Did you see the nominations for the 2020 Golden Globes? Not a single woman nominated in the directing category. So much for 50/50 by 2020 in Hollywood, right?
It\’s hard not to get discouraged…or blinded by rage. I don\’t have the power to greenlight Hollywood films or write nice big fat checks to women directors or really even know anything about the grinding gears that propel some people towards success (however you want to define that) while continuing to marginalize so many others.
But. I get to run this theatre operation in my corner of the world. And, while there\’s so much work to do, we, the badass hardworking visionary women of the Triangle theatre scene, are poised to do it!
I\’m a fireball of passion about the various projects we\’ve got in the works for 2020. You probably know already about XIX which we\’ve commissioned with Jacqueline Lawton. What\’s so exciting is how that creative team is shaping up and how electric the collaboration already is. Jacqueline\’s vision is being supported and enhanced by having Jules Odendahl-James as dramaturg and JaMeeka Holloway-Burwell as director. This trio has begun bringing a little world to life as the characters materialize. It is fascinating to be learning about actual women and families from our area who participated in the women\’s suffrage movement. I can\’t wait to see how these narratives will weave their way into the play. We\’ll all get our first taste in just two months time at the UNC Process Series Workshop.
Our other big project in the works right now is Freakshow and that dynamo creative team is also on fire right now! The team is lead by long-time WTFer Rowen Haigh. Rowen holds an MFA from Towson University and is currently an instructor at Bellarmine University as well as directing a production of Children Of A Lesser God at Woodford Theatre both in her home state of Kentucky. Rowen is on the WTF Board of Directors and serves as our Director of Regional Engagement. Together, Rowen and I attend professional conferences and work to connect WTF to similar companies and initiatives around the country. The Freakshow team also includes Rachel Pottern Nunn as co-director/stage manager and Lydia Nethercutt as dramaturg. Rachel directed Red Hot Patriot in WTFringe this summer and Lydia played the leading role in These Shining Lives during WTF 2018. I couldn\’t be more excited to these brilliant women leading this production. Joining them is Loni Lyn Price who has signed on as producer. Loni produced my show Licked Cupcake for WTF 2017 so I can tell you with 100% certainty that she is the best.
But that is not all….as we prepare to open submissions for the WTFringe, many of you have started discussing ideas for intriguing projects with me. If these conversations are any indication of the projects that will be submitted this year, I think it\’s going to be one of the best fringe festivals I\’ve ever attended! If you would like to discuss a project with me or ask questions about the submission process, please reach out–all of my info will be at the end of this post. This year, we also plan to have a Fringe Lab program where new and sorta-new directors will participate in a mentorship program with trained professional women+ directors. What 2020 is about for me is making way for pros to create their very best work and for all of us to be able to skill-build and participate in conversations that bring our work, our values, and our consciousness to a new level.
So you can see that I haven\’t given up on 2020 and our demand for parity. I\’m relentlessly optimistic. And one of the big conversations we will need to participate in this year has been ignited by film director Alma Har\’el. Do yourself a favor and check out her scathing indictment of the Golden Globes here!
And for now, and for always, I am yours in parity,
You can reach me by email, setting up a phone chat, or find me on social media–@WTFNC on Facebook + @WTFestivalNC on Twitter and IG.