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Women geeks artists create 1st WiredArtsFest and it supports repro rights!

by Cindy Cooper

The first-ever WiredArtsFest may be the future of theater — live performance on stage in New York, captured by four film cameras, and simultaneously broadcast over the Internet to people everywhere by live streaming technology.

And if this is the future, it’s finally looking good for women. Thirteen performing companies are participating in the WiredArtsFest, running until March 2, 2013.  Of the seven plays, 60 percent of the playwrights and 85 percent of the directors are women. Six of these theater companies have women producers, as does an additional youth program, and women choreographers lead three of the four participating dance companies. One even uses original music from a woman composer, who also plays viola on stage.

I didn’t know this when I signed up to bring Words of Choice, my social-activist theater company about women’s rights and reproductive freedom, to this experimental forum. But I had met the founder, Kathryn Velvel Jones, at events supporting parity for women in theater, and I had a good feeling. I was intrigued by her concept of opening a vibrant presence for theater via live streaming. I also knew that, while Words of Choice had traveled to 20 states, costs were mounting, and it was difficult to reach remote communities where we especially wanted to take positive pro-choice stories. The Internet could go everywhere. We signed up for March 1 at 7 pm and March 2 at 3 pm — an opportunity to kickoff Women’s History Month.