BidVertiser ClickADu HilltopAds

It’s been a whirlwind year for Carol Wartenberg and the Lesbian Thespians.

The group of women actors, musicians, artists and art lovers founded during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced rapid growth as it tapped into the region’s largely unnoticed lesbian community. And just this summer, the group claimed a new home as theater company-in-residence at ArtServe in Fort Lauderdale.  

The group got its start under the auspices of the newly formed nonprofit Plays of Wilton (POW!), founded by independent theater producer Ronnie Larsen at the intimate Foundry theater space in Wilton Manors.

Wartenberg and a core group of women artists who had always felt marginalized within the local male-dominated LGBT community began hosting monthly mixers and soon added play readings, spoken word events and concerts.  

The events proved popular and the group quickly outgrew the Foundry. But, with the pandemic subsiding and other theater companies and arts organizations returning to regular schedules, the availability of venues was limited.  

“The past year has been difficult because theaters have gotten back into business and finding appropriate spaces to rehearse and perform has been a challenge,” explained Wartenberg, a retired clinical psychologist who always had an affinity for acting and theater. “We’re so grateful to Ronnie and POW! because they really gave us our start.”  

When the opportunity to call ArtServe home was presented, Wartenberg jumped. The Broward County arts incubator, gallery and performing space would offer a safe, nurturing environment for the young organization and its largely amateur artists.

“When ArtServe asked, I told them I didn’t need my car to drive home because I would just float home,” she recalled. “We needed to grow and ArtServe was like going to heaven.”  

Lesbian Thespians opened their 2022-23 season at ArtServe in August with a staged reading of the play “Enid’s Fly Trap,” Terry Baum’s play about the employees and patrons at an old-fashioned lesbian bar that has seen better days. Other social and arts events are being planned and will be posted on the group’s Facebook page.  

For more information, go to