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The Big Payback 2020

The Big Payback 2020 runs from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6 through 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 7. This community-wide fundraising event is in its 7th year, but as we all know, 2020 is a year like none other.

Here's how the Big Payback web site puts it:

Middle Tennesseans are now facing an uncertainty that stems from multiple disasters and their aftermath; loss of homes, gigs, business, and health. The economic impact is still unfolding.

These disasters have forced hundreds of organizations to slow down or suspend their important work at a time when we need them the most. They are:

Feeding the hungry ∙ Sheltering the homeless ∙ Fighting for the rights of the underserved
∙ Fostering the animals ∙ Preserving the arts ∙ Providing a safe haven ∙ Protecting the environment
∙ Teaching the children ∙ Taking care of each other.


At Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, we recognize that many of our loyal followers, fans and supporters - and the actors, artists, designers, and teachers we employ - are facing serious economic troubles of their own right now. The priorities of need and the lines of economic disparity in our society are more starkly evident this year than ever. We know that many people are in desperate need of support for shelter, food, medical care, child welfare, and more.

There's no denying that Tennessee Women's Theater Project needs money too. While we hibernate for now, we are working out what are the standards that must be met before we can consider rehearsing, performing, and welcoming an audience to the theater with the assurance that we can all be safe from COVID-19.

So, on Big Payback Day, please give if you can, according to your own priorities for helping deserving nonprofits. If you choose to include Tennessee Women's Theater Project, we are grateful indeed, and we promise to put your donation to good use in pursuit of our mission to celebrate and serve women through theater arts. Donate here via the Community Foundation, or click the Donate button above or this link to give via PayPal Giving Fund.

Thank You For Your Generosity

Natural Shocks, by Lauren Gunderson

Friends - because of the devastation of the tornado on March 2, we are canceling the remainder of the run of "Natural Shocks." The show will return to the Looby in May (May 1-17), but right now, it's just too close to home. We send our love, prayers and healing energy to all who were touched by this tragedy. Be well.


Inspired by the words of Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy, Lauren Gunderson’s Natural Shocks bursts to life when we meet Angela, who’s waiting out an approaching storm in her basement. She brims over with quirks, stories, and confessions. As the real danger grows imminent, she reveals a final secret that brings the reality of guns in America into sharp focus.

Brittany Nelson stars in TWTP's production of "Natural Shocks" by Lauren GundersonNatural Shocks stars Brittany Nelson, who first took on the role in a 2018 reading at Vanderbilt University Medical School, as part of a nationwide series of readings organized to commemorate the anniversary of the 1999 mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado. Brittany was featured in TWTP’s Secrets of a Soccer Mom (2010), and both productions of SISTAS: The Musical (2017, 2019).


“HAUNTING! [Angela] is warm and charming and the person with whom
you’d gladly wait out a storm with a bottle of wine and a game of Monopoly.” – Theater Mania

“Raises important points about the need to take action in times of crisis.” – DC Metro

Z. Alexander Looby Theater
2301 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville 37228 
(set your GPS for the Looby branch of the Nashville Public Library - same building, same doors)

Adults $20, Students & Seniors (60+) $15
All seats $10 on Thursday evenings

The 12 Dates of Christmas

Celebrate the return of the incomparable Tamiko Robinson Steele to the Tennessee Women's Theater Project holiday special, The Twelve Dates of Christmas!
Ginna Hoben's side-splitting one-woman play opens with Mary, visiting her family at home in Ohio for Thanksgiving. She switches on the Macy's Parade and spots her fiancé back in New York – kissing another woman on national TV! We follow Mary's year-long stumble back into the dating world, where romance lurches from weird and creepy to absurd and comical. Finally, in an unexpected encounter, Mary discovers a new perspective on life and love. Salty Language Alert: Because of adult language, this show is not recommended for small children. 

Audiences say:

· "Just saw this for the second time. What a wonderful show!"

· "Everything I expected it to be — and more . . . funny, warm, and very true."

· "Wonderful writing and a magnificent actor. Simply a GREAT show. I am going again!"

· "Totally enjoyable, particularly if you are  looking for a fun girl's night out."

· ". . . funny, poignant, insightful and hopeful."

Critics say:

"Tired of the same old holiday fare? Tennessee Women’s Theater Project has you covered with
Ginna Hoben’s hilarious solo comedy The Twelve Dates of Christmas."
Nashville Scene Critics' Pick by Amy Stumpfl


" . . . thoroughly delightful and wonderfully entertaining . . . by the end of the evening you'll be just a little bit in love."
                             - Jeffrey Ellis, Broadway World Nashville


"  . . . whether you’re looking for a light-hearted evening of laughs or simply need a break from the holiday rush, The Twelve Dates of Christmas is just the ticket."  - Amy Stumpfl, The Tennessean

This is a limited run show -- just 7 performances -- so get your tickets early. Information: 615-681-7220
Z. Alexander Looby Theater
2301 Rosa L Parks Blvd
Nashville 37228 
(set your GPS for the Looby branch of the Nashville Public Library - same building, same doors)
2019 Performances:
December 6, 7, 12, 13 & 14 at 7:30 pm
December 8 & 15 at 2:30 pm 
December 6 Opening Performance Reception
Join Tennessee Women's Theater Project for sweets and conversation after the opening performance on Friday, December 6.
All tickets for this holiday fundraiser performance are $25.

