Marisa Michelson on “One Thousand Nights and One Day” and More

Marisa Michelson is a composer and vocal philosopher who often adapts myths, folklore, or biblical stories into interdisciplinary, experimental musical works. Her latest piece is “One Thousand Nights and One Day: A Postmodern Musical Fantasia.” We talk with Marisa about “One Thousand Nights and One Day,” her process of composing from the body, why she enjoys crafting non-linear narratives, and more.

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Sharon Washington on “Feeding the Dragon” and Growing Up above the NYPL

For years, people told actress Sharon Washington that she should write about her childhood growing up in an apartment above the St. Agnes branch of the New York Public Library, where her father was a custodian. Now, she finally has. “Feeding the Dragon” is Sharon’s solo show reflecting back on her childhood and her family. We recently went with her to the Main Branch of the NYPL and spoke with her about writing and performing “Feeding the Dragon” and books that have had an impact on her.

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Barrett Wilbert Weed on Mean Girls and More

When the movie “Mean Girls” was released in 2004, it quickly became a cultural touchstone. Now, over ten years later, it’s a highly anticipated Broadway musical. Barrett Wilbert Weed plays the role of Janis, the artsy, not-so-popular girl. We talk to Barrett about creating the role of Janis for the stage, what “Mean Girls” has taught her about leadership, having a life outside the show, and more.

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What I Wore to Get (and keep) the Job: 12 women on the intersection of appearance and professional aspirations

In theatre, issues of appearance affect women both on and off-stage, and on both sides of the curtain. We spoke to Tala Ashe, Laura Benanti, Sierra Boggess, Halley Feiffer, Anne Kauffman, Nikka Graff Lanzarone, Rebecca Luker, Nikiya Mathis, Jesca Prudencio, Aneesh Sheth, Liesl Tommy, and Whitney White about the complexities of deciding what to wear and being a woman in the world.

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Kenita Miller on “Once on This Island”

Kenita Miller is currently playing Mama Euralie in “Once on this Island.” We spoke with Kenita about how her own mom’s missionary work in hurricane-ravaged Haiti inspired her current portrayal of Ti Moune’s adopted mother Mama Euralie, and why she thinks art can be a conversation starter about rebuilding community, as well as a reflection of life.

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Cara Cooper, Jessica Rush, and Celia Keenan-Bolger on Broadway Baby Mamas

On March 15th, a group of women will gather at 54 Below to present Broadway Baby Mamas, two concerts—one at 9:30pm and one at 11:30pm—featuring working mothers of theatre. The concert stemmed from a mothers’ group, started by Cara Cooper and Jessica Rush, to address the many specific challenges of being a working parent in theatre. We recently spoke with Cara and Jessica, along with Celia Keenan-Bolger, who will be hosting both shows, about the idea behind the concert, what the theatre community can do to make it easier for working parents, and why they feel being visible as working moms is important.

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The Women of “Folk Wandering”

We speak to the women of the “Folk Wandering” creative team: Pipeline Artistic Director Ari Schrier, Pipeline Producing Director Natalie Gershtein, Jaclyn Backhaus , and songwriters Jo Lampert, Barrie McLain, Annie Tippe, and Dominique Toney, about collaborating on devised theatre while navigating the realities of day jobs and student loans, and why they are standing on the shoulders of the women who came before them.

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Martyna Majok and Danya Taymor on “queens”

In the new play “queens,” written by Martyna Majok and directed by Danya Taymor, a group of female immigrants find their paths crossing in a small apartment in Queens. We talk to Martyna and Danya about the process of writing and staging “queens,” autobiography in work, and how they structure their lives as theatre artists.

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Bernadette Peters: Young and Cute, Forever and Never

Bernadette Peters turns 70 this week. Her name is synonymous with American musical theatre—and the moniker “young and cute forever.” How did that happen? And has she ever really gotten the respect she deserves? We take a romp through 1970s Los Angeles, ’80s New York, and the brain of a ’90s pre-teen to find out how Bernadette Peters became a woman not afraid to take up a lot of space.

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The Gaze of María Irene Fornés: Michelle Memran on Her Documentary “The Rest I Make Up”

On February 16th, “The Rest I Make Up,” a documentary about the playwright María Irene Fornés will have its premiere. It’s the first documentary about Fornés, a playwright who was instrumental in forming Off-Off-Broadway theatre and America’s avant-garde theatre movement. We spoke with filmmaker Michelle Memran about the process of making the film, her relationship with Fornés, and the playwright’s legacy.

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An Interview with Dr. Indira Etwaroo

In 2015, Dr. Indira Etwaroo became Executive Director of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and The Billie Holiday Theatre, which is part of the organization and was founded in 1972 as a destination and breeding ground for black artists. Only a few years into her tenure, she has already led a major renovation of the theatre’s physical space and re-invigorated its programming. We spoke to her about running a large arts institution, working with the community, funding, and being a woman in a leadership position.

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Dael Orlandersmith on “Until the Flood”

In 2015, playwright Dael Orlandersmith went to St. Louis to interview people about their thoughts on race and the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager killed by a police officer in 2014. From those interviews, she created fictional characters for her solo show, “Until the Flood.” We spoke to her about her process for creating “Until the Flood,” what she thinks people get wrong about her work, and how it has evolved.

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An Interview with Tina Landau

“SpongeBob SquarePants, The Broadway Musical” has become one of the most well-reviewed and popular musicals of the 2017-18 Broadway season. It came from the mind of Tina Landau, who not only directed the show but conceived it (it’s also the only Broadway musical directed by a woman this season). We recently sat down with to discuss how she conceived and brought “SpongeBob” to life, how she views directing, ambition, and more.

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An Interview with Split Britches: Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver

Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver founded Split Britches and the WOW Café in the East Village, which was a home for and central to the development of feminist and queer theatre. They’re now presenting “Unexploded Ordnances” at La MaMa. We talk with them about how their process for making work has evolved, changes in theatre since the 1980s, their thoughts on not getting the same credit as men, their legacy, and more.

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Ladies Who Launch: Four Actresses Who Started Their Own Businesses

There’s a group of women who have combined their artistic and business skills to create their own businesses in addition to their careers in the theatre. We talked to four of them—Jeanna De Waal, who runs Broadway Weekends, a theatre workshop for adults; Sas Goldberg, who owns Name Glo, a neon sign company; Sydney Morton, who started a party planning business; and Jennifer Laura Thompson, who makes and sells her own jewelry—about their other careers as business women.

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Susan Soon He Stanton, Palmer Hefferan, and Jennifer Ikeda on “Today Is My Birthday”

In “Today Is My Birthday,” a woman returns home to Hawai’i to figure out her life. In an unusual twist of form, the play’s over 50 scenes all happen over the phone, on the radio, or through other forms of indirect communication. We talk to Susan Soon He Stanton, Palmer Hefferan, and Jennifer Ikeda about the play.

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