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Women in Theatre: Issues for the 21st Century
Molly Smith

MOLLY SMITH has been a passionate leader in new play development while at Arena Stage as well as Perseverance Theatre in Alaska, the theater she founded and led for 19 years. During eleven seasons as Arena’s Artistic Director, she has focused the repertory on American voices, making Arena the largest theater in North America focusing on American writers. Ms. Smith has championed numerous world premieres including Paula Vogel’s Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive and Mineola Twins, Tim Acito’s The Women of Brewster Place, Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, Charles Randolph-Wright’s Blue, Zora Neale Hurston’s lost play Polk County and Passion Play, a cycle by Sarah Ruhl. In 2009, two shows nurtured at Arena Stage (33 Variations and Next to Normal) moved to Broadway.  Her directorial work has also been seen at the Shaw Festival in Canada, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Trinity Repertory Company and Centaur Theatre in Montreal and includes classics such as South Pacific, Mack and Mabel, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Smith has served as literary advisor to Sundance Theatre Lab and formed the Arena Stage Writers Council. 

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