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Today is Giving Tuesday

On Tuesday December 3, please make a Giving Tuesday donation in support of TWTP's mission to present the best in professional theater. We give voice to women through theater arts, paying a living wage to actors and designers, always at affordable prices, including free admission to the clients of agencies that support women at risk. 

We are guided by the assertion of the public theater pioneer Eva Le Galliene, that “The theater should be an instrument for giving, not a machinery for getting.” The mission of Tennessee Women's Theater Project is:

  • to present theatrical productions of the highest quality to Middle Tennessee audiences
  • to produce plays that express the human condition in the female voice
  • to provide acting, directing, design and management opportunities for women in professional theater
  • to bring live theater to new, underserved audiences


Thank you for supporting our 13 seasons (and more) of inspiring theater!

Women's Work 2019: Our 13th Annual

Tennessee Women’s Theater Project returns to the Looby Theater beginning Friday September 20th, with the Thirteenth Annual Women’s Work festival of performing and visual arts created by women. Running through Sunday October 6, the festival spans a wide range of styles and genres to offer a completely different program at every performance: poetry and storytelling, stand-up comedy, one-woman shows, readings of plays and musicals, dance, music, film and a display of art works in the theater.

Weekend Two

September 26, 7:30 pm – Theater for Young Audiences play reading: Captain Aurora, by Becky Wahlstrom. (Bring the youngsters!)


September 28, 7:30 pm – Theater/One-Woman Show: The Vicious Hillbilly or Dating in the Deep South, by Dawn Larsen.

September 29, 2:30 pm – Storytelling/poetry/singing: From the Page and From the Strings, by Dana Malone and Amelia White.

Women's Work runs three weekends, from September 20 – October 6, 2019, with a different program on each performance date. 
September 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, October 3 & 5 at 7:30 pm
September 29, October 6 at 2:30 pm
Individual Tickets: $10
Festival Pass (good for admission to all shows): $60

Mini Pass (good for admission to any 4 shows): $30.

Buy tickets for The 13th Annual Women's Work Festival

The Women’s Work 2019 roster as of September 8:

September 20, 7:30 pm – Various Shorts: What's Held Back and Untethered, 2 short plays by Judy Klass; You Wouldn’t Expect, short film by Marilynn Anselmi; In a Quiet Place, poetry by Mimi Pantelides; Breaking Things, short Fiction by Jayd-Lynn Perez.

September 21, 7:30 pm – Dance Night: featuring works from choreographers Brigitte Birk, Cynthia Adams, Jen-Jen Lin (Chinese Arts Alliance), Michelle Burlingame, Joslyn Evans, Sarah Atenhan, Amanda Howard, Laurel Desmarais, Meg Brooker, Sarah Murray, Rebecca Hoback, and Windship Boyd and Thea Jones.

September 22, 2:30 pm – JUST ADDED: Allison Plattsmeier with readings and essays on her recent adventures as a phd candidate with a new baby; and Kristen Chapman Gibbons, with musings on motherhood.

September 26, 7:30 pm – Theater for Young Audiences play: Captain Aurora, by Becky Wahlstrom.

September 27, 7:30 pm – Theater/One-Woman Show: The MILF Also Rises CANCELLED

September 28, 7:30 pm – Theater/One-Woman Show: The Vicious Hillbilly or Dating in the Deep South, by Dawn Larsen.

September 29, 2:30 pm – Storytelling/poetry/singing: From the Page and From the Strings, by Dana Malone and Amelia White.

October 3, 7:30 pm – An Evening of Stand-Up Comedy with host Aleta Myles.

October 4, 7:30 pm – TBA

October 5, 7:30 pm – Musical Theatre: Black Ophelia, by Lainie Marsh

October 6, 2:30 pm – Bits & Bobs: Making New Life with the Fragments of Broken Ones: Using Words to Heal, a collaborative piece compiled by Ashley Mintz; Amaranthine and Amen, dance by Laura Valentine (NUMINOUS FLUX); The World According to Riley, a short play by DeeGee Lester; Spells for Healing the Mother Wound, poetry by Karina Cochran; RE - MEMBER - ING SARA BAARTMAN, a short play by Robyn Brooks.

