Below are the "From the Artistic Director" notes for the Alcyone Festival Program. (You'll get a copy when you swing by and catch the shows.) I figured I'd re-post them here:
If the statistics hold true, 60% of you reading this are female. Around 20% of productions every year are penned by women. We set out to get working on changing that and in the process have begun something that no one I know of is doing. I think even this year’s playwrights are a little surprised. One asked three times to make sure we were talking about doing actual productions and not readings.
This crazily ambitious festival was a year in the making. Early on it was pretty tough going. I was having a hard time finding good plays by women that fit into our pretty broad theme. Most plays are only published after a New York run, and because so few female writers are produced, there is a dearth of published scripts available. So I began asking for help. And help poured in from across the globe. Critics, dramaturgs, writers, publishers—you name it. Suggestions for reading, people to contact, and even free copies to read.
Each year I probably read 3-400 new plays. There is no lack of phenomenal women writers. Six are featured this year, with enough time and money I could have easily programmed sixty. There is a lack of knowledge of the vast number of great scripts out there. We’ve been fortunate in the amount of help we’ve had in finding a sliver of them. If you read the 20% statistic and want to try to change that, do it. There’s four steps that would change that 20% stat 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.
I know, I know. When I start talking about this festival, I sound like a harebrained cross between a mad-scientist and a jive-assed preacher. It’s a long-winded way of saying thank you for coming tonight. Without you, the final leg of the journey could not be completed. We know you have many options for your time and money, and we are grateful you are here to share a few hours with us. So sit back, have a great time, and when the show is over feel free to hang out and let us know what you thought.
Tony Adams, Artistic Director