2nd Act Players' Women's Empowerment Play Festival

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The Evanston 2nd Act Players” Women’s Empowerment Play Festival May 11-26 will features stories of two heroic women, one trying to overcome a past trauma, the other seeking to upend gender stereotyping and how a grizzled old director looks at the world.

Intentions, which follows main character Katherine on her road to recovery from a massive past trauma, is the winner of the 2nd Act Players' 2019 One-Act Play Script Competition. Jerome Jagielski of Fontana, Wi., is the winning author of Intentions.

A Matter of Gender by Sloane Drayson is a humorous look at pre-conceptions about gender roles, including what some may consider the ultimate gender role. Its main character is a hotshot Broadway director desperate to cast the lead role in a new play about God. But he can't seem to find the right actor, until one day a woman walks in saying she is God.

"Audiences will be seeing two very dynamic plays at the festival, one from a new playwright, the other from an established author, but both with very important points to make about women's empowerment," says 2nd Act Players' Creative Director John N. Frank. "This festival follows our #MeToo Play Festival in 2018 that focused on #MeToo issues. This year, we want to go beyond that to show women rising above challenges and changing perceptions in the process."

Intentions author Jerome Jagielski has written more than 20 full-length and one-act plays which use compassion and humor to explore relationships. His writings reflect the idealism of the 1960s and women’s issues.

Two of his one-act plays premiered at the Belfry Theatre in Williams Bay, Wi., in the summer of 2015.

A retired school psychologist and resident of southeastern Wisconsin, Jagielski is also a published poet whose work has appeared in the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poetry’s annual calendar. His first book of poetry, entitled Grey Leggings will be published this year. He has served as a poetry judge in Walworth County’s annual arts scholarship program for high school students.

A Matter of Gender was performed in New Bedford, Ma., in 2017 as part of Seen & Heard: One-Act Plays Honoring Women by the Collective, a local theater company.

Drasyson has taught at Drew University in New Jersey where, in 2015, she curated an exhibit entitled Women and the Graphic Novels they write: Alternative Narratives and has taught a class on women in theater. She also has written another play, WomanTalk: A Play in Three Scenes.

"We are thrilled to be staging our fourth short-play festival in the past six years highlighting new works for the stage," says Frank.

The 2nd Act Players' Women's Empowerment Play Festival will run May 11-May 26, with performances on Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons at the Players' theater in Northminster Presbyterian Church, Evanston.

For further information and tickets, visit evanston2ndactplayers.com

May 11 2019 - 7:30pm
May 12 2019 - 3:00pm
May 18 2019 - 7:30pm
May 19 2019 - 3:00pm
May 25 2019 - 7:30pm
May 26 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm