July 2019 The Women's Theatre Festival of Memphis will be an Annual Festival.
Since its beginning in 2012, organized to recognize the contributions of women to theatre, WTFM has had an impressive array of talent that covered the contiguous USA. The festival gained international status with an Australian company’s entry in 2014.
The third Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis, Inc. was held July 10- 16, 2016 at the Hattiloo Theatre, located in the Memphis Midtown Theater District. The festival is comprised of theatrical, operatic, dance, symphonic performances, stage readings and workshops.
WTFM is recognized by the State of Tennessee as a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization, and is spearheaded by a diverse committee of men and
"Theater that is missing the work of women is missing half the story, half the canon, half the life of our time.”
~ Marsha Norman
Highlights of WTFM
The Gyneka Award honors women in theatre. The word “Gyneka” is Greek for woman. Greek women were denied the right to perform in theatre and this award represents strong women who have broken barriers and never allowed their God ordained talent to be denied. Women are nominated for the Gyneka Award by the theatre community and voted upon by volunteers on the WTFM Gyneka committee. On occasion, a man is recognized for his support of women in theatre. Since its inception, eighteen women and two men have been honored for their work.
This year WTFM will be honoring three more incomparable women for their contribution and dedication to theatre not only as artists, but as teachers.
Two of three honorees for the Gyneka Awards, Joyce Cobb and Irene Crist, are longtime artists known to Memphis and the Midsouth. Both women are respected artists with very impressive stage credits and both have worked with countless young artists by teaching and advising them along their theatrical paths. The third artist, Dr. Tommie (Tonea) Stewart, has numerous theatre and film credits that include “A Time to Kill,” as Samuel Jackson’s wife, “Mississippi Burning,” and a recurring role as Ms. Etta on the TV series, “In the Heat of the Night,” to name a few. An Emmy Award honoree, in 2015 Dr. Stewart was the recipient of the prestigious “Champion of Change” Award from President Barack Obama. A native of Greenwood, MS, Dr. Stewart currently resides in Montgomery, Alabama and is a tenured Professor and Dean of the College of Visual & Performing Arts at Alabama State University.
Please let us know if you are available to volunteer. We depend heavily on volunteers throughout the year and especially the week of the festival. From backstage to front of house, from planning to execution. We Need You!
2019 Gyneka Awardees: Janie Paris, Precious Morris & Natalie Parker Lawrence.
We accept nominations for women in the theatre community who have displayed excellent support. Whether they were behind the scenes, on stage, working the house or building sets. Give us a name or two.
If you or your company are interested in supporting us financially by becoming a sponsor please take a look at our sponsorship levels. WTFM has been funded by Grants from Tennessee Arts Commission, 1st Tennessee Bank, and funds from MCVB, Iman and private donations.
What started as a biennial event is now an annual event. We had so many submissions and interest in this being a yearly event that we said, "Okay".
You have questions, we have answers. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.