10 plays with all female casts

10 Plays with All-Female Casts

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, we thought it fitting to highlight 10 compelling plays boasting all-female casts. These productions shatter stereotypes and showcase the immense talent of female performers, while serving as a testament to the enduring power of women’s narratives in the arts. Join us as we celebrate the strength, complexity, and diversity of female characters on stage.

Blackademics by Idris Goodwin

There’s something strange about the trendy new restaurant in town. When Ann and Rachelle meet there for dinner, there’s already tension in the friendship they’ve built on their common experience navigating academia as black women: While Ann just got tenure at her tony liberal arts college, Rachelle’s struggling to find her place at the less prestigious state university. So at first it’s easy to overlook odd things like the single water glass they’re offered, or the mysterious server who keeps assigning points to their conversational gambits. But as the hunger sets in, the two professors find themselves the unknowing stars of an absurdist dinner theater performance of black plight. Somebody’s got to get the first bite, after all. A sharp, surreal satire about who gets a place at the table.

Blown Youth by Dipika Guha

An aspiring actress and founder of a feminist commune, Celia wants one thing: to play a great role. But despite her sophisticated education and commitment to helping women, Celia, like Hamlet before her, cannot act. Still, it seems her consciousness doesn’t lie only inside herself. It seeds and sprouts amidst her twenty-first century kinships: her friends. Inspired by Shakespeare and set in those hazy post-college years, Blown Youth examines what happens to the universe when a woman is at its center.

Float by Patricia Kane

The industrious members of the Budapest Women’s Club (pronounced “Bu-DAP-est”) come together for an annual tradition: the crafting of the holiday parade float. But under the surface of this pleasant gathering, the women find themselves grappling with sexuality, betrayal, and their own hard and fast notions of right and wrong. In this ode to the complicated undercurrents of Midwestern morality, you’ll meet Marty, Luce, Char, Arletta, and Doodee—five women who face the tests life presents to them with laughter, love, and a lot of fake snow.

Harriet Tubman: An American Moses by Gay Monteverde

When a storyteller summons Harriet Tubman from the past, one of America’s greatest heroines offers to divulge the details of her extraordinary life. As the storyteller portrays the diverse characters from her past, from Frederick Douglas to plantation owners, Harriet relives her humble beginnings with her family through the end of the Civil War. Though widely known for her unimaginable feats of courage, this play also explores the finer details of Harriet’s life, evoking her more nuanced messages of hope and faith in other people.

Knickers! by Sarah Quick

The paper mill that long propped up the economy of Elliston Falls has been shut down, sending the town spiraling into an economic depression. When a chipper but overwhelmed tourism officer arrives to lend a hand, she discovers an unlikely business partnership in the three brassy friends that make up the local chapter of Weight Watchers. Could the ladies’ plan for a custom underwear business (complete with giant knickers as a roadside attraction) really be the town’s salvation? This hilariously irreverent comedy celebrates determination, entrepreneurial spirit, and the willingness to bare it all.

O’Keeffe! by Lucinda McDermott

Georgia O’Keeffe has summoned an audience to help answer the question, “Was it me or was it Stieglitz?” We journey with O’Keeffe from 1915, when she tears up her work to date and starts over in black and white to discover her own style. She revisits key moments in her life to reveal hidden truths, but the shadow of manager and husband Alfred Stieglitz looms heavy over her. Was it his nude photographs of her that enticed the art world to her, or was it her own excellence of craft? Would she have been noticed if he hadn’t exhibited her? Georgia rejects claims by the male-dominated art world about what drives her art, but when a Stieglitz affair gets too intense and a very public commission collapses, her world falls apart. Georgia rallies, determined to survive and paint again, but some difficult decisions must be made. In the end, the truth that lies deep in Georgia’s heart is revealed—and it’s as devastating as it is honest. A revealing drama about the beloved and complex American icon.

The House of Bernarda Alba by Nelly E. Cuellar-Garcia

When her husband dies, Bernarda Alba seeks to protect her four daughters the only way she knows how: by confining them all to their family ranch for eight years of mourning. But where the fierce matriarch sees a shelter from the men circling their fortune like wolves, her daughters see a prison, and the only way out is marriage. Headstrong Adela longs for Pepe El Romano, a man who has been chosen for her older sister Angustias, and turns to a chorus of women for prophecy and comfort as she makes a series of fatal decisions. As the world shifts beneath them, Bernarda Alba and her daughters search for a foothold, but will they turn against each other? This taut and lyrical adaptation of The House of Bernard Alba brings Federico Garcia Lorca’s classic parable of women and power to life in a rush of fans and castanets.

The Most Massive Woman Wins by Madeleine George

Challenging, brutal and hilarious, four women of various shapes and sizes sitting in the waiting room of a liposuction clinic explore their perceptions of body image. The women reveal their experiences dealing with their weight issues through monologues, short scenes, and even schoolyard rhymes. From painful childhood memories to frustrations with the opposite sex, these experiences both haunt and empower these women as they imagine their way to a new vision of themselves as beautiful and whole.

The Taming by Lauren Gunderson

Tweetering, pandashrews, and undying giddiness for James Madison — what else could you expect to find at a Miss America pageant? In this hilarious, raucous, all-female “power-play” inspired by Shakespeare’s Shrew, contestant Katherine has political aspirations to match her beauty pageant ambitions. All she needs to revolutionize the American government is the help of one ultra-conservative senator’s aide on the cusp of a career breakthrough, and one bleeding-heart liberal blogger who will do anything for her cause. Well, that and a semi-historically-accurate ether trip. Here’s lookin’ at you, America.

Women Playing Hamlet by William Missouri Downs

Hamlet‘s a challenge for any actor, but when Jessica is cast as the titular character in a New York production, it sends her into an existential tailspin. It doesn’t help that her acting coach is borderline abusive, or that every Starbucks barista with an MFA tells her she’s too young for the role. Or that she’s somehow managed to make Sir Patrick Stewart her nemesis. Not to mention the fact that she’s a woman. How can Jessica figure out “to be or not to be,” when she can’t even figure out herself? Featuring an all-female cast performing multiple roles, Woman Playing Hamlet is rip-roaring fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike.

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