Expand The Canon Announces Inaugural List Of Plays

DO THIS PLAY: EXPAND THE CANON VIRTUAL READING SERIES, featuring four of the nine plays on the list, runs September 22-October 1st.

By: Sep. 21, 2020

Expand The Canon Announces Inaugural List Of Plays

Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre in partnership with Ma-Yi Theater Company, American Players Theatre, and The Classical Theatre of Harlem is thrilled to announce the curated 2020 EXPAND THE CANON plays.

These nine works represent plays that are timely, producible, and written by a diverse group of women. The EXPAND THE CANON list is now live at www.expandthecanon.com

The nine plays selected for 2020 are: House of Desires by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, A Bold Stroke for a Husband by Hannah Cowley, A Bold Stroke for a Wife by Susanna Centilivre, Her Soul by Amelia P. Roselli, Rachel by Angelina W. Grimke, Restless Night in Late Spring by Fumiko Enchi, Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston, The Drag by Mae West, and Wedding Band by Alice Childress.

"From hundreds of plays by women, we chose 9 that span history, geography, and subject matter--and are by writers from diverse backgrounds," says Mary Candler, artistic director of Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre."Each play takes on relevant conversations to this moment and can easily, and meaningfully, slot into 2021 seasons."

Four readings will be performed as part of the DO THIS PLAY: EXPAND THE CANON VIRTUAL READING SERIES, running from Tuesday, September 22 - Thursday, October 1.


DO THIS PLAY: EXPAND THE CANON VIRTUAL READING SERIES


Tuesday, September 22nd at 8 PM: Bold Stroke for a Husband by Hannah Cowley, directed by Emily Lyon and featuring Skye Pagon, Shannon Corenthin, David Huynh*, Basil Rodericks*, Sara Hymes*, Rachel Schmeling, Jory Murphy, Andrew Hutcheson*, Gregory Jon Phelps*, Marcus D. Johnson, and Madeline Addis. This 17th Century play is an wonderful alternative to The Taming of the Shrew with hijinks, hilarity, and a modern feminist sensibility.

Sunday, September 27th at 8 PM: House of Desires by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, directed by Melisa Pereyra and produced in partnership with American Players Theatre. Featuring Cher Alvarez*, Eduardo Xavier Curley-Carillo*, Triney Sandoval*, Alejandro Cordova*, Sebastian Arboleda*, Basil Rodericks*, Jamal James*, Olivia Williamson*, and Desiree Baxter*. This Mexican classic is a love octagon of a comedy.

Tuesday, September 29th at 8 PM: Restless Night in Late Spring by Fumiko Enchi, directed by Chari Arespacochago and produced in partnership with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Featuring Sasha Diamond*, Shannon Tyo*, Daniel K. Isaac*, and Fara Faidzan. This is a world premiere translation of a Japanese classic.

Thursday, October 1st at 8 PM: Spunk by Zora Neale Hurston, directed by Bianca LaVerne Jones and produced in partnership with The Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Tickets are a suggested donation of $15. To book tickets, visit https://bit.ly/DoThisPlay. For more information and to view the whole list, visit Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre at https://www.hedgepigensemble.org/expand-the-canon

How many classic plays by women do you know? How many have you seen? The folks at Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre guess... not many! On September 21st, Hedgepig released their first annual curated list of nine classical plays that are timely, producible, and by a diverse group of women. See the plays in action with their "Do This Play," a reading series featuring plays from this year's list.

Expand the Canon is a call to action for theatres to stage excellent classical plays by women and to include more diversity in the canon. Along the lines of The Kilroy's List, this is a focused group of plays that have been reviewed and selected--ensuring they're timely, relevant, and producible. This list will have all related producing information, making it easy for classical and regional companies to undertake these plays and give women the legacies they deserve. Additionally, the 2020 list includes two translations that, if produced, would be national premieres.

This project demands gender equity in theater, ensuring that what's held up as "classics" includes a diverse set of women's voices from history. More than 50% of the plays on the inaugural list are written by BIPOC writers. As theaters across the country and the world stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, this is a moment of opportunity to audit whose work we uplift and celebrate.. For classical theaters, this could be especially daunting since the traditional canon taught in schools is predominantly male and white. This project explodes that notion. Expand the Canon provides a crucial resource to help theaters meet their goals of inclusion.

The Expand the Canon Advisory Committee is Anne Morgan, Literary Manager of American Shakespeare Theatre; Aislinn Frantz, Associate Producer of Chicago Shakespeare; Carla Della Gatta, Assistant Professor at Florida State University; Amrita Ramanan, Director of Literary Development & Dramaturgy at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Jackie Tralies, Public Theatre, Public Shakespeare Initiative; Ann Cicollela, Artistic Director of Austin Shakespeare; Minita Gandhi, Actor/Writer/Activist; Francelle Stewart Dorn, Professor at University of Texas, Austin; Marta Albala Pelegrin, CalPoly Pomona, Ass. Professor, Early Modern Drama; Arminda Thomas, Freelance Dramaturg, Writer/Adaptor of Shakespeare's Women; and Miranda Fay Thomas, Professor, Trinity College Dublin.



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