Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival

The annual Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival (HWPF) celebrates the work of women writing for the theatre. Since the festival’s inauguration in 1998, HWPF has supported the work of an impressive array of women playwrights and served an important role in the development of new plays by women.

The festival begins with a “pre-retreat” weekend, in which the playwrights have the opportunity to get to know one another, hear each other’s plays read aloud, and share responses with an intimate group of theatre professionals in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere. This is followed by a two-week retreat at Hedgebrook, where each playwright has her own private cottage, a dramaturg on-call, and the opportunity to work in Hedgebrook’s unique combination of solitude and community. The retreat is capped off with public presentations of excerpts from each play.

Participation in the Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival is by invitation in collaboration with partner theatres from around the country. In recognition of the fact that fewer than 20% of the plays produced each year on US stages are by women, Hedgebrook is partnering with theatres who show their commitment to women playwrights through commissions, development and production opportunities. In this way, Hedgebrook forges opportunities for women playwrights to deepen their relationships with theatres and is becoming a major pipeline for plays by women to move from creation to development and production. Current partners include: Denver Center Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Southern Rep Theatre.

2016 Season - Back row: Dawn Renee Jones, Madhuri Shekar and Regina Taylor. Front row: Kristiana Rae Colón and Virginia Grise.

19th Annual Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival

Be the first to see new work by Kristiana Rae Colón, Virginia Grise, Dawn Renee Jones, Madhuri Shekar and Regina Taylor. Hedgebrook partners with regional theatres across the country with strong track records of commissioning and producing new works by women playwrights. This year’s festival partners include Denver Center Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Southern Rep Theatre.

The 2016 Festival has now passed! Thank you for your attendance and support of women in the arts.

Join us again next year for our 20th Annual Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival!

Whidbey Island

When: Sunday, May 15 at 4:00 PM

Where: Whidbey Island Center for the Arts | 565 Camano Avenue, Langley, WA 98260

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Please email rsvp@hedgebrook.org if this creates a financial hardship.


When: Monday, May 16 at 7:00 PM

Where: Seattle Repertory Theatre | 155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109

TicketsThis event has passed.

Please email rsvp@hedgebrook.org if this creates a financial hardship.


Upcoming events at Seattle Repertory Theatre featuring women playwrights:

Wolf Play, by Hansol Jung
Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the PONCHO Forum

Macbeth: a new interpretation
Directed and adapted by Erica Schmidt
Monday, June 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the PONCHO Forum


2016/17 Seattle Repertory Theatre Season:
Did you know that out of the seven plays in our 2016/17 season, four are written by women playwrights? The season kicks-off with the 1959 masterpiece A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. Hedgebrook Women Playwrights Festival Alumna Karen Hartman’s intimate story of trust and sacrifice, Roz and Ray, premieres in October. At the start of 2017, Tony Award-winning writer and lyricist of the recent Broadway hit Fun Home, Lisa Kron’s Well will be seen on the Bagley Wright stage. Finally, Sarah Burgess’ razor-sharp new work Dry Powder, fresh from its debut run at The Public Theater, closes out our powerful season.
More Information: seattlerep.org

Are you a member of Cedar Deep Circle?

These performances are free for Members of Cedar Deep Circle. Please RSVP by emailing katiew@hedgebrook.org.

Learn about each playwright by clicking their name below:

Kristiana Rae ColónKristiana Rae Colón is a poet, playwright, actor, educator, Cave Canem Fellow, and co-director of the #LetUsBreathe Collective.  Her play but i cd only whisper had its American premiere at The Flea in New York. In autumn 2012, she opened her one-woman show Cry Wolf at Teatro Luna in Chicago while Octagon, winner of Arizona Theater Company’s 2014 National Latino Playwriting Award and Polarity Ensemble Theater’s Dionysos Festival of New Work, had its world premiere at the Arcola Theater in London in September 2015. Her work was featured in Victory Gardens’ 2014 Ignition Festival. In 2013, she toured the UK with her collection of poems promised instruments published by Northwestern University Press. Kristiana is a part of the Goodman Theater’s Playwrights Unit, a resident playwright at Chicago Dramatists and one half of the brother/sister hip-hop duo April Fools. She appeared on the fifth season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam.

