International Women's Day, March 8th, 2020 came a lot sooner than I was prepared for. Even though back in September 2019, Project La Femme was approached by STAGESTheatre to return for the 3rd year of our IWD show "Women Get Loud". So, I really should have been better organized but I was just coming off the Project La Femme Playwright's Festival, in the middle of War of the Worlds rehearsal and actively participating in shaping the Orange County Theatre Guild's brand-new, inaugural Award's Program (for which I serve as a Board-Elect Member). It was a busy fall.
I co-created Project La Femme in 2017 and this arts collective continues to build and gain momentum. Producing the last two years of this one-night show has been extremely rewarding because of the overwhelming response from the audience. Somehow, this strikes a cord with people and each year I have been amazed at the outpouring of appreciation from those in attendance.
I have to give credit to the vulnerability and honesty of the performers who we are so grateful have participate. Most with their own material, taken from personal experience, these performers bare something very intimate about themselves. And those stories are expressed through a variety of ways: song, monologue, stand-up comedy, poetry, spoken word, and movement.
From the Project La Femme website:
About Womxn Get Loud
In the wave of speaking out against harassment and misconduct we feel a need to create an act of solidarity. As seen with the #MeToo campaign, we feel compelled to create a piece of theater that amplifies and provides space to female voices with stories that historically have been silenced.
Women [womxn] Get Loud is a a non-traditional, multi-genre performance collaboration produced by Project La Femme in celebration of diversity and shared humanity. This show amplifies voices of our community through dance, spoken word, drama, music and poetry celebrating all women asking: “What are you no longer going to remain quiet about anymore?”
As part of our mission to be radically inclusive, this show is a platform and opportunity for individuals to speak their truth. This show is not based on sex, gender, experience, performance background or sexuality.
This year, for 2020, I proposed that we change the name of the show from 'Women' to 'Womxn' in order to be more inclusive. So much of the material from the previous year's show centered around identity and labels. And while the event is in celebration of International Women's Day, we realized that not all of our performers necessarily considered themselves women. The decision was made to make the name change. The term “womxn” is used, especially in intersectional feminism, as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the sequences m-a-n and m-e-n, and to be inclusive of trans and nonbinary women. We are highly conscious that historically the feminist movement has excluded the efforts of women of color.
So excited to have this limited edition print created especially for the event by artist Heather N. Bowling! Each mono print was hand pulled and is numbed and signed. If you're interested in getting one, visit here.
We raised money for Laura's House, a domestic violence shelter and it was fantastic to have representatives there at the event to share their mission and work with the audience. We were able to give over $600 to the nonprofit.
I've already started thinking about what next year will bring and have started planning. It will still come too soon, I know, but this year (?!) I'll be ready.