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Wicked Wonder(ful) Women

by Julie, enjoying a brief taste of spring in Somerville

Spotlighting, praising and celebrating women is the theme for this month of March. This is a wonderful subject for a blog post, and there are a lot of ways to approach the conversation. But instead of singing the praises of women of history, or telling you to listen to podcasts like the History Chicks for wonderful stories about women you may not know, I’ve been thinking about the wonderful women I’ve known who do what they can to make their corner of the world a little better, and much brighter. I want to take a moment for us all to give them a huzzah.

Dru Ann Love has a blog that has lifted up many authors, myself included. She does cover reveals, interviews, and “musings” every day. I remember the first time I met Dru officially. We were at a Berkley cocktail party at Bouchercon Albany. I was about to sign my first contract (for my Clock Shop series), and was invited to attend. Sheila Connolly brought Dru to the party. I remember Sheila saying to me that people needed to know who she (Dru) was, because she had a real impact on book sales, and was a champion of authors. Sheila was right. Huzzah to Dru.

I met Kristen van Ginhoven when she was in graduate school at Emerson College. She’d recently read Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity Worldwide by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and was trying to think about how she could change the world with her work, which was theater. She founded WAM Theatre shortly thereafter. A portion of the proceeds of every WAM production is donated to organizations supporting gender equity. Since 2010 WAM has donated $80,000 to 22 beneficiaries. Despite the pandemic, WAM has figured out a way to keep producing work online, not an easy transition. This organization is small but mighty, led by an amazing woman. Huzzah Kristen.

Mary Callanan is a performer. When covid hit, she was on the road with the tour of My Fair Lady. Until she wasn’t. For a while she waited it out. But now, she and Brian Patton have been doing live concerts every Tuesday night on Facebook. Tipsy Tuesdays. These concerts have been a respite for many people I know, a smile during the tough weeks. Huzzah to Mary.

Kirsten Greenidge, Melinda Lopez and Kate Snodgrass are all wonderful playwrights. They have plays featured in the Dream Boston project, a series of audio plays produced by the Huntington Theater Company. (Truthfully, all of the playwrights featured in this project are wonderful.) The free plays are a wonderful way to spend some time. Huzzah to Kirsten, Melinda, and Kate.

Last but not least, the wonderful Dawn Simmons. Running a service organization for the theater community is challenging during the best of times. This past year has not been that. But Dawn has amped up her leadership of StageSource, and used this time to have important conversations about the arts. When theater comes back, and it will, it is because leaders like Dawn have been doing so much work this past year. Huzzah to Dawn.

I could write a post like this every day for the next week and not cover all the amazing women I know, and the work that they’re doing to get through the now. Huzzah to them all. I celebrate their light, in gratitude.

Readers, who do you know who’s making their corner of the world a bit brighter?

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