I thought you should know about them
Below are the "Notes From the Artistic Director" in the program for this year's Alcyone Fest. Figured I'd share them online as well.
“How do you pick the shows?” It’s a question I often get about the festival. I usually read between 300-500 plays a year, so I’ve got a pretty good working knowledge of what plays are out there; however, most of the plays we’ve done have found us.
It’s a pretty incredible thing, when I can take a second to step back. Simply because of people being inspired by the Alcyone Festival, and telling others about it, I’ve been sent scripts by critics, dramaturgs, writers, publishers, audiences--you name it--from six continents. Most often, it’s accompanied by a simple note: “she’s amazing. I love her work. You should know about her.”
This year’s Alcyone Festival features plays by women in Mexico. I was inspired by the works that Henry Godinez and the Lark Play Development Center brought to the Goodman's last Latino Theatre Festival for readings. For this year's festival I wanted to continue that conversation and present full productions of a few of the scores of fantastic plays that have been written by women in Mexico.
If the statistics hold true, more than 60% of you reading this are women. Around 20% of productions every year are penned by women, both in Chicago and nationally. We set out to get working on changing that and in the process have begun something that has inspired people across the world. It’s a pretty incredible thing to be part of.
If you read the 20% statistic and want to try to change that, there’s four steps that would change that 20% stat almost overnight: Reading more great plays by women, Producing more great plays by women, Watching more great plays by women, and because not everyone can do all four like I can, the fourth step is the simplest—Telling others about the new writer you just came across and loved.
Thank you for coming out tonight. You could be anywhere in the world and you chose to spend your time with us, and I thank you for that. I know you have many options for your time and money, and we are grateful you are here. I hope you have a great time, and when the show is over, feel free to hang out and let us know what you thought.
I think these women are amazing. I love their work, and I thought you should know about them.