On Women Festival 2020

The 2020 edition of On Women Festival will happen across the three weeks of March and will consist of two Main Stage productions during the first two weeks, with each show running exclusively in the space from Wednesday-Saturday, and two Workshop productions during the third week. Closing the festival on March 21st, we’ll have a special performance by the Young New Yorkers Chorus Women’s Ensemble.

Following Irondale’s mission of opening our doors to the community and valuing the artists work, we’re also adding formative activities in this year’s festival line-up – OW: Artists Exchange and OW: Artists Workshop. These are designed to ensure that this very important venture becomes as significant to the next generation of artists, of collaborators, of audiences and of citizens, as it is to us.

This year’s festival had an open curation process. We looked for female-identifying artists that showed great passion about their work and that were able to coherently justify why their work is so important now. Irondale made no distinction based on ethnicity or cultural background.

UPDATE: Out of concern for the continued health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff, we will be suspending all performances until April 1st, effective immediately. Please contact us at info@irondale.org if you have any questions.

Mainstage Productions

March 4-7  at 7:30pm || To Moscow! A Palimpsest (Brazil)

by Ada Luana and Gabriel F. based on Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters
*This show will be performed in Portuguese with English Supertitles.

To Moscow! A Palimpsest is a contemporary retelling of the classic Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov. In a warm dialogue between theater and music, four actresses and two musicians set out to compose their version of the drama. Written among the vestiges of the original play, it explores the theme of the difficulty of resisting the erosion of life and dreams by the action of time. Revisiting the drama of the three Chekhovian sisters who dream of returning to Moscow, the lost paradise, without ever succeeding, we are faced with questions that resonate perfectly with today’s world.

March 11-14 at 7:30pm || Night Shadows — Or, One Hundred Million Voices Shouting (World Premiere)

by Lynda Crawford

Russian poet Anna Akhmatova is keeping her promise to tell “the true twentieth century” — of lives disrupted, her poetry banned, and so many loved ones lost under Stalin’s brutal regime. 

One of the challenges she faces is to remain an artist and speak up through her poetry at a time when it was not allowed and was even life-threatening, both to her and her son Lev who was imprisoned — her husband and dear friends had already been murdered. Another challenge she faced was how her son perceived her, having put her art first all his life, and how he moved philosophically in the direction of his captors and those who spoke out against her.

Workshop Productions

March 19 at 7:30pm || England’s Splendid Daughters

by Ann Kreitman

England’s Splendid Daughters is a physical theatre piece based on the memoirs of lesbian ambulance drivers in World War 1. When the British were losing the war, in order to send more men to the trenches, they promoted all service level staff to the front lines. To replace the ambulance drivers, the British Armed Forces sought out unmarried women who knew how to drive a car. Unintentionally, they recruited a bunch of lesbians.
These women’s memoirs document a fantastic story of finding love and community against the backdrop of one of the most gruesome wars in modern history. England’s Splendid Daughters was written to prove to ourselves and the world that queer women have always been heroes.

March 20 at 7:30pm || The Fainting Room

by Becca Bernard

The Fainting Room is an explosive release of physical comedy, music, and candid confession. This raucous one-woman show explores how the mental/physical diagnosis of hysteria (a disease which continued to be recognized until 1952) has shaped our understanding of mental and sexual health today, examining the intersections of gender, mental health, sexuality and body positivity while celebrating self love and agency over the care of our own bodies.

It follows the journey of a modern young woman who finds herself transported back in time to an 1890’s medical treatment facility. There she encounters two different doctors, a midwife and an anthropomorphized vibrator as she is exposed to absurd medical treatments and anatomical misunderstandings of the past.

Special Guest

March 21 at 6pm || Young New Yorkers’ Chorus Women’s Ensemble

Currently in its 19th (Mixed) & 8th (Women’s) seasons, the Young New Yorkers’ Chorus (YNYC) brings together the finest choral musicians from the thousands of young people in their 20s and 30s who flock to the city for its excitement and artistic life. YNYC’s two ensembles perform for a large and devoted youthful audience, exposing them to the beauty and transcendent potential of choral art. The choir performs a vast variety of music, from works by classical greats to those of prominent living composers in New York’s leading venues, such as Carnegie Hall and BAM. YNYC performed at the American Choral Directors Association National Conference at Symphony Hall in Chicago, cementing the choir’s emerging reputation as one of the finest choral ensembles in the country. YNYC has been featured in the film “Catechism Cataclysm” and on WNYC’s RadioLab, the New York Public Library’s Library After Hours Program, the World Fashion Parade, TBS’ hit show “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee,” and as a featured performer for iHeartRadio. The choir is deeply committed to new music and debuts a minimum of three original works every year through its annual Competition for Young Composers. 

Special Event

March 7 at 3:30pm || OW: Artists Exchange

Panel discussion with all the groups participating in this edition about their work, their creative process and the importance of being female creators.

Free Admission, but RSVP required.
RSVP here

3rd Edition: March 4 – 21 | 2020

UPDATE: Out of concern for the continued health and safety of our audiences, artists and staff, we will be suspending all performances until April 1st, effective immediately. Please contact us at info@irondale.org if you have any questions.


Looking for information about the 2021 edition of the On Women Festival? Click here!


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