“Every year there is a lot of writing about, sex, sex, sex and more sex!”
That’s Genie Croft, artistic director of The Women’s Theatre Project, talking about one thing to expect from “Girl Play,” the staged reading festival which will be presented at The Pride Center at Equality Park in Wilton Manors June 27-29.
“Girl Play,” now in its fifth year, presents staged readings of short plays with lesbian themes. This year, 18 plays were chosen from more than 100 submitted from all over the world. Six plays will be performed each of the three days by an ensemble cast.
And even though the reception before the actual readings each day is called Foreplay and features art, music and a signature drink dubbed the Luscious Lesbian Martini, sex isn’t the only thing featured at “Girl Play.”
“Most playwrights focus on what they know and experience, so there has been a noticeable shift in a lot of the ideas the various playwrights have chosen to write about,” Croft said.
And even though all those play submissions come from playwrights who live all over the world, themes emerge, perhaps showing a commonality as well as an evolution in the issues of concern.
“Five years ago, many of the plays focused on the coming out experience,” Croft said. “The last couple of years, there were themes of fighting for equality, marriage, and meeting new people. Last year several pieces dealt with handling losing a partner, through break-up, or death. This year many of the scripts focus on relationship issues.”
Actor Sally Bondi has been with “Girl Play” since the beginning; in fact, the event was the brainstorm of Bondi’s former partner.
“Any year I'm not in another show, I would walk thru molasses to be a part of this festival,” Bondi said. “Foreplay then Girl Play. Come on!”
Bondi enjoys the challenge of crawling into the skins of lots of different characters, but also believes in “Girl Play” as a community experience for an underserved demographic.
“It's really hard to rally lesbians for any kind of event much less theatre, unfortunately,” Bondi said. “However, ‘Girl Play’ has gained a good reputation for a night of theatre that everyone can relate to and have fun with. It’s a chance to meet some really interesting people. The scripts speak to our community. How rare is that? Not all will resonate with everyone, but that's what is interesting.”
“Girl Play has always been a significant event, by offering a fresh, provocative, look at voices we generally don't see or hear on stage,” Croft said. “The playwrights usually make bold and memorable points in these short plays. And each year we have exceptional acting talent make these pieces really come alive.”
“Girl Play” will be presented by The Women’s Theatre Project Friday, June 27, through Sunday, June 29, at The Pride Center at Equality Park, 2040 N. Dixie Hwy, Wilton Manors. For tickets, call 866-811-4111.
For more information, visit WomensTheatreProject.com.