The Bridge Initiative - Women in Theatre


June 2015 Symposium

Snippets! and Launch Party

Snippets! ...and Launch PartyA reading of excerpts from some of our top playwriting contest entries, including five Arizona writers. Refreshments provided and your feedback/thoughts welcome.

Featured Plays/Musicals: Elsewhere by Sash Bischoff, The Fire in Minerva by Larissa Brewington, Trespass by Meagan Daine, Stuck by Deshja Driggs-Hall, To Find Happy book by Brenda Jean Foley & music/lyrics Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, One Thing I Like to Say Is by Amy Fox, Frank Talk by Sharon Goldner, Bachelor Prince music/lyrics by Colleen Porter, The A Word by Leslie Powell, Meat by Klara Wojtkowska

Directors: Daniela Talarico, Bethanne Abramovich

Cast: Corey Baer, Damon J. Bolling, Brenda Jean Foley, Nikki Hicks, Melvina Jones, Toni Jourdan, Tom Koelbel, Adyson Nichols, Mia Schauer, Jessica Webb, Phil Weaver-Stoesz, Rebecca Wierman, Shepsut Wilson

Monday, June 8th @ 7:30PM at Mesa Encore Theatre's Black Box on Brown.

$5 suggested donation


Audition/Career Possibilities Workshop

How to Get Work and Keep Working. NYC-based director Stefanie Sertich will join local artists to present an audition workshop and lead a discussion about career transition and exploring all theatrical disciplines.

Panelists (subject to change): Alaina Beauloye, Brian Foley, Barbara McBain, Randy Messersmith, Stefanie Sertich, Jennifer Setlow, Janis Webb

Saturday, June 13th @ 10AM at Mesa Encore Theatre's Black Box on Brown.

$5 suggested donation

Anatomy of a Hug by Kat Ramsburg

Anatomy of a Hug by Kat Ramsburg World premiere production by our Playwright of the Year!

Run Dates: Friday, June 19 @ 7:30PM, Saturday, June 20 @ 7:30 & 2:30PM, Sunday, June 21 @ 2:30PM at Mesa Encore Theatre's Black Box on Brown.


Dairyland by Heidi Armbruster

Dairyland by Heidi ArmbrusterDevelopmental play reading. When an ambitious young woman in New York City starts to lose herself in the rat race, she returns to her Wisconsin dairy farm roots and rediscovers who she is. This play is one of two runners-up from The Bridge Initiative's national playwriting contest. NY-based playwright Heidi Armbruster will be present for a talkback after the reading.

Director: Stefanie Sertich

Cast: Brittany Brown, Brian Foley, Fred Gerle, Larah Pawlowski, Rob Stuart

Saturday, June 13th @ 2:30PM at Mesa Encore Theatre's Black Box on Brown.

$5 suggested donation


Magdalena's Crossing by Carolyn Nur Wistrand

Magdalena's Crossing by Carolyn Nur WistrandStaged reading. Shifting between Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, this play depicts ill-fated encounters between a Mexican girl, an American soldier, and her estranged husband which erupt into violence. This is the tale of women who are victims of the present-day immigration crisis. Playwright Carolyn Nur Wistrand from New Orleans will join us for the reading and a talkback after the presentation.

Director: Joya Scott

Cast: Osiris Cuen, William Gardner, Dolores Mendoza, Erica Ocegueda, Timothy Pittman, Jennifer Salazar, Marissa Salazar, Michael Thompson

Sunday, June 21 @ 7:30 PM at Mesa Encore Theatre's Black Box on Brown.

$5 suggested donation

2015 Playwright and Directorship Contest

Playwrights Wanted!

The Bridge Initiative is accepting new plays written by women that are producible in a small theatre, with a cast limit of eight (8). A panel of professional theatre artists will adjudicate the submissions. It is recommended that our runner-up playwrights be able to attend the rehearsals and readings of their work, at their own expense, or can participate via Skype.

