“What did it mean to you to see so many women win Tony Awards this year?”

July 7th, 2015

One month ago, the Tony Awards took place—or as we’ve officially dubbed them, The Feminist Badass Tonys— and we’re still pretty excited about all the ladies who won awards and cracked open the glass curtain of Broadway (if you missed it, women won in twelve categories, including history-making wins for Best Score and Best Musical). We want to make sure that people not only remember what a big deal this year’s Tonys were, but also why they were a big deal: it was a night that inspired a lot of women. As Jeanine Tesori said in her acceptance speech, “You have to see it to be it.” With that in mind, we decided to ask some women between the ages of 18-30 to answer the question: “What did it mean to you to see so many women win Tony Awards this year?” Here’s what they said.


“Seeing so many women win Tony Awards gave me a lot of hope for the future. I understand that unfortunately, shows with women on their creative teams are considered a “risk” and when such a “risk” goes badly, it’s hard for other women to break in. From directing to composing, women have way fewer opportunities to do their work on a scale as large as Broadway. The fact that so many women won this year, and won for projects that really changed people’s perspectives of what a Broadway show could be makes me hopeful for the future. I hope we keep creating challenging shows about the underdogs, like Christopher in Curious Incident [of the Dog in the Night-Time], or Alison in Fun Home, with inventive staging and scores. People like Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron and Marianne Elliott make me feel like the glass ceiling has some more cracks in it, and I can’t wait to see what other “risky” shows make it to Broadway.”
–Abigail B., 22, Director/Arts Manager

I recently heard Dick Scanlan talk about writing “Gimme Gimme” with Jeanine Tesori. He said Jeanine describes it as Millie’s song of, “I’m claiming love as mine because I want it and it will make my life richer.” It’s a song about not apologizing for wanting something. It’s a song of agency and subverting the norms. In many ways, I feel the Tony Awards wins for women this season reflect those same ideals. The prevailing rhetoric about theatre is that it is a collaborative art form. It certainly is, but I think that glorifying collaboration can often prevent young women from celebrating their own achievements. These Tony Awards wins send a clear message to the next generation of women in theatre: It is okay to want recognition. You should be recognized. Your contributions are valuable. You are worthy of celebration.”
–Alethea B., 19, University Student

“This year’s Tony Awards were amazing because of all the women getting recognized for their work and storytelling, but I thought that what it really augmented and put on display was the insane sense of female community and sisterhood you could just feel oozing from the women in the room all night. Even on the red carpet, the women chatting with the hosts had so much admiration for each others’ work and so much to say about their female co-stars and collaborators. When Kelli O’Hara won her Tony, all of the other nominees in her category looked genuinely ecstatic for her. I thought it was amazing that Jeanine Tesori gave a shout-out to girls all over the country who are trying to create music and tell stories, while Lisa Kron gave her so much credit for their shared win. Working in theatre is frustrating, difficult, and mentally and physically taxing—I want to give up and quit all the time, and I’d love to think that other women making theatre are rooting for me.”
–Alexandra L., 24, Dramaturg

“The Tony Awards this year was a “ring of keys” moment. From writers, to directors, to designers, I think across the board we all felt validated as women in the theatre. “If you’re doing it and succeeding, then I can too. I know you. I am you.” Fun Home’s historic win is particularly encouraging because of the exchange it’s inspired in our community. Anyone who has seen Fun Home can agree it’s elevating our craft and lifting American Musical Theatre into a place of authenticity, empathy, and heart. But it goes far beyond that. I’m interested in theatre as a forum for human experience. The discourse this show has ignited about visibility, both on the Tony stage and at Circle in the Square eight times a week, is the lifeblood of theatre and pushes me forward as an artist and as a person.”
–Alexis S., 23, Artistic Director

“I have watched The Tony Awards every year since I was five. Now that I am older, I know what feminism is, I know what inequalities exist, I know things may be harder for me, but I am still optimistic. I was never innately optimistic about my career goals because I never saw examples in real life of what I wanted to accomplish; what I saw on television growing up never seemed to validate the idea that I could do or be whatever I wanted. But that is changing. Seeing the incredibly talented and persistent women take that stage to accept their awards meant a lot to me as someone who still aspires to do what they do; but it means even more to me that girls younger than me are seeing it. Their optimism can be validated because there is proof that women can write, produce, direct, and create incredible work of such high caliber that it can be widely recognized in a professional arena as such.”
–Alicia C., 21, Student, Writer, Producer

