(Memphis, TN)- On August 2 – 4, 2012, fans of the theatre will converge on Memphis for a performance smorgasbord unlike any other during the first annual Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis (WTFM). This event is jam packed with an awards show, a musical concert, nine stage plays, four staged readings, nine technical & dance workshops, two forums, and spoken word and dance performances. It has something for everyone to enjoy.
The WTFM kicks off Thursday, August 2nd with the Gyneka Awards Gala honoring the achievements of 12 women in Memphis Theatre. The inaugural honorees are Gloria Baxter, Sue Binnie, Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, Erma Clanton, Deborah Glass-Frazier, Pam Goss, Dorothy Kirsch, Rebecca Y. Powell, Marguerite Piazza, Florence Roach, Maxine Strawder, and Bennetta “Bennie” Nelson West. The Gyneka Awards performance will be held at The Buckman Performing and Fine Arts Center, 60 Perkins Ext .
Friday and Saturday features wonderful stage works by local and national female playwrights, directors, producers, etc. that cover a variety of topics from prison, to love, to homelessness, to insomnia and Harriet Tubman in several genres. They are sure to make audiences laugh, cry and rethink topics they once thought they knew about. The performances will be held at The Circuit Playhouse - 51 S. Cooper and TheatreWorks - 2085 Monroe in the Midtown Memphis Theatre District.
Those who are interested in learning more about the technical side of theatre and dance or want to hone their skills can attend several workshops being held both days. They cover topics such as the business of theatre, business of acting, playwriting, directing, acting, costuming as well as Hip Hop, African, Jazz, and Salsa dance. Most of the dance workshops will be held at Playhouse on the Square – 66 S. Cooper.
Some of the workshop presenters/panelists include: Gloria Baxter, Amanda Gonzales, Amy Hanford, Kirstin Hurston, Whitney Jo, Norelia Warnette Jones, Concetta V. Harris, Tiffany Mishe’, Tania Castroverde Moskalenko, Rebecca Y. Powell, Dimitri Roudnev, Patricia Smith, Bennetta “Bennie” Nelson West.
WFTM was founded by seasoned playwright Ruby O’Gray and director/event planner Karen Moore. WTFM’s mission is to provide educational opportunities and performances that represent women on a broader scale and bring recognition to women who have contributed to the theatre over the years. “We wanted to host an event that touches on almost every aspect of theatre. Women are often undervalued in the world of theatre and by focusing solely on women we can provide the instruction, nurturing and encouragement they need to help them be successful,” said O’Gray who has written and directed over 60 plays. Her play Sisters of the Cloth is being performed during WTFM.
“This has been a labor of love. I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish but we want to reiterate that sponsorship of WTFM is still available and very much needed in support of this event. We have a great lineup being executed by some amazingly talented individuals. Lovers of theatre and dance (men and women, young and old) from far and wide are invited to come out and support us,” says Moore.
For the complete schedule, registration and ticket information, visit http://womenstheatrefestivalofmemphis.org/festival.html
or call 901.213.7566.