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The Public Celebrates Women's History Month

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Throughout the month of March, we have been honoring the contributions of the Women of The Public in our theatrical landscape. As we close out the month, we asked some of them what it means to be a woman in theater today.

Erika Dickerson-Despenza (Tow Playwright-in-Residence/CULLUD WATTAH Playwright): As a Blk feminist writer & cultural worker with my eyes squarely on liberation, it means queering the form, centering working class & poor Blk women's stories, (re)introducing audiences to abolitionist environmental justice praxis, exploring the complexity of real world problems & auditioning solutions to them on stage. It means I sweat when I write. Word to Ntozake Shange. 

Candis C. Jones (CULLUD WATTAH Director): First and foremost, as a Black female theater-maker I get to honor my mother who sacrificed dreams so that I could act upon infinite possibilities. Along with the responsibility and privilege to prioritize my dreams, I hold myself accountable for holding the door open for Black female identifying artists to craft our stories in ways that only we know how!

Lorin Latarro (THE VISITOR Choreographer): It’s a very exciting time for women and women’s stories. My voice, both as an artist, and as a woman, is being asked to be integrated in a holistic way. I can offer my experience to the creative work to help ensure three dimensional women on stage.

Laurie Woolery (Director of Public Works/Public Works’ AS YOU LIKE IT Director): Bring all of yourself into every room you enter. Bring your culture, your ancestors, your life experience with full frontal courage and empathy. Unapologetically. Heart, soul, guts, and a fierceness to be authentic. That’s our superpower. It’s our duty to open the doors for those coming behind us, while honoring those who came before.

These interviews have been edited for length and clarity.