“To see so many talented women recognized at the 2015 Tony Awards makes me excited for the future of theatre. When there are strong female writers, directors, composers, lyricists, or actresses in a production, that show invariably affects me in a profound way. Women bring their own truth and unique power to the theatre, and those qualities have the ability to teach young women important and beautiful lessons about ourselves and about life itself. This year, especially, to witness Kelli O’Hara win a Tony for her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in The King and I made me leap for joy… literally. As always, Ms. O’Hara took on another challenging and empowering role. Each and every role she has undertaken has made me feel proud to be a woman, and her portrayal of Anna Leonowens is no exception. Women are truly the heart of theatre, and I’m so happy the 2015 Tony Awards recognized them.”
–Andrea L., 28, Guest Relations, New Amsterdam Theatre

“The women who were recognized at the Tony Awards this year encouraged me to realize that in order to be successful, you don’t have to do exactly what people want; there’s no need to stay inside the box just to make sure you please people. Instead, do what you want, go as far outside of the box as possible, and allow people to experience something new, something that maybe they never realized they could enjoy. This year’s Tony Awards didn’t only showcase the talents of many extraordinary women, they showed that women don’t have to fit in the box of what is conventionally creative in order to succeed. Not only is it possible to be a woman in a man’s world, it’s possible to be yourself in one. Seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year meant, to me, that not only does a field not have to be dominated by men, but that breaking boundaries and succeeding in a field is an option that is wide open to anyone.”
–Arielle S., 19, College Student

“The Tony Awards were particularly empowering, especially being a young woman pursuing a career in a field in which the majority of jobs have historically been held by men. This year’s female winners are so much more than just the title of the categories they won. They proved that it’s possible to be successful in all aspects of life, whether that means writing, acting, being a wife, parenting, even worming. In order for girls to feel good about themselves, they need to see that being a female is not a burden, and this year’s Tony Awards proved that. We still have a long way to go for gender equality but clearly, more people are starting to realize that women are just as capable and just as talented, and in many cases, more so, as their male counterparts. This year’s female winners proved, once again, that being a woman is badass.”
–Bethany D., 21, Student

“For me, it meant that I had a new group of women to be inspired by—women who were completely involved in the creative process of a production. Jeanine and Lisa were especially inspirational in that regard, and have inspired a new generation of girls to write and compose the content they want to see. Additionally, of course, Ruthie Ann Miles’ win was just so exciting for me to watch, being only the second Asian-American actress to win a Tony! Women have always been amazing and talented, they’re just finally getting the right recognition and the visibility for it. Women can, as Laura Dern’s character said in Jurassic Park, begin to “inherit the earth,” starting with the Broadway stage (All in good fun, of course).”
–Camille F., 20, College Student

“To live in a society that sees women as inherently less than, less capable, less interesting, less important, is frustrating. It’s maddening and insulting. But to see women like Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron, Kelli O’Hara and Ruthie Ann Miles, Audra McDonald and Julie Taymor, making history and breaking down decades-long barriers of gender, race, and sexuality and proving that women are not only equal, capable, interesting, and important, but exceptionally so, is thrilling and beautiful. I am so happy that I get to see women empower themselves and each other in the theatre community and, in turn, all over the country and the world. I don’t think their impact can ever be measured or put into words. And I am incredibly grateful for the doors they are opening for me and other young women like me. Thank you, Tony Awards. Thank you, Broadway. Thank you, ladies!”
–Caroline B., 22, Museum Experience Assistant

“Seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year, especially in categories like Best Book and Best Score, made me conscious of how few women are even nominated in those categories. What can we do to change that? It’s not for lack of talent, so what can we as a community do to close the gap on a lack of opportunities to get work seen? This year’s awards show has motivated me, as both a producer and audience member, to stop complaining and start doing—producing and attending and spreading the word about awesome shows by women I come across. Instead of waiting for someone else to “fix” this, we all need to do our part as well. I think we as women also need to just go for it! Check out the last answer to Jeanine Tesori’s interview here (http://the-interval.com/ints/jt/) and if it makes you cringe like it made me, email one of your theatrical role models today—they just might write back!”
–Cindy S., 26, Producer/MBA Student