  • Two RUNNERS-UP will receive the following:
    1. Promotion of themselves and their plays on The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre website and our social media channels, as well as to our network of theatre professionals and industry contacts.
    2. An invitation to participate in table reads of their play with the opportunity for feedback and discussion. There will be a few days for edits, should the playwright wish, to be completed before a public reading.
    3. A staged reading of their play in front of an audience with a moderated talkback immediately following the performance.
  • The PLAYWRIGHT OF THE YEAR (winner) will receive:
    1. Promotion of themselves and their plays on The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre website and our social media channels, as well as to our network of theatre professionals and industry contacts.
    2. An invitation to participate in table reads of their play with the opportunity for feedback and discussion. There will be the opportunity for edits and development as the play is in rehearsal, via Skype if the playwright is not local.
    3. A fully-produced production, running three performances in June of 2015.
    4. A cash prize of $250.
    5. A travel stipend and housing for opening night and surrounding Symposium programming.

Submission Instructions

Female playwrights only. The play must not have been published prior to this contest and there must not be any rights attached to the script. Submit online to bridgeinit@gmail.com. Application must include a resume, an optional cover letter that addresses your flexible vision in regards to the production of your play. In addition, a separate list of your contact information, three theatre work-related references with their contact information that will be contacted if your script is chosen as a semi-finalist, and a full script in pdf format only. Please do not have your name or any contact information on the script as this is a blind selection process. Failure to follow these directions may disqualify your play. If you have any questions, please contact The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre at bridgeinit@gmail.com. Deadline: March 15th, 2015.


Finalists Announced!

WE ARE THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE OUR FINALISTS for PLAYWRIGHT OF THE YEAR! A huge thank you to every playwright who shared their work with us. Finalists, runners-up, and our DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR will be announced by April 20th. The Bridge Initiative is proud to be addressing the gender disparity in all areas of theatre, and a cornerstone of our efforts are awards for a female Playwright of the Year and a female Director of the Year. We will hold a two-week Symposium which will include workshops, panels, mentorships and internships, the reading of new plays, promotion of women’s talents in the field, and will culminate in a fully-produced production of the Playwright of the Year's awarded play, directed by the Director of the Year.

  • The Amelia Episodes by Kat Ramsburg
  • Bucket List of Booze Club by Maureen Paraventi
  • Dairyland by Heidi Armbruster
  • Elsewhere by Sash Bischoff
  • The Fire in Minerva by Larissa Brewington
  • Frank Talk by Sharon Goldner
  • Magdalena's Crossing by Carolyn Nur Wistrand
  • One Thing I Like to Say Is by Amy Fox
  • Penalty Phase by Diane Lefer
  • Rise of the Prickly Pear by Radha S. Menon
  • The Ragged Claws by Lina Patel
  • Stuck by Deshja Driggs-Hall
  • Trespass by Meagan Daine
  • Wash, Dry, Fold by Nedra Pezold Roberts

Directors Wanted!

The Bridge Initiative is accepting applications for directors to helm our staged readings and one full production of new plays written by women. One director will be chosen as our DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR and will have the honor of directing the winning play by our PLAYWRIGHT OF THE YEAR in a fully produced production in Mesa, AZ. It is recommended that the Director of the Year be either locally based or able to house and transport themselves while in rehearsals in May-June of 2015. Exact production dates TBD but directors must have flexibility and availability during this time period.

  • Two RUNNERS-UP will receive the following:
    1. Promotion of themselves and their work on The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre website and our social media channels as well as to our network of theatre professionals and industry contacts.
    2. A collaborative process with the playwright with the opportunity for feedback, discussion, and edits towards ongoing development of the play.
    3. Direct the staged reading of the play in front of an audience with a moderated talkback immediately following the performance.
  • The DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (winner) will receive:
    1. Promotion of themselves and their work on The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre website and our social media channels as well as to our network of theatre professionals and industry contacts.
    2. A collaborative process with the playwright with the opportunity for feedback, discussion, and edits towards ongoing development of the play.
    3. A full rehearsal process with playwright, actors, designers and stage management culminating in a full production of the play in June, 2015, dates TBD.
    4. A cash prize of $500.

Submission Instructions

Submit online to bridgeinit@gmail.com only. Female applicants only. Pdf format preferred. Application must include a resume, a cover letter discussing your interest for the project, your contact information, and three professional references with contact information that we may contact during our selection process. In addition you may include photos and examples of your work, promotional materials, and any links to websites and YouTube video. If you have any questions, please contact The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre at bridgeinit@gmail.com. Deadline: April 6th, 2015.



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