Women's Project, the 28-year-old theater company dedicated to producing and promoting theater created by women, has appointed Julie Crosby its new Producing Artistic Director.
Crosby, who had been at the helm of the organization as Producing Director since summer, was given the new title and overall artistic responsibility because the theater company's Board, headed by co-chairs Jann Leeming and Leigh Giroux, were favorably impressed by the artistic and administrative changes Ms. Crosby has made in such a short time.
From the day Julie Crosby was introduced to the Board, we were impressed with her keen ability to keep art and finance in clear focus," said Ms. Leeming. "What has struck us since then is that she has an exciting and achievable artistic vision for Women's Project."
In discussing plans for the organization's future, Crosby said "above all, Women's Project needs to assert itself as the nation's forum for daring and provocative theatrical works that generate a visceral reaction, whether a belly laugh, an angry rejoinder, or empathetic tears. It's so easy to encounter theater that leaves the audience detached. I'm profoundly invested in women theater artists who force us to look at the world through a more decisive lens."
Crosby, who has over two decades of experience as a producer, manager, educator, and author, has already begun reinvigorating the Women's Project Labs for playwrights and directors. The members of our Labs are extraordinarily talented, and they're fully capable of pushing the artistic envelope. I'm committed to giving them the opportunity to do just that."
This past September, Ms. Crosby added a Producers Lab to the Women's Project Lab series. "We need more producers who understand the magnificent power and range of women theater artists, and who are willing to do something about the fact that women theater artists are conspicuously under-represented on our nation's stages," Crosby said. As evidence of her commitment to Lab members, Ms. Crosby is developing two new works for production this spring. They are :
"transFigures, a new play conceived and directed by Women's Project Lab member Lear deBessonet, beginning April 6 at the Julia Miles Theater,424 West 55th Street. transFigures is inspired by Jerusalem Syndrome, a well-documented psychosis that affects ordinary tourists to the Holy Land, who find themselves channeling Biblical figures, stealing hotel bedsheets to wear as togas, and parading through Jerusalem as Moses, Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and other religious icons," state press notes.
"Girls Just Wanna Have Fund$ a rich collection of new, site-specific short plays on the theme of women and wealth (or the lack thereof). These plays, presented free-of-charge, May 14 through 19 in the World Financial Center complex, 220 Vesey Street, are being created, directed, and driven by members of the Labs, and produced in association with Arts World Financial Center."
In addition, Crosby is working with Women's Project's Board of Directors to produce the 22nd Annual Women Of Achievement Gala on March 12 at the Rainbow Room, Pegasus Suite. This year's gala will honor playwright and activist Eve Ensler, philanthropist Kathy Hilton, and fashion designer and entrepreneur Vivienne Tam.
Crosby has worked for over two decades as a manager of Broadway, off-Broadway, and international touring productions. Her credits include On Golden Pond starring James Earl Jones and Leslie Uggams, Eve Ensler's The Good Body, Urinetown, Laurie Anderson's Songs & Stories From Moby Dick, Black And Blue, and Carrie, among many others.. Crosby produced Skitch Henderson's New Faces of '04 at Carnegie Hall for The New York Pops, and the critically-acclaimed musical Mankynde - for which she also wrote book and lyrics - at the 2004 FringeNYC Festival. A published author, Ms. Crosby received her Ph.D. in medieval drama in 2002 from Columbia University, where she was awarded a President's Fellowship and the Judith D. Lipsey Fellowship for Distinguished Graduate Students in the Humanities. She has taught extensively at Columbia University and Barnard College, including most recently an advanced seminar on medieval drama.