Virginia GriseVirginia Grise writes plays that are set in bars without windows, barrio rooftops, and lesbian bedrooms. Her play blu was the winner of the 2010 Yale Drama Series Award and was recently published by Yale University Press. Her other published work includes The Panza Monologues co-written with Irma Mayorga (University of Texas Press) and an edited volume of Zapatista communiqués titled Conversations with Don Durito (Autonomedia Press). Virginia is a recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Princess Grace Award in Theatre Directing, the Playwrights’ Center’s Jerome Fellowship, and is a Time Warner Fellow Alum at the Women’s Project Theatre Lab. She earned her MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and currently lives in New York City.

Dawn Renee JonesDawn Renee Jones is a writer and director from Chicago. Her writing career began on Madison Avenue where she wrote print and broadcast advertising at the Leo Burnet Company, Young & Rubicam, McCann Erickson advertising agencies, for broad range of national brands. She was script doctor on the feature screenplay Shakin’ the Mess Out of Misery for Columbia Pictures. Her feature screenplay Man of the Word won Best Screenplay at the 2008 FilmColumbia Film Festival.

Dawn Renee has directed main stage productions at Actors Theatre of St. Paul, Penumbra Theater, At the Foot of the Mountain Theatre, Women’s Theatre Project, and Starting Gate Theatre in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where she was also the founder and Artistic Director of Alchemy Theater. Dawn Renee has been an Artist-in Residence at K-12 schools in Minnesota and New York; and has taught theater courses at Macalaster College, and Metropolitan State University. She developed theatre curriculum for the State of Minnesota’s Professional Development Institute at the Perpich Center for the Arts. Dawn Renee has an MFA in Creative Writing with emphasis in Playwriting from Goddard College.

Madhuri ShekarMadhuri Shekar is a playwright originally from Chennai, India, whose plays include In Love and Warcraft (2013/14 Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award; Alliance Theatre and others) and A Nice Indian Boy (East West Players, Rasaka Theatre). Her plays have been produced, commissioned or developed at the Alliance Theatre, the Old Globe, Center Theatre Group, Victory Gardens, the Kennedy Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She is an artistic producer of the L.A.-based theatre and production company Better Than Shakespeare, and co-wrote the web series ‘Titus and Dronicus’. MFA: USC

Regina TaylorRegina Taylor’s body of work encompasses film, television, theater and writing. Her playwriting credits include Crowns (four Helen Hayes awards), Trinity River Plays (Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award), Oo-Bla-Dee (Steinberg-ATCA New Play Award), Drowning Crow (Broadway, Manhattan Theater Club), The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove, Escape from Paradise, Ties that Bind and stop. reset., which Taylor directed at NYC’s Signature Theatre Company and Goodman Theatre. As an Artistic Associate of Goodman Theatre, Regina Taylor is one of its most produced playwrights. She is a resident playwright at NYC’s Signature Theatre. She has received a Golden Globe Award, two Emmy nominations, a NAACP Image Award, a Jeff Award, a Dramalogue Award, and an Oscar Micheaux Award from the Chicago Film Critics Association. Television audiences know Talyor for her roles in I’ll Fly Away; The Unit; Dig; Masterpiece Theater’s Cora Unashamed; and the upcoming pilot Time After Time. Learn more at www.reginataylor.com and www.stopreset.org.

The plays generated and developed through the HWPF are being produced at local and regional theatres across the country, off-Broadway and on Broadway, and internationally. Our alumnae are winning major awards and recognitions, including the Pulitzer Prize, Obie and Tony awards, MacArthur Fellowships, Alpert Awards, Shakespeare’s Sister in partnership with AROHO, the Lark Play Development Center’s PoNY Fellowships, and the Ruby Prize in partnership with Southern Rep. We are very proud of the body of work created by our alumnae. We celebrate their achievements, and the impact of this program on the landscape of American theatre.

>>View a complete list of alumnae from 1998 to 2016.


2013 Season

Back row: Joy Meads (dramaturg), Dael Orlandersmith, Christine Sumption (dramaturg)
Middle row: Catherine Trieschmann, Anita Montgomery (dramaturg), Julia Cho
Front row: Liz Engelman (dramaturg), Elizabeth Heffron

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