“The Tony Awards are essentially bigger than the Superbowl in my house. This was the first season that I was championing a show I had actually seen. Fun Home was a glorious heart explosion that left me reeling and sobbing and singing along. After the show, I noticed Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori greeting friends and family in the lobby. I introduced myself starry-eyed and dumbfounded. These women are titans. I cannot describe the irreplaceable joy that rippled through me the moment I found out that they had made history as the first female writing team to win. I youtube’d their speeches until the tears had etched themselves into my face. Fun Home opened its front door and paved a new pathway for young women, like myself, to someday continue this tradition of busting the ceiling open and building our dreams higher and higher. I’ll never forget my visit to that house on Maple Avenue.”
–Gigi G., 21, College Student

“Since the first time I stepped onstage as a child, I’ve always dreamed of Broadway. While some have been supportive, more often than not, I’ve been faced with so many reasons why I can’t make it: it’s not practical, it will be too hard, there are too many other girls out there, it’s too competitive, it’s a man’s world. Seeing so many women work hard, overcome adversity of all types, be proud of themselves and each other, and take home so many Tonys, however, showed me all the reasons I could. They shattered all of my doubts and cynicism. These women constantly strive for success and inspire me to finish my education in order to do the same. That night, I felt that I, and all the other women fighting to be successful in such a patriarchal world, shared their success.”
–Haley S., 19, College Student

“The evening of June 7th was an overwhelmingly emotional one for me and many of my friends, an evening where I witnessed women make theatre history after such an uplifting and hopeful season. As a college student studying management and theatre, hoping to pursue a career in theatre, these wins were deeply relevant to me. The fact that women’s work was recognized gives me hope that I too can make a significant contribution to the theatre world, a world that has taught me so much about being a woman. Through these women, I’ve learned about the importance of believing in one’s worth and the vital need for a culture where women support other women. Thus, seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year encourages me and all women to keep striving, that there is still wonderful work to be done and enough room to do it.”
–Hannah R., 21, College Student

“Seeing all the female winners at the Tony Awards this year cemented for me just how many amazing/badass/inspirational women there are onstage, but it also reminded me of all the powerful women we don’t get to see—those working behind the scenes. Just as we didn’t get to see Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron accept their awards, we didn’t get to see the countless general managers, marketers, publicists, stage managers, literary managers, etc. who, in their everyday life, are working towards gender parity. I hope that by highlighting the achievements of the women who did make it onto the broadcast, more girls will begin to consider that they can begin to consider the roles that aren’t on the Tonys. For me, knowing that women can make the decisions in theatre has made all the difference and, I hope, it’ll make a difference to someone else too.”
—Helen S., 21, College Student

“It was really special to see so many women win this year at the Tony Awards. Being inside Radio City when Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron won was incredible. I felt like every single person there was overjoyed that they had won, and in Jeanine’s words, “for all women.” Everyone there knew that it was time women were better represented, and for such an important, groundbreaking, and female-driven show as well. The momentum for women that night really kicked off once Kron and Tesori won. I felt like the Tonys were so diverse this year, or more balanced, I guess, due to so many female wins. Even Ruthie Ann Miles’ win, who obviously won in an all-female category, felt more important because she was only the second Asian-American actress to win. When you look at the Oscar nominees each year where white men dominate every single category, the Tonys and theatre in general are really striving to improve gender parity. It was a really inspiring night.”
–Jenna S., 22, Grad Student

“As a woman and aspiring playwright, it was beyond incredible for me to see the immense success that women had at this year’s tony awards. Writing and composing musicals has always been a predominantly male-led category, which can often be discouraging to women trying to break into the profession. I remember when I was a little girl watching the Tony Awards, always wishing one day that would be me up there accepting that beautiful statue. This year was the first time I really saw that as a possibility. This year, as Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori accepted their historic award, I finally saw myself up there. Everything I have aspired to my whole life suddenly became a reality. I want to personally thank these women—Lisa Kron, Jeanine Tesori, Marianne Elliott, Kelli O’Hara, Helen Mirren, Ruthie Ann Miles, Annaleigh Ashford, Bunny Christie, Catherine Zuber, Natasha Katz—and all of the women in theatre who have paved the way for me and countless other young ladies chasing their dreams.”
–Jenn R., 21, University Student

“When women achieve great things, it inspires us to do the same. I’ve worried no one will want to hear the stories I want to tell because they’re all about women, but things like the 2015 Tony Awards make me realize I can do these things and succeed in doing them. I see women on the same level as men and achieving more, and I realize I can be them one day.”
–Jordan G., 18, University Student

