DIVAFEST HISTORY & PURPOSE

DivaFest is a juried playwrighting festival presented by IndyFringe. Nationally, only 19% of published plays have been written by women. We have been working to change that over the past 10 years.

Why this matters: 

50/50 is still a long ways off 

According to a survey by American Theatre magazine, just 21% of plays presented by regional theater companies in the 2015-16 season had female authors. In the magazine's 2017 survey, they reported that the number had increased to 26%. The most recent article said, "Plays authored by men constituted 57 percent of all productions, down from 62 percent last year, and plays by women comprise 30 percent, up from last year's 26 (plays co-written by men and women take up the slack, this year comprising 13 percent)."

How is IndyFringe doing?

DivaFest now has featured 159 female playwrights since 2010 who have shared in $100K of box office receipts. 10% of the DivaFest playwrights were African American. 20 shows went through further development and performed during the IndyFringe Festival.

Over ten years, DivaFest has fostered the growth of new works, new audiences, new performing companies, and new Fringe festival shows. 45% of all entries received for the annual IndyFringe Festival in 2020 were from women.

The importance of DivaFest:

  • Develop and present voices not often heard as well as showcase the work of established voices.
  • Help new playwrights learn the processes of play production: write the play, pass jury for acceptance, work with production team, market and evaluate.
  • Engage new and established audiences in the art and craft of production
  • Bring new excitement to theatre and grow DivaFest as a center for Indiana women playwrights.
  • Attract regional and national media coverage

We wish to recognize the contribution of Rita Kohn and Marion Garmel for their untiring service to women playwrights.

Listing of all previous DivaFest shows:

2010
Alarmed - Bernadette Bartlett
Dash Thirty Dash - Amy Wimmer-Schwarb
Moment of Impact - Jessica Strauss and Julie Mauro
Winter Solstice - Amy Pettinella
Madwomen's Late Night Cabaret - Julie Lynn Barber
 
2011
The Wedding Belles - Nicole Kearney
Castles in Spain - Claudia Labin
Seeing the Universe's Magic Through the Eyes of an In-Betweener - Mikki Randolph

15 minute plays:
Scattered with a Chance by Jessica Strauss, Tamlane by Julie Lynn Barber, Deep in Love by Deborah Asante

 2012
Strip for Change - Julie Mauro
Voice of an Angel - Tiffanie Bridges
No Place Like Home - Claudia Labin
Chaotica - Christel Bartelse
Sweatpants and High Heels - Dija Henry and Denise Warnsby

2013
Invitations - Sharla Steiman, Indianapolis       
The Jazzy Detective - Nicole C. Kearney, Indianapolis
Marilyn Monroe, Communist - Melissa Nussbaum Freeman, Provincetown, MA
Good Things Come in Small Packages -Tina Nehrling, Jan White, Gari Williams (Indianapolis)

Storytellers :
"And she Lived Happily, Happily, Happily Ever After...Or Did She?" - LouAnn Homan 
Move it or Lose it - Stephanie Holman
Wise Mothers Lie - Sally Perkins 
The Trip to Indy - Frances Whitener 

2015
Kosmic Karnival - Jan White, Indianapolis
IMAGINARY KYLE A Romantic Comedy -  Bernadette Bartlett and Jenee Lusk, Indianapolis
Royal Friends, - Rita Kohn, Indianapolis

2016

True Love Waits - Tina Nehrling
Zora's Tales - Deborah Asante
Mother Ireland - Mary Anne Mathews and Kate Duffy Sim
What is This Place - Jan White
Anna's Wings - Angela Jackson Brown
Fairy Godmother and Associates - Enid Cokonos

Short Plays :
Something Bad Happened - Tina Nehrling, Gari Williams, Jan White

2017

Not Dead Yet -Jan White
On The Pole - Nicole Kearney
Not Yet - Chelsea Anderson
Batshit - Brooke Eden, KY
The Pink Hulk - Valerie David , NYC
Hedy!   The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr  Heather Massey, NYC

2018 

Josephine - Tamysha Harris, Orlando
Moon Beneath Her Feet - Carol Stamile 
Cassadra's Dream -Maripat Allen, MI 
Unholy Trinity - Mary E. Carty and Stacey Post
Keeping The Pace - Casey O'Leary
Operation Farley - Ramona G. Henderson
Stark Naked - Carol Weiss

2019

In The Presence of My Enemies - June McCarty Clair
Booby Prize - Dr Heather Garver, MO
aMUSEd - Megan Ann Jacobs
Physical Education - Maripat Allen, MI
Who's Minding the Snapper - Kate Duffy Sim
I Say Tomato, You Say Cheese - Mary Anne Mathews 
Dear Mavis - Enid Cokonos 

Play Readings :   

Fan Me Lord - Ramla Bandele
Toilet Talks - Liz Anh Thomson