Glass Ceiling: “A metaphor used to represent an invisible barrier that keeps a given demographic (typically applied to women) from rising beyond a certain level.”
In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theater, a one-act festival will celebrate women playwrights.
“Glass Ceiling Breakers,” the umbrella title for the all-female festival, offers a pungent mix of comedy and drama written by women and directed by women. The seven short pieces will be presented on two consecutive weekends—March 24-26 and March 31-April 2—by Axial Theatre at its Pleasantville location.
Coinciding with Women’s History Month (March), the plays range from farce to fantasy, tackle themes from spiritual salvation to workplace brutality, and present a diverse parade of women characters and the men in their lives.
The seven mini-productions feature 21 actors (including this writer) who hail from Brooklyn, Manhattan, Yonkers, Connecticut, upstate, and nearby communities like Yorktown Heights, Ossining, Peekskill, Katonah, Mount Kisco, Mahopac, Briarcliff Manor, Hastings-on-Hudson, and Goldens Bridge.
The festival was conceived by Gabrielle Fox, playwright instructor at Axial and at Young Authors Conference, who curated the festival with Linda Giuliano, Axial’s associate artistic director and literary manager. Both also are playwrights.
Says Fox, “Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about women playwrights being underrepresented. I looked around Axial and realized, we’re ahead of the trend, we’ve been producing new work by women all along.”
She hopes that the production will “draw attention to the level of talent and the variety of voices of women theatre artists.”
Giuliano notes that she “often observes women playwrights as successfully creating intensely private and intimate experiences in the public space of the theater.” Committed to quality local theater, she notes that “Westchester provides important venues for theater artists seeking to bring their work before an audience and audiences seeking to be deeply moved.”
Performances take place at 8 p.m. Friday, March 24 and 31; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 25 and April 1; and 4 p.m. Sunday, March 26 and April 2, at the Community House of St. John’s Episcopal Church, 8 Sunnyside Ave., Pleasantville..
Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for seniors and students. They can be purchased online at brownpapertickets.com (search: Axial Theatre). For more information: 914-286-7680.
Glass Ceiling Breakers Synopses and Who’s Who:
• “A Day of Wonderful” by Alexandra Angeloch. Directed by Laura Credidio. George tries to order “a day of wonderful” at a surreal coffee shop but gets something entirely different. With Mary Roberts, Michael Boyle.
• “Dear Crossing” by Lisa Kimball. Directed by Rachel Jones. A vehicle collision brings a married couple onto the shoulder of the road, where they examine the damage from the inside of their truck. With Catherine Banks, Anthony Barresi, Duane Rutter.
• “Dry Bay Leaf” by Linda Giuliano. Directed by Rachel Jones. A woman, a man and a wake provide the backdrop for an encounter of regret and hope. With Dan Kausch, Mickey Pantano.
• “Free Day Shipping Every Day” by Jill Maynard. Directed by Christina Neubrand. A new hire for the Christmas season at an Amazon warehouse gets schooled in the ways of workplace survival. With Kendra Augustin, Alexis Braxton, Marilyn Collazo, Portia Rose.
• “Small Talk” by Evelyn Mertens. Directed by Christina Neubrand. Two ex-lovers meet after a brief, guilt-ridden affair to confront their genuine feelings. With Michael Raymond Fox, Lori Franzese.
• “The Late Great Gordon Kaplan” by Robin Anne Joseph. Directed by Robin Joseph. At her husband’s funeral, a grieving widow makes an unusual demand about how to eulogize her husband. With Bruce Apar, Gain Greenstein, Aisling Mulhern.
• “The Second Coming” by Gabrielle Fox. Directed by Jennifer Siciliano. A come-to-Jesus moment in Joe’s survival bunker. With Anna Fawcett, Samuel J. Joseph, Joe Albert Lima, Patrick McGuinness, Michael Sullivan.
Bruce Apar is chief content officer of Google Partner Agency, Pinpoint Marketing & Design, as well as an actor and a regular contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce the Blog on social media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-275-6887.