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Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater Company and The Classical Theatre of Harlem Launch EXPAND THE CANON

EXPAND THE CANON launches On Monday, September 21.

Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater Company and The Classical Theatre of Harlem Launch EXPAND THE CANON

Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre is partnering with Ma-Yi Theater Company and The Classical Theatre of Harlem to launch their new initiative, EXPAND THE CANON, an annual curated list of nine classical plays that are timely, producible, and written by a diverse group of women. EXPAND THE CANON launches on Monday, September 21 at 8 pm with a "List Drop" announcing the nine plays.

The "List Drop" follows with DO THIS PLAY: EXPAND THE CANON VIRTUAL READING SERIES, which runs from Tuesday, September 22 - Thursday, October 1 on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8 pm. (Full details and schedule will be announced with the list of plays on 9/21.)

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

How many classical plays by women do you know? How many have you seen? The folks at Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre guess... not many! On September 21st, Hedgepig releases their first annual curated list of nine classical plays that are timely, producible, and by a diverse group of women. Then see the plays in action with their "Do This Play," a reading series featuring plays from this year's list (September 22 - October 1, Tuesday and Thursday at 8 pm).

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.

The cast for the "Do This Play" reading series will feature Hedgepig Ensemble Members Madeline Egan Addis, Desirée Baxter, Fara Faidzan, Jamal James, Kubbi, Andrew Hutcheson, Sara Hymes, Jory Murphy, Skye Pagon, Gregory Jon Phelps, Basil Rodericks, Rachel Schmeling, and Olivia Williamson, as well as actors from partner companies to be announced.

Producing Partners:

Founded in 2012, Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre is a Brooklyn-based collective that elevates the voices of women by reimagining the classics. Hedgepig productions won "Best Ensemble" at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (2016) and "Best Actress" NY Fringe (2014). The company has produced 8 plays and numerous theatrical events and readings. Hedgepig is supported by The Brooklyn Arts Council, DCLA, ART/NY, and generous individuals who believe in equality.

Ma-Yi Theater Company's works have won a total of 10 Obie Awards, 3 Lucille Lortel Awards, an Off-Broadway Alliance Award, a Richard Rodgers Award, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play, numerous Henry Hewes Design Award nominations, and in May 2010, a special Drama Desk award for "more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theatre."

The Classical Theatre of Harlem (CTH) is led by NAACP and Obie Award Winner Ty Jones. Since its founding in 1999, they have prioritized opportunity and access in the theatrical arts: onstage, backstage, in its administration, board, and audience. By leading with diversity, equity and inclusion as its core values, CTH attracts one of the most racially, generationally and socio-economically diverse theatre audiences in New York City. In fact, CTH is the only professional theatre company above 96th Street dedicated to the classical canon, revivals, new works and musicals.



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