Women in the spotlight at the ON WOMEN theater festival, from July 11 to 31


Committed to producing the works of emerging, progressive and dynamic playwrights, this year’s festival will be headlined by three main productions; Mt. Rushmore, July 14-17, encompassing themes of female grief and the power of reinvention in a solo piece, The Great Lesbian Love of Eve Adams, July 21-24, navigating experiences of discrimination and inequality of a queer immigrant and disruptor, and the world premiere of an opera created and performed by an all-female crew, Letters That You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War, July 29-31.

Throughout the festival, audiences will also be able to enjoy an online library of new digital works submitted by international artists, all presented to strengthen multidisciplinary artist voices and the female perspective.

Kicking off the 3-week festival, Mt. Rushmore takes the stage, July 14-17, with an autobiographical account of the untimely death of playwright Monica Hunken’s father due to environmental toxins at his workplace. With his mother grieving and embroiled in a lawsuit against his employer, Hunken takes the audience on a punk rock journey that takes them to the center of the rebel Reagan era, where they aid the performer in his quest to save his mother. from a life of grief and political conservatism. A wild and bizarre quest filled with espionage, unexpected friendships and even a chance for redemption, this one-man show is performed by Hunken with the help of musical accompaniment, original live songs, punk, karaoke and classic hits from the 80s.

Paige Esterly, playwright, producer, teacher and arts advocate, takes to the space July 21-24 with a cast of five in The Great Lesbian Love of Eve Adams, directed by Jenny Lester. A historical and biographical account of Eve Adams, a gender-nonconfirming Jewish immigrant, anarchist, and lesbian, the article reveals the truths of the discrimination she faced in New York City in the 1920s. While Eve was an influential editor, speakeasy owner and self-proclaimed “queen of the third sex”, audiences are reminded of the progress made in the 100-year struggle for queer equality and the steps that must be taken to continue to fight for a more just world and egalitarian.

During the final week of the season, the festival will host its first opera production, Letters That You Will Not: Women’s Voices from the Great War, July 29-31, by The American Opera Project. Brought alive through authentic sources including letters, poetry, journal entries, memoirs, and oral sentiments recalled by real women who lived through the global impacts of World War I, Letters that You Will Not Get: Women’s Voices from the Great War is composed by Kirsten Volness in collaboration with librettists Kate Holland and Susan Werbe to explore and empower the female experience in historical context. With a cast of 6 women, audiences are introduced through the song to the perspectives of American, British, European, Asian, African and Caribbean female archetypes who lived and died during the Great War – mothers and wives, daughters, friends and lovers. , nurses and factory workers, guards and civilians. Themes of love, loss, resignation, guilt, horror and humor personify both sides of the conflict, while amplifying the quiet voices of women whose experiences were integral to the war but excluded from the larger narrative of history.

“As Irondale strives to present theater that speaks to the issues of our time, this festival is an opportunity to look at women’s social, political and historical experiences through an authentic lens,” says Emilio Maxwell Cerci and Renata Soares, co-producers of the festival. “To amplify these voices and provide an artistic platform to use art as activism, education and inspiration to dream of a more unified future, we applaud these artists for their artistic courage and look forward to seeing them shine on stage. later this summer.”

The main stage lineup was selected by curators Melissa Moschitto, T Mitsock and Shannon Corenthin. Throughout the Festival, each curator will also lead an interactive round table for the exchange of artists, free of charge.


July 11-30, New Media Storytelling, airing anytime with public voting and cash rewards

July 14-17, Mount Rushmore

July 21-24, The Great Lesbian Love of Eve Adams

July 29-31, Letters You Won’t Receive: Women’s Voices of the Great War

July 31, closing night with a performance by The Opera Cowgirls after the performance

The dates and times of the artist exchange roundtables will be announced.

All performances will be at 7:30 p.m., Thursday to Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

A festival pass, $75, includes full access to all three main stage productions and digital new media storytelling performances. Each Mainstage performance can be viewed separately for $30, $15 for students, seniors and working artists. A ticket to two Mainstage productions is $50 and access to the online New Media Portal is $10. Group tickets and financial assistance for those in need are available.


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