WTF's Summer Festival 2020

In 2019, the Women’s Theatre Festival will take place from July 12-14 in a variety of venues around downtown Raleigh. It will be comprised of 3 parts--you can attend one or attend them all!



A gathering of performers, designers, directors, technicians, academics, theatre administrators, theatre enthusiasts, and other members of the theatre community to learn, connect, and fight the patriarchy. 

We have a variety of amazing panels and workshops running throughout the festival, including:


Take a look at all of the panels and workshops here!



A new series of “stripped down” productions with an emphasis on original and experimental performances including:

  • She Made Space by Meredith Dayna Levy, directed by Lauren Brooke Ellis- A 20-something intellectual American lesbian tourist arrives in Paris at the turn of the 20th century, tracing the steps she has taken to get there in an honest and touching consideration of the occupation of space - both inside, and outside, of herself. Runtime: 55 minutes

  • Oh Righteous God And Sinful Me by Linsey Watkins, featuring Emeline Phinney- A dark comedy by playwright Linsey Watkins that normalizes female sexuality, Oh Righteous God And Sinful Me is a coming-of-age play set in an all-girls Catholic boarding school. When new student Evie arrives mid-year, she finds that her classmates are completely ignorant about their own bodies. Evie becomes the girls' sex ed teacher and tasks herself with helping them find the key to a self-induced orgasm. What follows are the fun, genuine, quirky, and necessary results of sexual discovery. Runtime: 80 minutes

  • Beyond the Guarded Gate, featuring Monica Szabo-Nyeste as mezzosoprano and Eva Mengelkoch on piano- Pulitzer Prize winning poet and novelist Margaret Widdemer's early feminist poems dealing with sexual abuse, war, and human rights are still compellingly relevant today. Composer Juliana Hall was commissioned to set the poems to music by the Seattle Art Song Society; they premiered in March 2019 on a program celebrating womxn's voices. "When commissioning Hall, SASS wasn't content to just have the premiere in this time of #MeToo and women's rights being front and center in culture, Hall's song cycle--with its powerful settings of American poet Margaret Widdemer's social justice texts--had the possibility to bring an important message to people beyond Seattle. His idea developed into a 'women's march' across the country...a project to have Hall's new songs performed in all 50 states after the premiere, bringing Hall's settings and Widdemer's poems to all of the US! To that end, Armbrust has enlisted more than 170 mezzo-sopranos from all 50 states (and many foreign countries as well), each of whom will get an early look at the score with the option to participate in the project. Singers will participate in Beyond the Guarded Gate, by agreeing to perform the song cycle on a recital between March 2019 and December 2019 following the official SASS world premiere. E. C. Schirmer is providing each singer and pianist taking part in Beyond the Guarded Gate with a complimentary digital copy of the work for use in the performance."

  • Banana Split Lady by Adrienne Pender- A woman calls upon her mother and sister to address her mental illness

  • Being B.A.D., written and performed by Brittney S. Harris- Being B.A.D. is a solo performance piece about personal acceptance and redemption from the cycle of abuse. This show explores the lengths in which one decides to take that power back after years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her family and romantic partner. Runtime: 20 minutes


Take a look at the rest of our WTFringe shows here!


Occupy The Stage

A perennial WTF favorite--24 hours of programming featuring staged readings of works by women including:

  • High School Coven by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin- TBH high school is v v v hard, especially if you're a witch! Liana, Naomi, Rachel, and Trina form a coven to cope with the pressures of being a teenage girl, like finding the perfect homecoming dress, locating a suitable familiar, and something more sinister -- reporting sexual assault within the education system.

  • A Mother's Heart by Victoria Evans Erville- Two mother's searching for hope, find comfort in a hospital nursery where neither belong

  • Caught By the Witch by Fiona Maria Almodovar- A short play depicting a fairy tale kingdom. King Kindness is out walking at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Meet a Witch and three interesting creatures and find out who will come to the King's rescue…

  • Imogen says Nothing by Aditi Brennan Kapil- A feminist hijacking of Shakespeare that investigates the voices that have been absented from our canon, and the consequences of cutting them.

  • thing with feathers by Sam Collier- Ruby, Jade, and Cove fall in and out of love with each other as their world crumbles. Plus Ruby and Cove can turn into birds. Plus there's a midnight conversation with an owl. Part myth, part apocalyptic fairy tale, part love story, this is a play about survival, transformation, and hope.


Plus many more plays, both short and full length, by a variety of amazing artists. Stay tuned for updates on our full schedule on our Sched!

Venues all Over Downtown Raleigh

Experience the panels, Fringe performances, and workshops of theatre artists local to the triangle and visiting, in these venues situated throughout Downtown Raleigh.


Burning Coal Theatre​

Burning Coal is a small professional theatre company known for producing visceral, explosive, re-examinations of overlooked classics and contemporary plays that address issues and themes poignant to our community. They are a long-time supporter of the festival— from assisting with rehearsal space, to hosting workshops, and being the venue for our most recent production of Crumble. Inside their intimate space, the historic Murphey school, expect to be electrified and invigorated, just as audiences often are by their mainstage productions.


HQ Raleigh

Raleigh, NC is not only home to a thriving theatre community, but as a technical hub hosting organizations like SAS and the Research Triangle Park, so the area has a vibrant startup community. HQ Raleigh, which will host many of our workshops and panels, is a collaborative environment with a community of over 150 member companies across their multiple locations in Raleigh and more than 500 companies across the state. In the industrial walls, we can’t wait to see what innovation comes from this collaboration.

Marbles Kids Museum

Marbles is a museum focused on the power of play, located right in the heart of Downtown Raleigh. They serve a diverse population of families, school groups and community organizations with dozens of themed exhibits, summer camps, IMAX documentary and feature movies and special events year-round. That’s why we’re happy our children’s events, from child care to production, throughout the festival are all located at Marbles.


The Wicked Witch and Ruby Deluxe

We’re happy to have The Wicked Witch as one of the sponsors to our festival and their sister location, Ruby Deluxe, as one of our venues. Ruby Deluxe and The Wicked Witch are Queer bars in the triangle known not only as a necessary spaces for the LGBTQIA+ community, but for providing innovative events like Goth Night, Queer Kink Play Party, the club shows for Timon of Athens, and a variety of musical performances. We’re happy that many of our workshops, performances, and panels will take place in these beautiful spaces.  

Ready for WTF 2019?

If you’re looking for a place where your donation dollars will make a substantial impact for working theatre arts, as well as creating a more equitable arts landscape in the Triangle, please consider making a gift to WTF today. Whether you choose to make a one-time donation or become a recurring donor via Patreon, you are a part of women’s stories being told. You are raising women’s voices.


In 2019 we are making more opportunities for women, allies, and anyone who has felt marginalized or on the fringes to tell their stories. I want to make more opportunities for artists to learn and grow in communion with one another. I want to make it so more theatre artists in North Carolina and beyond have fewer barriers and more opportunities to do their best work to date. How about you? What are your goals for 2019 and how can WTF be a part of your journey?


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To create, produce, and promote extraordinary theatre by all marginalized genders

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina