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This summer, Project Y Theatre Company will present 3 weeks of new plays by women to New York City in the form of the first annual Women in Theatre Festival (WiT), the festival that pushes past the notion of ‘Gender Parity’ by going ‘Beyond Parity’ with an entirely women-led lineup. For the inaugural year of the curated, three-week festival, there will be a run of new plays and performances by diverse women artists in two runs in New York City: a run of events June 9th-18th taking place at Under St. Marks & ART/NY Studios and a second run in July at Theatre Row (stay tuned for July dates to be announced).
Projects have been chosen by invitation and include full productions, online projects, devised pieces, solo shows and readings. All writers are women and there is a majority of women in all aspects of production – writers, actors, directors, producers, and technical staff.
In direct response to gender disparity in theatre leadership, casting, and production, the objective of WiT is to broaden opportunities for women artists, engage with an audience who seek an indie theatre experience, and add to the canon of women playwrights writing roles for women actors. To this end, WiT has curated new works by women writers and lead artists, to be presented at the festival, and will ensure that emerging, mid-career, and established women artists are represented. By committing to producing a festival of 100% women writers, the WiT experience will be an experience that seeks not 50% representation, but to go beyond parity.
Projects include the NY Premiere of EM Lewis’ searing new play, “The Gun Show,” and Lia Romeo’s dark comedy, “Baby Boom,” two plays about guns and violence.
The festival is spearheaded by Project Y Theatre Company, which is co-founded and led by Michole Biancosino and Andrew W. Smith.
About WiTFestival Producer, Michole Biancosino:
Michole Biancosino is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C. and New York City over the past 16 years. With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer. She recently directed the NY Premiere of CONNECTED, by Lia Romeo, at 59E59 Theaters where it had record sales and attendance. She co-created and directed Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl) at FringeNYC, where it received an Award for “Outstanding Solo Show” and an extended Fringe Encore! run at Baruch Performing Arts Center, followed by a run at Underbelly as part of the Edinburgh Fringe August 2015. The show is receiving an open run at The Pit Loft that The New York Times raved is “a head-spinning performance.” She also directed Addie Walsh’s That’s All I Got, at the United Solo Festival where it won an Award for “Best Variety Show.” In the past she has directed the World Premiere of Lee Blessing’s User’s Guide to Hell, featuring Bernard Madoff, at Atlantic Stage 2, the World Premiere musical LoveSick or THINGS THAT DON’T HAPPEN, plays by Lia Romeo, songs by Tony Biancosino, at 59E59 Theaters, nominated for 3 NYIT Awards including Best Production of a Musical, the critically acclaimed The Revival, by Samuel Brett Williams, at Theatre Row, nominated for 7 NYIT Awards, including Best Production of a Play and Outstanding Direction, and named The Advocate’s #2 show of 2010. Her production of Samuel Brett Williams’ Derby Day at Theatre Row’s The Clurman was named one of the Top 10 shows of 2011 by Paper Mag.
Michole is the recipient of the prestigious SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing and was featured as a Top Young Woman Artist in Nervy Girl Magazine. Her work has been supported by grants from The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY, DCA, Brooklyn Arts Council, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA). She can also play saxophone and read scores. For more information: www.micholebiancosino.com
About the Producing Company, Project Y Theatre:
Project Y is an outside-the-box theatre company dedicated to developing new work on a project-by-project basis, with a focus on Women and LGBTQ playwright voices. In order to serve the needs of each play and playwright we produce, Project Y makes all producing decisions specific to each project. Working in and out of traditional theater spaces including 59E59 Theaters, Theatre Row and Under St. Marks, Project Y produces staged readings, workshop productions, and fully produced world premieres by diverse playwrights. Project Y also experiments with mixed media storytelling methods and online theatre projects. By mixing new technologies with the communal experience of traditional theater, we allow new and emerging voices to be part of the theatrical conversation in New York City. www.projectytheatre.org