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Tennessee Women's Theater Project

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: 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 voices
  • To provide acting, directing, design and management opportunities for women in professional theater
  • To bring live theater to new, underserved audiences

Programs: Each year, we present two professional stage plays plus our annual Women's Work showcase and celebration of works created by women. We choose plays that meet our mission criteria: to present productions of the highest quality; to express the human condition in the female voice; to provide professional opportunities to female actors, designers and stage managers; and to introduce live theater to new and underserved audiences.
Women's Work goes further yet. We provide a venue for women artists of a broad cultural and ethnic diversity to present their work, spanning many genres: theater, dance, film, poetry, music and visual arts, and a unique mix of artistic expression to audiences.
We keep ticket prices low, and offer discounts, including "pay what you make an hour" nights. We partner with half a dozen agencies serving at-risk women to offer free admission to their clients. Our partnership with Nashville Metro Parks provides teachers for their free drama classes, in return for use of our performance venue.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

8

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Since the very first production, Tennessee Women's Theater Project (TWTP) has exceeded all expectations. From the choice of plays, the casting, direction and all production values - the company continues to produce gem after gem. What also continues to stand out is that the talented, committed people TWTP brings to the table - actors, technicians, designers and volunteers, all understand and are proud to embrace and advance the TWTP mission "giving voice to women through theater arts." Also worth mentioning is the annual rite of spring entitled "Women's Work." For three weeks, TWTP offers a stage and an audience to artists of every genre - drama, music, dance, poetry, visual arts... Every performance is different, and the $40 Women's Work Festival Pass would be a bargain at twice the price. Finally, I think the founder of TWTP, Maryanna Clarke deserves special recognition for her social consciousness and for her commitment to making live theater an experience everyone can enjoy. TWTP is exceedingly generous with the community, providing inumerable complimentary tickets to underserved segments of community.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first time I worked with TWTP was about two years ago, as a member of the run crew. When I met them, I realized that Maryanna and Chris were good honest people pursuing a mission that they believed in: not only to create more opportunities for women in theatre both onstage and off, but to do so through quality productions that most people in there area have not heard of. While the plays they choose have at least as many women as men, the plays themselves aren't focused strictly on women's issues, but rather address issues that appeal to everyone. As long as I've been involved with them, TWTP has created high quality productions and I've enjoyed being able to play my part.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I do not give five stars lightly. TWTP's work is among the best in Nashville. I never miss a show because I know that I will be challenged, delighted, entertained and always intrigued. With limited resources, they take on issues that are germane to life in today's world. Courageous is the word that comes to mind. I look forward to the day that their theater is filled with an appreciative audience. They tackle relationships, disparity in income for the people who do much of the work in our society, the problems of growing up in America...the list goes on. I would like every CEO in Nashville to attend this theater. I would like every man in Nashville to attend this theater. They are doing more for the awareness of Women as second class citizens than all the sociology Phd's you can gather on a Saturday night. Thank you to Maryanna and Chris Clarke for living their dream and inviting us to join them in it. Robert Kiefer

9

Donor

Rating: 5

I have supported TWTP for several years now, thru audience participation & donations. I donate my hard-earned money to this non-profit because they are worth it! Their high-quality plays are quite entertaining & Maryanna Clarke's creative ideas add a sense of delight & anticipation to attending the shows. I always try to make it a priority to see each production when I'm in town, and look forward to her emails to see what's playing next. The plays AND the actors are great!

10

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been part of the TWTP through audience participation over the last several years. I have been impressed with the high quality of the works presented and with the commitment to providing a voice for women in the world of theater. The three programs that were outstanding to me were "Kingfisher Days" - truly a magical performance, the staged reading of "A View from Tall" - unfortunately only seen for one evening, but what an evening, and the incredible one woman show that depicted the experience of the Little Rock Nine. Maryanna Clarke is providing something no other group in Tennessee or even nationally is doing. Thanks to her and all the hard work of others to bring this quality and affordable theater to the Middle Tennessee area.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of being part of their productions and the thrill of being part of the audience and I can honestly say the shows they put up are some of the best I've ever seen and been a part of. This company's heart and soul is a living entity that is part of the experience in the theater during the performances. Maryanna's mission to present the highest quality of work that features "real" women is always presented successfully. She is great at selecting pieces with this in mind and an incredibly gifted director - not to mention, supportive, clear and so much fun to work with.

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

This play was so well done! Seven of us who saw it together and have little experience with which to identify with soccer moms thoroughly enjoyed it.

