About

VISION & PHILOSOPHY:

Named for the heroine of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, Nora’s Playhouse is a theatre company devoted to developing and producing women-centered stories, while increasing professional opportunities for women theatre artists both on and off-stage. Our women-centered mission addresses the fact that women continue to be under-represented as the primary subject matter for scripts, as well as in the positions of director, playwright, manager, designer and technical staff in professional theatre. Nora’s Playhouse is interested in sharing a wide range of women’s stories, and has a particular commitment to shedding light on women’s human rights issues.

In November-December 2015, with our critically acclaimed production of Rose, Nora’s Playhouse invited you into the Hyannis Port home of Kennedy matriarch Rose Kennedy as played in a fabulous solo turn by Tony-nominee Kathleen Chalfant (nominated for Drama Desk, Outer Circle and United Solo awards for her outstanding performance in Rose). We are currently developing two new plays:  whatdoesfremean? by Catherine Filloux, which tells the story of women in mass incarceration, and Ashes & Ink by Martha Pichey about a mother dealing with her son’s drug addiction.

In September 2016, our long-term vision of including educational theatre outreach to teenage girls became a reality with our inaugural session of The Nora Project: Women WriteThe Nora Project is an intergenerational project taking place at Lanier High School in Montgomery, AL. Over ten weeks, teenage girls and elder (60+) women explored the art of storytelling though theatrical writing and performance techniques.  In the process of telling their stories to women of another generation,  important “gaps” were bridged.  After getting to know each other and sharing their life stories,  each participant was tasked with writing a 10-minute play inspired by something she heard in her intergenerational partner’s story.  The Nora Project culminated on December  8, 2016 when experienced local actors read these original scripts on the stage at Lanier High School in front of a live audience.  Our hope is to secure funding to continue this program on an annual basis.

In January 2017, we expanded our outreach to women playwrights to include The Nora Salon. This is a monthly opportunity for playwrights to hear their work read aloud in a cozy, casual setting, while offering Nora’s supporters an inside look at how plays get from page to stage.

The three founders of Nora’s Playhouse, Caroline Reddick Lawson, Yasmine Beverly Rana and Emily J. Richard, worked together in New York City theatre since 2003. Nora’s 2009-2010 inaugural season was the realization of their long-nurtured dream for this theatre company.

VOLUNTEER STAFF:

Caroline Reddick LawsonFounder/Artistic Director – AL
Rebecca Lovett Managing Director – NYC
Amy S. Green Associate Artistic Director – NYC
Sharon FriedmanLiterary Curator – NYC
Lil MartinBusiness Manager – AL
Stephanie HagenArtistic Associate – DC
Phadra FosterArtistic Associate – AL
Jordan FleetArtistic Associate – NYC
Julie KlingArtistic Associate – NYC
Susan SamuelArtistic Associate – AL
Barbara Drum SullivanArtistic Associate – NYC
Jacqueline TrimbleArtistic Associate – AL
Emily J. Richard – Founder/Managing Director Emerita – NYC

ADVISORY BOARD:

Kathleen Chalfant
Veronica Claypool
Morris Dees
Marsha Guthrie Folsom
Fredda Harris
Deb Margolin
James C. Nicola
William Russo
Robin Lawson Scheuer

ADDITIONAL READING:

The Count: An Ongoing Study by The Lilly Awards in Partnership with The Dramatists Guild (The Dramatist, Nov/Dec 2015)

The Kilroys: The List 2017 includes the results of the fourth annual industry survey of excellent un- and underroduced new plays by female and trans playwrights. It is a tool for producers committed to ending the systemic underrepresentation of female and trans playwrights in the American theater.

50/50 in 2020, co-sponsored by the League of Professional Theatre Women, Women’s Project, and New Perspectives Theatre, is an initiative  working proactively to achieve parity for professional women theatre artists by the year 2020.

The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, established in 1978, is given annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.

The Billie Burke Ziegfeld Award, given by The Ziegfeld Club, one of New York City’s first performing arts charities to benefit women, honors a female composer or composer/lyricist working in musical theatre.

The Sexist Reality That the Tony Nominations Just Highlighted (The Atlantic, 4/29/2014)

Rethinking Gender Bias in Theater (New York Time, 6/23/2009)

Our profile on the Brooklyn Arts Council’s Directory of Arts Organizations

Women Arts Network: Women’s Theatre Companies/Festivals