OCCUPY CON 2018 happened, and it worked! So many times at WTF events, I don't actually have any fun, because I'm too busy organizing things, but this time, I really enjoyed myself.
Public thanks to:
Johannah Maynard Edwards, without whom no WTF anything is possible.
Ruth Pancake Berry, for organizing and selecting the Occupy staged readings and providing support for directors and actors throughout the process.
Johanna Rose Burwell, for gathering, organizing, and supporting our educators and panelists for our Workshop Track.
Rowen Haigh Mahoney for journeying all the way from Kentucky to devise a work from scratch for our Devised Work Track.
Debra Kaufman for lending us her Illuminated Dresses project, and to Lori Mahl for directing.
Renee Church Wimberley for leading our Kids Track, and providing the expertise of Seed Art Share in organizing that venture.
Marie Berry, Jennifer Olinger, Nick Popio, Emily Tomasik, Robin Carmon Marshall, and Amani Mckenzie for staying the entire time and providing enormous amounts of help throughout the day.
The Renaissance Centre of Wake Forest, for hosting us and being patient with our theatrical enthusiasm.
Kelly McDaniel and Ryan McDaniel, Angela Santucci and Joanna Li, Richard Krawiec, and Erica Greenwold Reisen for creating our VIP workshops and spaces.
Thank you Bronwen Mischel for your long distance support!
Thank you to Judy Long, Alex Ruba and the Parallel Lives team for graciously sharing their opening weekend with OccupyCON.
Thank you to ALL of our Mainstage teams who dealt with our limited bandwidth in preparation for this big event.
Thank you Michele Okoh for dropping off a sack of sandwiches!
Thank you Cindy Marie Jenkins, Sarah Koop, Emily Tomasik and everyone who spent the time to manage and program our marketing and social media channels!
Thanks you for the spirit of generosity in the air that I was privileged to witness in so many ways. Here’s some examples: meeting Robin Carmon Marshall and hearing her speak AFTER the Artistic Director panel. She said that her biggest obstacle was space. Elizabeth Doran, Executive Director Of NCT responds by saying that she has space and will open the doors.
Thank you Jonathan Varillas generously serving up hospitality in the VIP lounge, a room full of women being open about areas where they need help and mentor ship and then offering to help one another.
Thank you Carly P. Jones staying for an extra 45 minutes to continue a vital conversation on intersectionality and allyship.
And of course, we couldn't do this without all our volunteers, actors, directors, participants, Women's Theatre Festival Members, and fans.
I haven't counted the money yet, but emotionally, this feels like a huge success. We made a con! People came from California, Kentucky, Georgia, and all over to see it. Plenty of folks stayed up all night and did everything. People felt valued, heard, included, and they learned important things. We provided childcare and safe spaces. We promoted fair wages, LGBTQ causes, racial diversity and representation, stage safety, and voter's rights. We made hundreds of important connections and introduced many important women to each other. We produced 28 plays written by women. We got very little sleep. We had a really wonderful time.
Thank you, everybody. Next year, WE DO IT AGAIN!!!! But even bigger this time...