breeches part / by mrm

Back in my good old theater days, something that used to drive me crazy was the lack of great roles for women in most plays, most of the time. Meanwhile, there are always, always more female actors than male actors. I got really sick of talented women working like hell to get cast in roles supporting (all too often) mediocre men in leading roles.

The San Francisco Shakespeare company Women's Will nicely circumvents this problem by casting women, exclusivley. Artistic diretor Victoria Evans Erville clearly shares my frustration, saying, "Every year, I work with a few women whose work I admire, but every year there are many more with whom I cannot work because there are so few good roles for women out there. This company arose from a desire to overcome this problem, to pull together talented women and create a supportive environment where we could grow and play." Shakespeare was always kinda genderqueer, afterall, since the orignal productions of his plays were all-male. In addition to putting on accessible theatrical performances during the summer, Women's Will hosts Playfest, an annual festival of new plays by women.  

Their website, unfortunately, seems quite out of date (all of the information, from auditions to performance schedules, is from 2011), but I lhope to hear more from them as the summer of 2012 approaches!