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We are dedicating this International Issue of WOMEN IN THEATRE (WIT) to the vision of expanding our horizons and bridging the borders of the world’s theaters. This WIT edition focuses on innovative theatre women (LPTW members, affiliates, and non-members) who create, produce, and/or perform work that gives voice and substance to issues affecting women in different parts of the world. With the exception of international festivals, we in the U.S. may not be fully aware of the breadth and magnitude of international theatre being created by women. We believe that this issue of Women in Theatre provides a unique perspective of the astounding range of opportunities women theatre professionals have to collaborate, recognize and support one another around the globe.
As women interacting internationally, we benefit from differences in aesthetics and historical perspectives, homogenous values, and storytelling traditions of our various cultures. We also share a common interest in examining social and political issues affecting the civil rights, safety and legal status of women around the world. Women theatre professionals in most if not all countries are acutely aware that they still do not stand on equal footing with their male counterparts in terms of visibility, work opportunities, and material support. Some of the work highlighted in this issue bears witness to threats to women’s independence and freedom ranging from illiteracy and arranged marriage to genital mutilation, rape, honor killing, imprisonment and assassination. Others share their experiences of building work through inter- global collaborations and/or touring work abroad. These artists employ theatre as an indispensable conduit through which women’s voices and cultures are expressed. Once a live performance plants the seeds of empowerment, a transformation can begin in the minds and hearts of performers and audience alike.
This WIT International edition is the first magazine of its kind to celebrate theatre women across the world. Due to the breadth of submissions we received, we have included additional features on the LPTW website. We hope all of this work inspires its readers to learn more and get involved.