“From winners, to presenters, to hosts, The Tony Awards were full of baddass and incredible women. I mean sure, I love an A-list Hollywood actor as much as the next guy, but it was incredibly thrilling to watch the hilarious Kristin Chenoweth take the ropes. It would also be thrilling to see two hilarious women bring the house down (#BenantiBlackwell2016). And while it was no shock to the Broadway community or the fans, watching Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron rack up every trophy in sight made us high five anyone who was within eyesight. There may have been some cartwheels thrown as well. And I still get teary eyed when I hear the words “Tony Winner Kelli O’Hara.” As a woman, watching other women win everything from Best Lighting Design, to Best Score made me incredibly elated. And as a student and aspiring actor/theatre person, it made me immensely inspired.”
–Julia R., 18, College Student

“Seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year was truly amazing. I was lucky enough to have the most inspiring and talented female theatre educator in high school, so I naively did not realize the female deficit until going to college and learning more about the field I so badly wanted to break into. From those I studied in world drama classes, and famous productions I combed through on the Internet, the results were practically all male. Was there a place for me in this industry? And how hard was I going to have to fight for it? Not only did the amount of female winners this year prove how talented and capable the women of theatre and Broadway are, it also brought out a whole community of theatre professionals who cared about gender parity and realized what a big milestone this truly was. This year’s Tony Awards gave me hope, and I am so thankful to the women doing such important work on Broadway and beyond, for making it just a little easier for me.”
–Kylie K., 20, College Student.

“Seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year gave me a sense of pride and hope for all of the women involved in this years’ shows and shows in years to come. I thought it was especially moving to see Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron each win Tony Awards for Best Score and Best Book of a Musical because it demonstrates to young women that they can be composers, lyricists, and/or book writers too; they don’t have to be performing on stage to enjoy or be recognized for their work. I’ve found through experience that working behind the scenes can be just as fun and rewarding as performing on stage, so I’m glad that young women all across America can now see that as well.”
–Laura H., 20, college student

“As a German working in (musical) theatre I cannot lie, I look across the pond to see what kind of theatre is made over there. Putting aside all the differences, there is one thing both theatre communities have in common: women are incredibly underrepresented, especially those who aren’t acting. Personally, I think there are a lot of girls and young women who have a strong will to work in theatre even though they don’t have female role models—and they are fine like that, and they will be fine during their careers. However, there also are girls who desperately need successful female role models in order to find their way into the (non-acting side of the) business. And, at the end of the day, we all need successful women, because we need more female voices to be heard in theatres, because we are as much part of society as men. And why exactly should men be heard and successful while women aren’t?”
–Lisanne W., 24, Dramaturg/Translator

“Seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year strengthened the fact that women unapologetically have a solid, creative place in the theatre, and not just as actors. When I saw all those women claim their Tonys, I felt oddly surprised. I now realize why: I had unconsciously been conditioned to expect men to win these categories because they were the ones who usually held these positions. The number of winners and nominees throughout Tony history (theatre in general, actually) are overwhelmingly male which, I think, tends to discourage some young female creatives — how, then, can we foster the next Jeanine Tesori? In most careers, women in positions of power still inspire surprise or criticism rooted in sexism, because it’s just not the norm. But we can do it and totally kick ass doing so! I am hoping that in the future, it won’t be such a surprise for women to win so often.”
— Margaret T., 19, College Student

“More than just loving how many women won at the Tonys this year, it meant the world to me to see a musical win big where a queer woman was front and center and not a punchline. Not a sight gag, not a sidekick, and not a vessel for that age-old joke where two girls start kissing and the straight guy just watches and it’s hilarious because lesbians are so hot. There was none of that. A queer woman was not only the protagonist, she was onstage in three different bodies! This was a musical where women took up more than their usual 17% of the space available, and it swept the Tonys. That is huge. That is unprecedented. That is heartening, and heart-warming, and amazing. Brava!”
–Mariah M., 29, Playwright

“Watching the Tony Awards this year, it was amazing to see so many women win some of the most distinguished awards in the Broadway community. It gives girls like myself, who have dreamed of going to the Tony Awards for their passion—whether it be acting, design, playwriting, tech, etc.—a hope that their dreams can really come true. It doesn’t matter who you are as long as you love what you do and put all your dreams, ambition, strength, sweat, tears, and most importantly love into it, then you can achieve whatever you have put your heart and mind to.”
–Meg H., 23, Freelance Stage Manager

