My name is Madison McAllister and I’m ecstatic to be the first ever directing apprentice of Women’s Theatre Festival! I recently graduated from Texas State University’s BFA Performance and Production program in May (eat ‘em up cats!), so I’m making the daunting-yet-exciting transition from student to an early-career director. After Rachel Chavkin’s Tony Awards acceptance speech, what better time is there to be a woman director?
You might be wondering what this Texas girl is doing here in Raleigh and how this came to be, well let me tell you; I met WTF’s Executive Director, Johannah Maynard Edwards, at the SETC Convention in Knoxville back in February where I was competing in the Ready to Direct competition. We chatted it up at two different panels, one about taking the patriarchy out of directing and the other about making our field more inclusive toward working parents. As an aspiring professional director with a simultaneous dream of being a mom at some point, these two panels were my cups of tea, and unlike most directing opportunities I’ve had to fight for, this one fell into my lap. Thank you, Jesus and thank you, Johannah!
Joining WTF in the fight for better gender equality in the arts is exhilarating. It’s hard to pick one thing I’m most excited about because the festival as a whole is chock-full of incredible opportunities. I’m looking forward to experiencing SO many new works by women and taking workshops with incredible artists from across the country. I know the Intimacy Choreography Masterclass will definitely be a highlight for me. As an advocate for consent-minded rehearsal environments and the emotional safety of actors and everyone else involved in a production, getting some tools from Theatrical Intimacy Education to add to my toolbox is going to be a true gift.
I am also directing a staged reading of Regular by Chicago-based playwright Marjorie Muller for Occupy the Stage. Performances are July 13th from 4pm-5:30 pm and Jul 14th from 12pm-1:30 pm. A play about survival, Regular starts as a character study and unravels into a mystery. Kate recently moved to town hoping to blend in with the locals, but everyone can’t seem to ignore the new girl. Will Kate’s secrets be found out? Or will she be able to run from the past that has defined her for years? Come see for yourself! *winks*
Thanks for your patience with my shameless plug. If you haven’t bought your tickets for WTF yet, do it! There are plenty of options to be had ranging from a full festival pass to an individual ticket for each fringe show!
Additionally, WTF has made the intimacy workshop incredibly affordable, so be sure to purchase a $50 add-on ticket for a workshop that would typically be in the $300 price range. Spots are still available!
Stay tuned for more posts from me and I’ll see y’all at the festival!