Women's Project Theater
WP Theater (formerly known as Women's Project Theater) is a non-profit theater based in New York City. It is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of female-identified theater artists at every stage in their careers. .
WP Theater (formerly known as Women's Project Theater) was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles, who was associate director at the The American Place Theatre, to address the conspicuous under-representation of women artists working in the American theater. A survey at the time indicated that only 6% of plays produced in the United States were written by women. Over three decades later, employment statistics for women playwrights and directors have improved, But women are still in a minority position. Even today, only 20% of opportunities in the professional theater nationwide are granted to women theater artists.
Women's Project Theater continues to combat gender bias with the simple act of making a home for extraordinary female-identified theater artists, presenting their work onstage, and advocating for them . A season at Women's Project Theater includes a three play 'Mainstage Season' season, 'WP Lab', and 'Annual Women of Achievement Awards Gala'.
Women's Project Theater has produced more than six hundred mainstage plays and developmental projects  including Crooked by Catherine Treischmann, Aliens with Extraordinary Skills by Saviana Stănescu and Virginia Woolf's only play, Freshwater, directed by Anne Bogart. Other productions include Or, by Liz Duffy Adams, Smudge by Rachel Axler, Lascivious Something by Sheila Callaghan, Apple Cove by Lynn Rosen,Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge, How The World Began by Catherine Treischmann, Bethany by Laura Marks and Jackie by Elfriede Jelinek.
Women's Project Theater artist alumni include Anne Bogart, Ruby Dee, Eve Ensler, Kim Hunter, Lynn Nottage, Diane Paulus, Maggie Siff, Frances Sternhagen, Anna Deavere Smith, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
The 'WP Lab' is the heart of Women's Project Theater's artistic programming, and the only program in the nation that fosters artistic collaboration between emerging and mid-career Playwrights, Directors and Producers.
Each year, Women’s Project Theater hosts the Women of Achievement Awards Gala Awards, which has honored Chita Rivera, Eve Ensler, Whoopi Goldberg, Estelle Parsons, Gloria Steinem, Vanessa Redgrave, and Laurie Anderson, amongst others.
|2005-2006||THE CATARACT||By Lisa D’Amour, Directed by Katie Pearl||Julia Miles Theater||New York Premiere|
|2005-2006||JUMP/CUT||By Neena Beber, Directed by Leigh Silverman||Julia Miles Theater||New York Premiere|
|2006-2007||GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUND$||Conceived & created by the 2006-2008 WP Lab: May Adrales, Gia Forakis, Leigh Goldenberg, Christina Gorman, Maria Goyanes, Jyana Gregory, Karen Grenke, Katori Hall, Amy Kaissar Andrea Lepcio, Patricia McNamara Linda Powell, Molly Rice, Saviana Stanescu, Joy Tomasko & Kim Weild.||World Financial Center||World Premiere Co-presented by arts>World Financial Center|
|2006-2007||TRANSFIGURES||Conceived & Directed by Lear deBessonet, Text by Bathsheba Doran, Charles Mee, Erin Sax Seymour, Russell Shorto, Joan of Arc & Henrik Ibsen, Choreographed by Andrea Haenggi||Julia Miles Theater|
|2006-2007||VICTORIA MARTIN: MATH TEAM QUEEN||By Kathryn Walat, Directed by Loretta Greco||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere|
|2007-2008||CORPORATE CARNIVAL||Conceived & Created by Megan E. Carter, Julie Crosby, Jyana S. Gregory & the Performers, Directed by Jyana S. Gregory, Text by Andy Paris||World Financial Center||World Premiere Co-presented by arts>World Financial Center|
|2007-2008||CROOKED||By Catherine Trieschmann, Directed by Liz Diamond||Julia Miles Theater||American Premiere|
|2007-2008||SAND||By Trista Baldwin, Directed by Daniella Topol||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere|
|2008-2009||GLOBAL COOLING: THE WOMEN CHILL||Conceived & created by the 2008-2010 WP Lab: Bekah Brunstetter, Alexis Clements, Charity Henson-Ballard, Kara Manning, Lynn Rosen, Crystal Skillman, Andrea Thome, Heidi Carlsen, Linsay Firman, Susanna Gellert, Wendy McClellan, Donya K. Washington Diane Alianiello, Heather Cohn, Jennifer Conley Darling, Aimee Davis, Amanda Feldman, Marissa Rosenblum & Allegra Schorr, Musical Direction by Matt Castle, Choreography by Elizabeth Montgomery, Visual Art Installation by Annie Boyden Varnot & Elizabeth Ferrer||World Financial Center||World Premiere Co-presented by arts>World Financial Center|
|2008-2009||FRESHWATER||By Virginia Woolf, Directed by Anne Bogart||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere Co-produced with SITI Company|
|2008-2009||ALIENS WITH EXTRAORDINARY SKILLS||By Saviana Stanescu, Directed by Tea Alagic||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere|
|2009-2010||LASCIVIOUS SOMETHING||By Sheila Callaghan, Directed by Daniella Topol||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere|
|2009-2010||SMUDGE||By Rachel Axler, Directed by Pam MacKinnon||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere|
|2009-2010||OR,||By Liz Duffy Adams, Directed by Wendy McClellan||Julia Miles Theater||World Premiere|
|2010-2011||ROOM||Based on the writings of Virginia Woolf, Directed by Anne Bogart, Adapted by Jocelyn Clarke||Julia Miles Theater||Starring Ellen Lauren|
|2010-2011||APPLE COVE||By Lynn Rosen, Directed by Giovanna Sardelli||Julia Miles Theater||New York Premiere|
|2011-2012||WE PLAY FOR THE GODS||Conceived & created by the 2010-2012 WP Lab: Charity Ballard, Alexandra Collier, Elizabeth R. English, Jessi D. Hill, Andrea Kuchlewska, Dominique Morisseau, Kristen Palmer, Sarah Rasmussen, Mia Rovegno, Melisa Tien, Nicole A. Watson, Stephanie Ybarra & Stefanie Zadravec||Cherry Lane Theater|
|2011-2012||HOW THE WORLD BEGAN||By Catherine Trieschmann, Directed by Daniella Topol||Peter Jay Sharp Theater||New York Premiere, Produced in association with South Coast Repertory, Recipient of a 2011 Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award.|
|2011-2012||MILK LIKE SUGAR||By Kirsten Greenidge, Directed by Rebecca Taichman||Peter Jay Sharp Theater||Co-Produced by Playwrights Horizons & La Jolla Playhouse|
|2012-2013||COLLAPSE||By Allison Moore, Directed by Jackson Gay||New York City Center Stage II||New York Premiere|
|2012-2013||JACKIE||By Elfriede Jelinek, Directed by Tea Alagic, Translated by Gitta Honegger||New York City Center Stage II||North American Premiere, Starring Tina Benko|
|2012-2013||BETHANY||By Laura Marks, Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch||New York City Center Stage II||Featuring America Ferrera|
The Lab is a two-year residency for women playwrights, directors and producers. Selected through a highly competitive process, the Lab provides its members with a vital professional network, entrepreneurial and leadership training, rehearsal space, and opportunities for the development and production of bold new work for the stage.
