Kennedy Center, four more, join Women’s Voices Festival

February 20, 2014

The Women’s Voices Festival just got louder. The Kennedy Center and four other companies have been added to the list of participating theaters in the fall 2015 festival. This brings to 49 the number of DC theaters that will produce world premieres by female playwrights between September and October of next year–a mind-boggling volume of new stage work by women.

In addition to the Kennedy Center–which will participate under the auspices of its incoming president, Deborah F. Rutter–the recent additions to the festival include Gala Hispanic Theatre, NextStop Theatre Company, Pallas Theatre Collective and Rep Stage. Gala and Pallas are D.C.-based, while NextStop performs in Herndon and Rep Stage at Howard County Community College.

As spearheaded by Molly Smith and Eric Schaeffer, artistic directors of Arena Stage and Signature Theatre–along with the leaders of Ford’s Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Round House Theatre and Studio Theatre — 44 companies from across the region were among the initial organizations to sign up for the project. The participation of the Kennedy Center is especially noteworthy, given the center’s scope and national prominence.

Festival organizers say that other D.C.-area groups seeking to participate can send applications to As they also note, playwrights who want to have works performed “must be attached to a participating theater.”


Peter Marks joined the Washington Post as its chief theater critic in 2002. Prior to that he worked for nine years at the New York Times, on the culture, metropolitan and national desks, and spent about four years as its off-Broadway drama critic.
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