Scenes by Historic Women Playwrights: Read by Luminaries of the Stage takes place on Wednesday, August 1 at 7:30 p.m. at the Davis Performing Arts Center’s Gonda Theatre (Georgetown University). This exciting and not-to-be-missed event is brought to you by the combined efforts of History Matters/Back to the Future and Women and Theatre Program.
History Matters/Back to the Future promotes the study and production of women’s plays of the past in colleges and universities and theatres throughout the country and encourages responses to those plays from contemporary women playwrights. Scenes by Historic Women Playwrights: Read by Luminaries of the Stage is their inaugural event and is featured as part of the 2012 Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) annual conference.
The Women and Theatre Program is a self-incorporated division ATHE. Founded in 1974, their mission is to bring theater professionals together with academics and activists. Also, WTP, in collaboration with ATHE, sponsors the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. The continuing goal of WTP is to enable feminist inquiry and to provide opportunities for discussion between those who teach, perform, and theorize about feminism, theatre, and performance.
The aforementioned luminaries of the stage are acclaimed New York-based actors Kathleen Chalfant, Maryann Plunkett and Tamara Tunie.
And now, without further ado, please allow me to introduce you to the Steering Committee, the dynamic, extraordinary, and generous women behind this event!
JILL DOLAN is the Annan Professor of English, Professor of Theatre, and the Director of the Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies at Princeton University. She is the author of The Feminist Spectator as Critic (1988), to be released in 2012 in an anniversary edition with a new introduction; Theatre & Sexuality (2010); Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theater (2005); and many other books and articles. Her blog, The Feminist Spectator, www.feministspectator.blogspot.com, won the 2010-2011 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. She received the 2011 Outstanding Teacher award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
JANN E. LEEMING graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Psychology/Business and Babson College with an MBA. She started her professional career with 8 years in the venture capital industry, investing in high technology companies located in New England. She left the institutional world of venture capital to start her own company to specifically invest in companies owned and operated by women, and served as CEO. Presently, Jann is a full time philanthropist and uses her investing, marketing, accounting and management expertise in supporting organizations in performing arts, education and the environment. She currently serves on the following non-profit Boards: The Little Family Foundation, Women’s (theater) Project, Celebrity Series of Boston, Mint Theater, and The League of Professional Theater Women. She is a proud member: "History Matters/Back to the Future", the initiative headed by Joan Thorn to get plays written by women included on college curriculums. “I supports initiatives like "History Matters/Back to the Future" because I support intelligent, hard working, smart women. It's what I’ve been doing since the days when she invested in companies owned and operated by women in the late '80s. I love theater and working with theater professionals. I am a non-apologetic feminist who knows how important it is to support deserving, entrepreneurial women financially."
HELEN J. MILLS has over 30 years experience investing and managing real estate in New York and the surrounding area and has devoted herself as a volunteer to a wide range of civic and community organizations, both in New York and her native Kentucky. A lover of business and the arts, Ms. Mills co-founded in 2005 the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater, a special event venue in New York that hosts a variety of corporate, social, non-profit and arts events. A year earlier, in 2004, Ms. Mills founded offoffonline.com, an off-off Broadway listing and review website. Prior to co-founding her real estate business in 1979, Ms. Mills, a CPA, was a senior auditor at Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young) in New York. Before joining Arthur Young in 1975, Ms. Mills was an auditor for the Internal Revenue Service in New York where she acted, first, as a collection officer and, then, as a revenue agent. Ms. Mills is also a member of the Board of Trustees of New York Live Arts, a live performance arts organization, as well as a trustee of the Baruch College Fund in New York. For the past ten years, Ms. Mills has served as a Union College board member with great pride and honor.
JEN-SCOTT MOBLEY is a visiting professor of theatre at Rollins College and holds an M.F.A. in dramaturgy and theatre criticism as well as a Ph.D. in theatre studies. She is Vice President of the Women & Theatre Program of ATHE. As a performer, director, and dramaturg she has worked regionally and in NYC on material ranging from Sam Shepard to Shakespeare as well as new work by women. She has acted as the student coordinator as well as finalist judge for the Jane Chambers Feminist Playwriting Contest. Areas of scholarly interest include American theatre, feminist theatre, and the theatre’s position within culture and community. More specifically, I am interested in the female body in performance and in interrogating cultural constructions of fat in representation and the ways in which that intersect with questions of gender, class, race, and cultural attitudes in America. Jen-Scott is also an associate artist and member of the NYC-based White Horse Theater Company.
JOAN VAIL THORNE is a director, playwright and librettist. She has directed for The Alley of Houston, Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., Dallas Theater Center, Emelin Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theater, Florida Stage, People’s Light & Theatre Company, and Women’s Project. Her plays include The Exact Center of the Universe, starring Frances Stenhagen, nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award; The Things You Least Expect produced by George Street Theatre; The Anatomy of a Female Pope, workshopped by New York Theatre Workshop with Kathleen Chalfant. She was written opera libretti for composer Stephen Paulus: Summer, adapted from Edith Wharton, premiered by Berkshire Opera and The Woman at Otowi Crossing, premiered by Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and texts for narrator and orchestra, Voices from the Gallery and The Five Senses. Her screenplays include High Cockalorum and The Living, adapted from Annie Dillard, commissioned by CPB. She has also written and directed two short films, Last Rites, seen on PBS and Secrets, seen on Cinemax. Ms. Thorne has taught on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Pace University, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School of NYU. She is a member the Dramatists Guild, SSDC, The League of Professional Theatre Women and Women’s Project.
LUDOVICA VILLAR-HAUSER's directing highlights include: Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night in London’s West End; 3 productions at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival; the premiere of Gregory Murphy's The Countess, which ran Off-Broadway for 634 performances and in the West End; Rona Munro's Bold Girls at the 29th St. Rep.; the premiere of Duet by Otho Eskin, a new play about Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse; the North American premiere of Leaves of Glass by Philip Ridley; and as part of Origin’s First Irish Festival's production of Derek Murphy's A Short Wake; As It Is In Heaven by Arlene Hutton, produced by 3 Graces Theater Co at The Cherry Lane Theatre. For The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Enchanted April by Matthew Barber, from the novel by Elizabeth von Arnim (2010 Company) and The Heidi Chronicles by Wendy Wasserstein (2012 Company). www.directedbyludovica.com
Tomorrow, I'll post more about the brilliant and talented Playwrights being featured in this event and you'll want to check back here on Monday to read the Behind the Scenes interviews of the Steering Committee!!
I'm a playwright, dramaturg, and teaching artist. It is here where you'll find my queries and musings on life, theater and the world. My posts advocate for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the American Theatre and updates on my own work. Please enjoy!