The Future is Female : National Theatre Festival

Interview by: Christine Vartoughian

With 27 outposts in 18 cities across the United States and Canada, The Future is Female theatre festival holds a series of staged readings and productions of 10-minute plays written by women of all backgrounds on the subject “The Future is Female” and what that means to them. 

Mya Kagan

Mya Kagan

Creator Mya Kagan and filmmaker Christine Vartoughian chat about the festival and feminism. 

CV: What inspired you to create this festival? Was there a particular event or ‘ah-ha!’ moment? 

MK: The election in November. It made me think of what the future holds for women. What can I do? Roughly 80% of produced work in theatre is written by men.  I really love writing short plays and then I thought what better way than to have women across the country write short plays around this topic. 

CV: What do you hope people take away from this fest, and that men can take away? 

MK: I hope everyone takes away a renewed perspective of what women are doing and what women intend to accomplish in the future. I believe showing what we want is a step towards making that a reality. In a New York Times article* Kathleen Kennedy Townsend says how when she gives a talk she asks people to close their eyes and imagine what a powerful person looks like, and that most people envision a man. 

CV: That’s definitely a frustrating stereotype. 

MK: It is, and I want to send new messages of what women are. Women can be powerful but women don’t have to only be powerful, we can be all kinds of things. In theatre, we are more likely to accept the flawed man than the flawed woman. 
NYC organizers - Mya is first row on left with red pants

NYC organizers - Mya is first row on left with red pants


CV: A misconception of feminism is that feminism is about women being greater than men or different than men when it’s actually about equality. 

MK: In part, I think that’s because men are being scared of being treated the way they’ve treated women because the way they’ve treated women is crappy. Feminism is about an equal shot at the future. 

*What Should a Powerful Woman Look Like? By Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, The New York Times July 2, 2016


 Christine Vartoughian is an award-winning filmmaker based in New York City.