The Lab has two main goals: to cultivate the work of women theater artists and to give them the tools they need to succeed in the business. In addition to developing their own unique work, Lab artists collaboratively create a culminating residency production. Past shows include WE PLAY FOR THE GODS (2012), GLOBAL COOLING (2009), CORPORATE CARNIVAL (2008), and GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUND$ (2007) and THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING (2014).
Under the auspices of Women’s Project Theater, the 2008-2010 Lab Playwrights published OUT OF TIME AND PLACE, a two-volume anthology of plays, including contributions from 11 Lab Playwrights. With an introduction by Theresa Rebeck, the anthology has had great success especially in academic communities hungry for work by women that feature strong female roles.
Many Lab artists continue to work together long after their official residency ends, and the Women's Project Theater continues to advocate ferociously for its Lab alumnae by brokering agents, providing references, and submitting their work to theaters around the country. Women's Project Theater also hires many Lab artists for main stage productions; over 75% of plays produced at WP during the past five years were written and/or directed by Lab artists and alumnae.
- Tea Alagic
- Jennifer Conley Darling
- Nadia Davids
- Laura Eason
- Gia Forakis
- Maria Goyanes
- Katori Hall
- Jessi D Hill
- Quiara Alegria Hudes
- Pam MacKinnon
- Dominique Morisseau
- Linda Powell
- Saviana Stanescu
- Daniella Topol
- Meiyin Wang
- Kim Weild
Women of Achievement awards
Each year, Women’s Project Theater recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments of women from the worlds of entertainment, business and philanthropy at the Women of Achievement Awards Gala. Over the past 28 years, Women’s Project Theater has paid homage several women luminaries and, in 2014, recognized Sharon Bush, Arianna Huffington, and Joan Vail Thorne.
- Betty Allen 1988
- Laurie Anderson 2010
- Maya Angelou 1998
- Sharon Bush 2014
- Zoe Caldwell 1996
- Iris Cantor 2008
- Jennifer Conley Darling
- Katie Couric 1995
- Ruby Dee 2000
- Liz Duffy Adams 2012
- Nora Ephron 1992
- Whoopi Goldberg 1998
- Helen Gurley Brown (posthumously) 2013
- Clara Hale 1990
- Mariska Hargitay 2005
- Arianna Huffington 2014
- Lucia Hwong Gordon 2009
- Billie Jean King 1986
- Mathilde Krim 1988
- Jessica Lange 1992
- Annie Leibovitz 1992
- Lucille Lortel 1986
- Jewell Jackson McCabe 1989
- Judith Jamison 1987
- Audra McDonald 2001
- Julia Miles 1998
- Toni Morrison 1987
- Bebe Neuwirth 2011
- Sheila Nevins 2013
- Rosie O’Donnell 1997
- Estelle Parsons 2009
- Anna Quindlen 1991
- Phylicia Rashad2002
- Vanessa Redgrave 1999
- Chita Rivera 2003
- Susan Sarandon 1991
- Diane Sawyer 1988
- Gail Sheehy 2004
- Muriel Siebert 2006
- Gloria Steinem 1989
- Jessica Tandy 1987
- Susan L. Taylor 1999
- Twyla Tharp 2001
- Joan Vail Thorne 2014
- Lily Tomlin 1994
- Wendy Wasserstein 1989
- Barbara Walters 1993
- Kerry Washington 2008
- Faye Wattleton 1991
Awards and accomplishments
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- Mitchell, Angela. "Women's Theatre Groups".
- Greene, Alexis (February 2008). "What Women Want". American Theatre.
- Miller, Stuart (May 19, 2010). "An Artistic Director Who's All Business". The New York Times.
- Production History: http://wptheater.org/about/past-productions/
- "Women's Project Theater Production History". American Theatre.
- "Women's Project Theater Artist Alum".
- "WP Lab Playwrights - Women's Project Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- "WP Lab Directors - Women's Project Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- "WP Lab Producers - Women's Project Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- "2014 Women of Achievement Awards - Women's Project Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- "Women of Achievement Honorees - Women's Project Theater". Retrieved 24 April 2017.
- Official website
- Women's Project and Productions Records, 1979-1996 Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College