Philadelphia Theater Company makes leap towards gender equality in theater with 'How to Catch Creation'

Antionette Lee
March 24, 2019 - 2:32 pm
 The Philadelphia Theater Company is starting a new annual tradition in an effort to expose theatre-goers to plays written and produced by more women and writers that might need more visibility.

Courtesy of Paola Nogueras/Philadelphia Theater Company

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Theater Company is starting a new annual tradition in an effort to expose theatergoers to plays written and produced by women and writers that might need more visibility.  

The theater is the first in the nation to commit to featuring one work per year from The Kilroy's List, a collection of underproduced plays by female and transgender playwrights.

It was created to give theater producers a choice of those underproduced plays, making gender quality in American theater more accessible. 

Shayna Small and Stephanie Weeks in "How to Catch Creation" at the Philadelphia Theater Company.
Courtesy of Paola Nogueras/Philadelphia Theater Company

This year's Kilroy pick is called "How to Catch Creation," which follows the dynamic lives of four artists in San Francisco. 

Shayna Small plays a character named Riley. 

"This is the first character that I've played that is a queer black woman that was written for a queer black woman and written by a self identifying black woman," Small said. 

Jonathan Bangs and Lindsay Smiling in "How to Catch Creation." The Philadelphia Theater Company is starting a new annual tradition in an effort to expose theatre-goers to plays written and produced by more women and writers that might need more visibility
Courtesy of Paola Nogueras/Philadelphia Theater Company

She says as a queer woman herself, this is an opportunity she never thought she'd have. The play, written by Christina Anderson, breaks even more barriers with its all black cast. 

But, as director Nataki Garrett explains, it's not about race. 

"They get up, they have coffee, and then they try not to break each other's hearts. They try to live authentic and fulfilling lives," Garrett said. 

"The more we're able to see ourselves without the barrier of difference between all of us, it just makes the world easier to live in," Small said. 

"How to Catch Creation" opens Wednesday night at the Philadelphia Theater Company. You can find tickets here