The 2nd Annual Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival wrapped today after five days of performances, staged readings, and workshops that featured theatre, dance, music and comedy, all brought to us by dozens of incredibly talented women (and a few men).
For the uninitiated, the Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival was founded to create opportunities for women in the arts (a mission ReVamp can certainly get behind!). The annual festival is dedicated to celebrating and developing artists, creating a community of diverse artists, and honoring women's contributions to storytelling, artistic advancement and creative innovation. You can visit their website for more information!
Although the Vamps of ReVamp were not able to attend all of the many PWTF performances, the ones we did see were daring, enlightening, challenging and a testament to the skill and creativity of female theatre artists in the Philadelphia area. From a look at the life of Simone de Beauvoir through movement and found text in Simone, a devised work developed by Amanda Coffin, Kristin Miller, Kasey Phillips and Elise D'Avella to Buzzfeed, Donald Trump, & Dead Black Kids, a darkly funny and deeply unsettling short play by Haygen Brice Walker about the unknown prejudices we hold within us, the works presented in this year's festival showcase demonstrate the breadth and depth of topics female theatre artists are tackling, and how much they have to contribute to the Philadelphia theatre scene.
The workshops and panels presented as part of PWTF's educational outreach featured many notable names from the Philadelphia theatre community including actor Alex Keiper, playwrights Jacqueline Goldfinger and Michael Hollinger, and solo performers Jessica Bedford and Kimberly Fairbanks. These artists shared their insight about practical and creative aspects of theatre-making, including how to get your work produced, different acting techniques, and the process of creating and staging solo work, advice that will perhaps help other artists see their work on stage during next year's PWTF.
Speaking of advice, director Joanna Settle, who received this year's Story Changers Award from the festival organizers for her contributions to theatre both nationally and locally, had some wise words regarding risk: "When you have an idea that's risky, and you imagine that risk being complete, and the result being marvelous, that's the risk you want to take." A good rule not just for theatre, but for life.
Congratulations on a wonderful festival, ladies! See you next year!