By Ivana Cheong
The women are back to take over the town as Stone Soup Theatre (4029 Stone Way N.) opens up spring season with The Double (XX) Fest, a three-weekend theatre extravaganza that features only female creatives from Seattle and the rest of the country.
Stone Soup is picking up where the Mae West Fest — an annual Seattle event that highlighted original work of female writers, producers, directors, and actors — left off when it ended in 2007 after 10 years.
One of the highlights of this event is the theatre’s first ever 24-hour, all-female playfest. Nine actors, three directors, three playwrights, and two tech experts will join forces, writing and producing an original play based on a randomly-picked theme to be performed to a live audience a mere 24 hours later.
In keeping with Stone Soup’s tradition of producing one-act plays, audiences will be able to enjoy a large selection of shorter and longer plays, with themes ranging from wedding jitters to dictionary definitions.
During the first two weekends, audiences will have the chance to vote and help pick the best productions to be featured in the Best of the Fest, happening on the final week of the program.
In addition, the festival will offer readings of various scripts and workshops focusing on plays and playwriting.
“We wanted to address the hole left by the Mae West Fest,” said Carolynne Wilcox, the PR Manager of Stone Soup. “Also there is still something of a lack of theatres, both locally and nationally, opting to produce work written by women,” Wilcox said.
In talking about Women’s Project, the country’s largest and longest-running theatre company devoted to work produced by women, the American Theater Magazine wrote, “[V]ital questions remain: Is there a need for a theatre dedicated to work by women? And if there is a need—as many theatre artists believe—what must such a theatre do in order to prosper? If the American theatre has absorbed the larger culture’s deeply rooted, stereotypical attitudes toward women, how will barriers to the advancement of women as playwrights, directors and producers come down?”
“Likely, it will be going forward and not be an ‘anomaly’ this season!” said Wilcox.
The Double (XX) Fest runs from April 7 to 24. For ticket prices, schedules updated daily, and more information, visit www.stonesouptheatre.org.
Ivana Cheong is the My Wallingford intern and studies Communications at the University of Washington.