“Growing up I always dreamed of performing on Broadway and to this day, that dream has not changed. But when I was young and looked at photos of Broadway stars, I saw one type of girl: a skinny, tall, blonde, soprano. As a curvier girl, I didn’t think there was room for me on the Great White Way. However, watching the Tony Awards this year changed my view of what it means to be a Broadway performer. I sat in my college apartment watching Jeanine Tesori, Kelli O’Hara and Ruthie Ann Miles, hardworking women who are all beautiful in their own different ways, accept their awards, and all I could do was cry. Watching Lisa Howard perform brought me to even more tears, for she is a woman like me. Seeing these women achieve their dreams makes me believe that it’s possible for me too. Jeanine said it best: “For girls, you have to see it to be it.” These women doing great things make me proud to be a theatre artist, inspires me to stay true to myself, and makes me realize that Broadway can be a realistic goal.”
–Mindy S., 21, College Student

“As a woman interested in theatre, seeing women win big at the Tonys this year showed me that there is a place for me in the profession I love most. It showed me that I’m right to be doing this, even when it seems hard, or like the fight for equality in theatre isn’t worth it. I was thrilled to be able to tell my dad about all the women who won Tonys this year and let my parents see that women contribute just as much as men to theatre. I can’t wait to see where women theatre-makers go from here, and to someday be a part of the history I got to watch on the Tonys this year.”
–Miranda W., 21, College Student

“It meant so much to me. I’m from Spain and even from here I could feel that Broadway is a man’s business. I cannot go see the shows, so I get an idea of them through cast recordings. A good score is what excites me the most, so the award for Best Score is one of the most anticipated for me. I’ve been fascinated by all of Tesori’s work since Thoroughly Modern Millie and I couldn’t understand how she didn’t have a Tony yet. The first time I heard the Off-Broadway cast recording of Fun Home, I knew the Tony was going to be for them. For two women, for the first time. Even for people from another continent, like me, that moment was so significant, an example for all the theatre communities around the world. Finally this has been the year of women on Broadway and I think it has sent the world the right message: women in theatre matter.”
–Paola M., 25, Lawyer and Spanish Theatre Nerd

“For me, the highlight of the Tonys was seeing my favorite feminist badass Kelli O’Hara win for the first time. She has been an inspiration to me for so long and seeing that incredible woman walk the stage to get her award proved to me that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. 2015 will forever be the year that feminism won the Tonys and I am so proud to have been able to experience it (even if it was from my living room). Seeing women like Kelli, Jeanine, and Lisa win was so inspiring. I am proud to be a woman today because the Tonys proved to me that we can achieve absolutely anything we put their minds to.”
–Sakina D., 20, University Student

“Seeing women dominate at the Tonys this year renewed my faith in the future of women in our industry. It was a much needed moment of validation for me at the end of a period saturated by peers who seemed to believe my point of view as a lesbian playwright is not as valid or interesting because I do not write for men. Our stories are worth telling, and our work is equally compelling. We must continue supporting women artists and fighting for equal representation in our field. “
–Samantha R., 22, Playwright

“The best part of seeing so many women win Tony Awards this year was seeing how women support other women. If you go on CBS’ YouTube channel and watch the Best Leading Actress in a Musical category, and watch all of the other nominee’s reactions, you can see that they were all genuinely happy for Kelli. Kristin shouts a “Yes!” and pumps both fists, Leanne goes “Woo!” and claps wildly, Beth says “Yay, finally!” and Chita turns to the woman next to her and says “She’s never won!” Seeing women win in categories that few have won in before is important, but I believe that show of support was even more important. Now that young girls know they can be successful composers, directors, lighting designers, etc., we need to teach them that someone else’s success is not their failure. We need to teach kids that theatre is not a cutthroat sport with one winner. We should encourage and support others; maybe someday we’ll get a standing ovation of our own.”
–Sara T., 22, College Student

“Remember that one year (not long ago) when the nominated playwrights for Best Play presented their work and they were all white, old guys? The theatre community needs to acknowledge the contributions of women and people of color to the industry, and this year’s wins reflect an encouraging start. We have such an important cultural platform to tell our stories, and we need female writers, composers, and directors to share their voices—and even change the conversation. The more we diversify Broadway, the better and more relevant our work will be.”
–Sara Z., 25, Lettersfromthemezz.com Editor

