsay Terrizzi Hess.

Dance presentations will include both live and filmed performances featuring Amanda Cantrell Roche, Nathalie Van Balen and Perrin Ireland and the return of hoop/burlesque artist Kristen Teffeteller, plus the aforementioned Aerial Fabricators, who perform on rings and fabric suspended above the stage.

On film, Women's Work presents 6 Months to Live, a comedy performance piece by Emily Steele, and Jasmine's Story, a documentary short by Janni Snider. Storyteller Patsy Hatfield Lawson brings her presentation Weddings, School and Other Disasters, and there's Correction Fluid, a theater/interpretive/poetry work written and performed by Nubian Sun.

The Fifth Annual Mother's Day Poetry Show features Amy E. Hall, Raziya, Jan Bossing, Brenda Butka, Sylvia Page (aka Lady Peace), Alita Brielle Terry, Nella Asante and Binky. This year's lobby display of visual art will feature works by Virginia Brennan, Tiffany Dyer and Christina Wegman.

Single tickets to Woman's Work are $5 each; a $30 Festival Pass is good for unlimited admissions. Women's Work opens Friday, May 6, at the Z. Alexander Looby Theatre, adjacent to the Looby Branch Library, 2301 Rosa L. Parks Blvd. The festival continues for eleven performances through Sunday, May 22. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2:30 pm Sundays. For reservations and information, call (615) 681-7220, or visit the company's web site at www.twtp.org.

Women's Work 2011 Lineup: Thus Spoke the Mockingbird, a one-woman play depicting the life of Harper Lee, written by Joanie McElvoy and performed by Joy Tilley Perryman

- Friday, May 6, 7:30 p.m.: Thus Spoke the Mockingbird, a one-woman play depicting the life of Harper Lee, written by Joanie McElvoy and performed by Joy Tilley Perryman

- Saturday, May 7, 7:30 p.m.: New Plays: Motherland by Melissa Bedinger Hade; Ismene's Press Conference by Judy Klass Fifth Annual Mother's Day Poetry Show featuring Amy E. Hall, Raziya, Jan Bossing, Brenda Butka, Sylvia Page (aka Lady Peace), Alita Brielle Terry, Nella Asante and Binky

- Sunday, May 8, 5:30 p.m.: Fifth Annual Mother's Day Poetry Show featuring Amy E. Hall, Raziya, Jan Bossing, Brenda Butka, Sylvia Page (aka Lady Peace), Alita Brielle Terry, Nella Asante and Binky

 

 

TWTP-gears-up-for-fifth-annual-Womens-Work-festival-56-522-20010101

- Thursday, May 12, 7:30 p.m.: Film: 6 Months to Live, a comedy film by Emily Steele; Jasmine's Story, a documentary short by Janni Snider. Theater: Correction Fluid, a one-woman theater/interpretive/poetry work by Nubian Sun; Kill the Rabbit, a one-woman play by Regina McCord; Unscathed and Door Number Four, plays by Robyn Brooks; Interpreting a Dream, a play by Judy Klass

 

 

- Friday, May 13, 7:30 p.m.: Theater: staged reading of the play My Father's Chair, by Lisa Soland

- Saturday, May 14, 7:30 p.m.: Dance and more: Chinese Arts Alliance, Amanda Cantrell Roche, Nathalie Van Balen and Perrin Ireland, Kristen Teffeteller and aerialists Molly Graves and Alicia Williams, performing as Aerial Fabricators

- Sunday, May 15, 2:30 p.m.: Storytelling: Weddings, School and Other Disasters by Patsy Hatfield Lawson; Reader's Theater: Jezebel's Got the Blues . . . and other works of imagination by Merrill Farnsworth

- Thursday, May 19, 7:30 p.m.: Live Music: Ginger Sands and other performers to be announced

 

 

TWTP-gears-up-for-fifth-annual-Womens-Work-festival-56-522-20010101

- Friday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.: Staged Reading: Black Girl Lost, a play by Mary McCallum

 

 

- Saturday, May 21, 7:30 p.m.: One-woman show: A Dog's Tale by Lindsay Terrizi

- Sunday, May 22, 2:30 p.m.: Staged Reading: Chlamydia Is Not a Flower - and Other Love Lessons I Missed by Lauren Schmitzer

 

Pictured (top to bottom): Chinese Arts Alliance; Lindsay Terrizzi Hess; Robyn Brooks; and Mary McCallum

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis

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