This is what a playwright looks like.
I want you to see them.
When you seek plays to program, scripts to buy, curriculum to teach, I want you to remember.
Necessary Exposure: The Female Playwright Project is a portrait and sound installation which seeks to bring visibility to playwrights who identify as female. Through portraits and sound excerpts we bring awareness to what remains to be widely seen and heard.
Photography and concept by Jody Christopherson.
History, culture, change are made by those who control what is written about them and what access the public has to that information. The theater is a unique opportunity to connect directly with audiences to create that change. Yet only 1/5 of the plays produced in America are written by female playwrights. At Arena Stage’s first theater Summit in 2015, an answer to why these numbers are so low was posed- “because there’s not enough in the pipeline right now.” “Commissioning (new work) is critical.” But how do we get more voices into a pipeline? How do we find new artists to commission? And where is that pipeline?
Necessary Exposure: The Female Playwright Project is a series of installations displaying portraits of contemporary playwrights who identify as female in hopes of bringing awareness to the volume and diversity of voices we should be seeing on stage.
As a theater maker/visual artist, I seek to engage an audience through many mediums, leaving new clues in each vehicle to reveal a larger expression of a human being. An image can be powerful on its own, yet I am acutely aware of the ways that women are objectified in print media. And we need to reach beyond that kind of limitation. That is why in these installations the image is only one component of a portrait. Sound plays, in the form of Podcasts, and printed text adds another dimension to each portrait. Gallery openings include large-scale sound immersions of each portrait/playwright’s text. These immersions happen in near darkness and use sight deprivation to emphasize the sound of these voices, the absence of plays that are not being seen, give an audience a dream space in which to envision ways to produce these works.
Listen to the Podcasts on Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/necessary-exposure-female/id1014603301?mt=2
Listen to the Podcasts on Soundcloud while viewing the portraits: https://soundcloud.com/user-341986013
See the online gallery: https://thefemaleplaywrightproject.com