PRESS RELEASE: This Weekend! One-Act Play Festival Highlights Female Talents

BATH, Maine -- This weekend, Studio Theatre of Bath, Maine will be presenting it's Second Annual Festival of New Works at the Chocolate Church Annex. The festival put out a wide-scale call for submissions of new one-act plays and received scripts from all over the world. Three finalists were selected, and the resulting from productions have been rehearsed over the past several months by a group of local actors. The local community theater group's mission statement states that it is "dedicated to enriching the community through live, theatrical-based events," and this year's festival is no exception. However, quite by accident, this year's festival has also achieved another worthy outcome: spotlighting a majority of female actors, directors and playwrights.

Of the three scripts that were selected, two were written by female playwrights: Nephew by Crystal Wood, and Someone to Watch Over Me by local writer Linda Hildonen. The three directors that signed on to lead the actors in their interpretation of the plays are all women: Sararose Wiley, Ashley Steeves and Heather Guglielmo. Additionally, all three plays feature more female roles than male. 

“Any woman involved with theater at any level can tell you that there are times when it can feel like a boy’s club,” says Linda Hildonen, whose comedic script was chosen for the festival. “I personally think that the men of theater are the best kind of men, but it’s a fact that women are still underrepresented in this world, especially as writers and directors. It’s exciting to be part of a festival where that has not been an issue.” 

“We never gave a second thought about (gender preferences). I'm not even sure that the reader's committee who selected the scripts knew the sex of the playwright or where they were from. They just picked the best shows.” says Marc Rodriguez, President of the Studio Theatre and producer of the festival. “I was the tiebreaker for one of the shows, and I never read the author's names before I read them.”

“This is the first time I’ve directed a straight play,” says Ashley Steeves, artistic director of Resurgence Dance Company and Director of Nephew. “I usually only direct dance shows, or choreograph musical theater, so this is a new venture for me.” Heather Guglielmo, director of Talk To Me by writer David Nanto, is returning to direct in the festival for a second time. "I just like to see the way everything kind of comes to life," she says of the directing process.

The festival will run all three days this weekend, April 26th through 28th, with 7:30 pm showings on Friday and Saturday, and a 2:00 matinee on Sunday. Tickets will be available at the door for $15. More details are available at

Second Annual Festival of New Works Event Page

The Festival’s three female directors: Sararose Willey, Ashley Steeves and Heather Guglielimo

The Festival’s three female directors: Sararose Willey, Ashley Steeves and Heather Guglielimo