From left to right: Ariana Nicoletta, Ariel Marcus, Kseniya Ignatova-Yates, Amy Puleo, and Kerry Robinson at the Not Forgotten Play Festival, 2018
Founded in January 2018 on the basis of creating opportunities when seeing none available, the Women’s Playwright Collective began as an informal writing workshop of women writers, actors, and directors looking to hone their craft with the hope of building the “right” project instead of waiting for one to come along. While Staten Island boasts an array of theatre groups, we noticed most pieces produced were either written by men, directed by men, or were heavily cast with men.
In March of 2018, with this intention of challenging the Staten Island theater landscape set, the WPC presented five solid drafts to the Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company, whose board immediately took an interest in the messages brought forth, and offered to produce the plays-in-progress. This production became the inaugural Not Forgotten Play Festival presenting the five one-act plays of WPC co-founders Ariel Marcus, Ariana Nicoletta, Amy Puleo, Kerry Robinson, and Kseniya Ignatova-Yates. It took place on July 7, 2018 at the Little Victory Theatre and sold to capacity.
The pieces presented conflicts and meditations not all unique to the female experience but uniquely expressed in the female voice, touching upon work/life balance, parent/child relationships, body image, socialization, and coming of age in New York City. Each play featured a female protagonist. The response following the festival was overwhelming.
"Yaffa" written by Kseniya Ignatova-Yates 2018
Actors: Ariana Nicoletta and Keith Taylor
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2019, the Women’s Playwright Collective looked to produce our next festival with the freedom of self-production. With new members, new ideas, and the same passion, the WPC is looking forward to creating new work that pushes boundaries and buttons. Women’s voices have long been muffled, silenced, misheard, appropriated. The WPC is hoping to play one small part in their steady amplification. We believe that showcasing original, contemporary work is an essential component of any healthy and vibrant local arts community, and are emboldened and passionate about bringing this energy and momentum to the Staten Island arts scene. The WPC wishes to collaborate and grow as a sisterhood of artists, and to turn the Not Forgotten Play Festival into a mainstay of the Staten Island creative community as an annual event.
2019 Writers and Actors at the 2nd Annual Not Forgotten Play Festival