6

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had heard a lot about Tennessee Women's Theatre Project and really admired their message, and was ecstatic when I was finally given the chance to work with them. This company is Maryanna's baby, and she has put so much of her time and love into making it as great as it can be. They are the only company in Nashville focused on giving women more opportunities to perform and play real, strong female characters. They are also one of the few companies in Nashville that is willing to produce premiere productions. It has been incredibly informative and empowering to work with this company.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

You can always expect relevant, insightful projects and delightful productions from this Great*Nonprofit! Another wonderful Tennessee Treasure. (and you still have time to see the current offering... "Secrets of a Soccer Mom") My cheeks still hurt from the laughter.

11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended my my first Tennessee Women's Theater Project production about two years ago. I have attended nearly every one of their shows ever since then. I am always very impressed with the quality of their productions. Although scenery and props are minimal, the actors that work their stage are absolutely wonderful and the direction is near perfect. After meeting the people who put it all together, I decided I wanted to be part of the Project and volunteered to help with publicity. I have become a fan of local theater due directly to my experiences with the TWTP and try to support other local groups whenever I can.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked on a play with Maryanna and Chris and was amazed at the amount of heart and soul the two of them put into this theater company. They both are totally committed to excellence and are willing to work as much and as hard as it takes. I hope they will attract more volunteers over the years to help their fabulous cause. It's a lot of pressure for just the two of them. I was a bit overwhelmed at times with the amount of work involved and Maryanna was cool and calm and focused and the show went on without a hitch. They produce professional interesting shows and many times offer premieres to the Nashville community- which not many theater companies in town are willing to risk. I had a very positive learning experience from being involved with this company and hope to work with them again in the future.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

... frequently quirky and always entertaining and interesting. TWTP is an opportunity to see 1st class work that wouldn't otherwise be available. Speaking as a music professional that plays a lot of theater, this is one of my favorite theater companies in the middle Tennessee area.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have seen many of their shows and acted in two plays and a Women's Work performance. They not only have artistic integrity, they treat all artists and their audiences with respect. TWTP is dedicated to their vision for theatre and women in the arts.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

The TN Women's Theater Project is a wonderful addition to the arts in Nashville. I love going to their performances and always bring a friend or 3. The productions are high quality.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

TWTP is serving this community in ways that no other theatre company in middle Tennessee is. Their focus on women playwrights and strong women characters is what makes this theatre so special and so needed. Maryanna Clarke, who is at the helm of the company, along with her dedicated husband, Chris Clarke, have given their sweat, blood and tears to keep this company and their mission forging ahead. Part of their deep dedication is evidenced in a competitive wage for their actors along with offering affordable ticket prices and giving back to the community by offering discounted or free tickets to underprivileged women who wouldn't normally go to the theatre. What they have done in the past 5 years is nothing short of amazing.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One need only hear the story of the formation and mission of the TWTP to understand how vital this organization is to Middle Tennessee and beyond. Warriors Don't Cry is just one in a series of original or premiere productions to appreciate how TWTP holds up a less distorted mirror to nature, and how that contributes not only to women in the performing arts, but to an enriched civilization for all.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a board member of TWTP since its inception and have seen every production at least once. I am also an actor locally, both in community theater and professional productions. Maryanna Clarke's commitment to quality offerings and reaching underserved audiences is second to none. On a shoestring (and with the help of an equally deeply committed husband) she has managed to present thoughtful, well-written and entertaining new plays to the Nashville community that have the look of quality, not shoestring! She is able to elicit fine performances from the actors and develops quite a loyalty among those who have worked with her. I always leave one of TWTP's productions happy that I spent time there.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with the TWTP since it's first production in 2005. Having worked both onstage and backstage I can honestly say that my experience with them each and every time had been fantastic. Maryanna Clarke has an incredible eye for material that is new and exciting to produce and she brings together some of the strongest ensembles I have had the pleasure of working with. I have been a professional in the field for more than 20 years and worked with many different organizations and, in my experience, the TWTP continually brings some of the highest quality, professionally produced shows to Middle TN.

7

Former staff

Rating: 5

Tennessee Women's Theater Project provides a voice for female playwrights and actors in a society in which theatre primarily consists of the "male story"--currently only 18% of produced plays in this country are by female playwrights! TWTP seeks to corrects this. TWTP is also a joy to work for; they not only create a nurturing environment for creative freedom and artistic expression from their artists, but they are dedicated to making sure their artists receive a fair wage for their work, even when the company is struggling financially. Their shows are high in calibre, and have brought audiences to tears of joy and laughter. They are a huge asset to the Nashville community and deserve to be recognized.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Tennessee Women's Theatre Project, under the artistic direction of Maryanna Clarke, is as fine a theatre company as the US has produced in many a decade. Featuring the voices of women, TWTP produces excellent, thought-provoking, authentic theatre that feeds the soul and sparks the imagination.