“It was gratifying to see so many women doing good work, telling compelling stories and, contradictory to erroneous popular belief, winning well-deserved awards for their endeavors. Thanks in part to organizations and websites such as The Lilly Awards, the Kilroys, The Interval etc., the theatre community is finally starting to recognize and correct the gender parity issues. To paraphrase what Lisa Kron said in her (sadly untelevised) acceptance speech, I’d like to believe that this is only the beginning, that the NY theatre community will keep turning on lights in the metaphorical house and keep discovering new rooms that are filled with brilliant, creative work from artists of all genders, races, sexualities, etc. The 2015 Tony Awards’ feminist outcome makes me hopeful for the future of this art form.”
–Sarah R., 26, Writer

“I was lucky enough to be at the Tony Awards this year, and what a year to choose to go. Being a young woman, seeing so many strong-willed women win Tony Awards this year was so amazing. I feel many events do not give women the recognition that they deserve—but the Tony Awards this year was not one of them! Seeing so many moms and wives win was especially amazing. You truly can tell how hard they work and how much they love what they do. Also, you can tell the value they place on their community and on their families. They are not afraid to express how truly grateful they are for the position they’re in. It is also awesome to see how grateful and passionate all of the women at the Tony Awards are. It gives us young women inspiration to find goals to reach for, while still remembering to always be thankful and humble, just like all of these role model worthy women.”
–Sierra S., 19, College Student

“I live in a world where performing is looked down upon. Well, who doesn’t, really? Obviously there will always be doubts about the instability of theatre, but when you live surrounded by cynicism and disapproval, it’s difficult to persevere and continue pursuing your dream. Seeing so many great women win Tony Awards this year, especially Kelli O’Hara, reminded me why I’m persevering to be a woman in theatre. They reminded me that there will always be inevitable roadblocks to overcome, but that we’d never get anywhere if it weren’t for roadblocks building us up and making us stronger to continue on. It was a moment that celebrated what theatre means to millions of women across the country, and made me excited to see what great, beautiful things are being created right now. Seeing those women win made me hope that someday I will be in a position that will allow me to inspire other women in theatre, just as they inspired me. Witnessing their success set me on fire and made me proud to be a woman in theatre.”
–Susie R., 18, College Student

“As a young, professional woman working in the legal and financial industries, I have seen bright and talented female peers and mentors passed over for promotions and awards without justification. Even worse, I have seen them persuaded to leave their jobs (and sometimes careers) due to hostile work environments and social pressures. Sadly, this happens in many professional industries, including in the entertainment industry. For years, remarkable women have been making significant contributions to the Broadway community as producers, directors, choreographers, playwrights, lyricists, composers, actors, technicians, and designers, so it was inspiring to sit in Radio City Music Hall as the American Theatre Wing honored a gifted group of women for their artistic achievements. However, I look forward to the day when the same result is unworthy of so much attention and hope that next years’ recipients as a group will even better reflect the breadth of diversity present in the New York theatre community.”
–Theresa P., 28, Corporate Attorney

“This year’s Tony Awards was a victory for women everywhere. As each of these talented women accepted their award, I felt empowered. These are people I want to emulate—real life heroines. The kind of heroines we need more of in theatre. And they were accomplishing their dreams. It was a vicarious win for me. I watched these remarkable women as if they were telling me, “It’s your turn.” I can kindle my art as these women have. This industry may be competitive by nature, but no one can do this alone. It’s about lifting each other up. Reaching out to anyone who will listen. The camaraderie is absolutely unbelievable. Females sticking together to better the future of theatre. Now that’s a victory.”
–Victoria H., 19, College Student

“I wrote a play about two female best friends who find themselves possibly in love with one another. I’ve come to see it as a love story in more than one sense, but I like to think it captures something a lot more confusing and complex than solely romantic love. The play has seen two productions in the past year, and there was one question that I came to expect (and dreaded) to be asked after any given performance: “So, is this play about you?” I don’t know for sure, but I have a suspicion that male playwrights rarely get asked questions such as these. Because what this question is really asking is, “How could you have come up with something like this on your own? From your own imagination?” I think that the average person often doesn’t quite know what to make of a “female” play because “female plays” are painfully few and far between. This is part of why the game-changing achievements of Jeanine Tesori, Lisa Kron, Marianne Elliot, et al. at the Tony Awards this year are so meaningful to me. I passionately believe that this season, on and Off-Broadway, represents a breakthrough. As a community, we’re finally moving beyond the disgustingly misguided notion that plays by women are somehow less universal, imaginative, or digestible than those by men.”
– Zoe K., 19, Playwright/Co-Founder Semicolon Theatre Co.