Visual art on display  drawings in colored pencil by Mimi Pantelides

Fiscal Year End Fundraiser

It's the 99th anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing the right of women to vote. Happy Women's Equality, from the only woman-centered professional theater company in the region! 

Our 2018-19 fiscal year ends August 31, and we need your donation to FINISH STRONG. As we prepare our 2019-20 season, please remember: We can't do this without you. Yes - YOU! Please donate today!


How Your Gift Helps

Your donation:

  • Insures that we can keep producing Nashville premieres and new works
  • Supports free after-school Theater classes at the Looby Community Center
  • Helps keep our ticket prices among the lowest of all Nashville's professional theater companies
  • Helps us pay actors, designers, and teaching artists a living wage – among the highest of Nashville's professional theater companies

There is always a gap between ticket revenue and production costs, and we count on our supporters -- people like you -- to help close it. 

Read more below!

Women's Work Call for Submissions

From September 20 to October 6, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project will present the 13th Annual edition of Women’s Work, our showcase and celebration of works created by women. Each year for more than a decade now, we have presented the work of women playwrights, poets, singers, musicians, essayists, circus performers, painters, filmmakers, dancers, choreographers, photographers – and more – from across Tennessee and across the country.
This is our call for submissions for Women’s Work 2019.
The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2019 August 14, 2019 – your submission package must be received via email or postmarked by that date. 
There’s a modest, non-refundable submission fee of $25.00, which helps offset our expenses for advertising, venue and security, programs and promotion.
Performances will be held:
September 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, October 3, 4 & 5 at 7:30 pm
September 22, 29 & October 6 at 2:30 pm
NOTE: If you have ANY conflicts with our performance or tech rehearsal dates, it's vital that you indicate them on your submission form. We can't promise to accommodate every conflict for every presenter, but we can’t begin to work around them unless we know when they are!
Presenters will be assigned a date and time for a tech rehearsal, to occur before their performance date.
Email us at or call 615-681-7220 for more information, or if you have any questions.
Click MORE tor further details!

Sistas: The Musical

Final 4 performances Thursday 5/16 through Sunday 5/19. Book now online, or purchase at the door - whatever you do, don't miss Sistas!
We're proud to present the return of Sistas: The Musical, by Dorothy Marcic. Five women  three sisters, a great-granddaughter, and a sister-in-law sort through the attic of their recently departed family matriarch, in search of inspiration for her memorial service. They unearth trials and tears, love and laughter, and perform the music of iconic artists from Bessie Smith to Beyoncé. Sistas traces the relationship of Black women and popular music, with songs including "Oh, Happy Day," "God Bless The Child," "Stormy Weather," "R.E.S.P.E.C.T.," "I Will Survive," "Single Ladies," "I Am Not My Hair," "A Woman's Worth," and many more. The cast includes Shonka Dukureh as Roberta; LaToya Gardner as Simone; Lisa Graham as Gloria; Brittany Nelson as Heather; and Aija Penix as Tamika. Read Jef Ellis's preview at BroadwayWorldNashville.
"You owe it to yourself to see it." -- Jef Ellis, Broadway World Nashville
". . . more than delivers — from traditional gospel and blues to Motown and modern hip-hop."
- Amy Stumpfl, The Tennessean
TWTP's 2018-19 season is sponsored by HCA/TriStar Health.












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Adults $20, Students & Seniors (60+) $15
All seats $10 on Thursday evenings.
7:30 p.m. on May 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17 & 18
2:30 p.m. on May 5, 12 & 19
Z. Alexander Looby Theater
2301 Rosa L Parks Boulevard
Nashville 37228-1205

It's Big Payback Time

Thursday, May 2 is The Big Payback - the Community Foundation's 24-hour online giving event, which highlights the worthy work of Middle Tennessee nonprofits. We ask you to support TWTP by making a tax-deductible donation on Thursday any time. This link will be good ONLY Thursday May 2!

Your donation is vital to our financial health  

Here's a snapshot of why we need your support: Our first musical (about to return to the stage this week) was a hit. Sistas: the Musical, broke all box office and attendance records. We grossed over $16,000. Sounds great, right? It is great, but here's the rub: Sistas cost over $30,000 to produce (including $24,000 in artist wages we were proud to pay!). We believe that theater professionals should be paid a living wage. We also believe that theater should be accessible to everyone - so we keep our ticket prices low. Your gift helps bridge the gap between revenue and expenses - between box office and payroll. Please help us mind the gap

Calling on supporters and friends everywhere

Our Big Payback goal this year is $5,000. Please give what you can: $25, $50, $100 or more. If everyone who sees this donates, and then tells their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram friends to do the same, our goal is well within reach.

Wherever you live, I hope you will support us Thursday with a Big Payback donation -- you make everything we do possible.

Thank you for all you do!

Maryanna Clarke
Founder and Artistic Director