The Hamilton-Gibson Women's Project began in 2016 as a result of the realization that more women than men audition for HG plays, and that there seem to be more roles for men than for women. Barbara Biddison, Linda Iseri, and Lilace Guignard volunteered to work together to provide leadership to address this clear need. Embracing--and just slightly adapting--the HG Mission Statement, the HGWP seeks to "provide opportunities for women of all ages to enrich and empower their lives through community performing arts." The HGWP helps women connect in a variety of ways in the context of theatre arts.
The first venture, HER VOICES in April 2016, featured 26 women reading selected short pieces in Readers Theatre fashion and showcased two musicians during intermissions. Some of these women had had stage experience, some had never been on the HG stage, and others had never been on any stage. Response to this event was overwhelmingly positive and provided encouragement for a three-day weekend in fall 2016
In preparation for the fall event, Pat Davis and Linda Williams conducted memoir-writing workshops beginning in July. Again more than 20 women signed up, and their efforts culminated in a selection of their memoirs presented in Readers Theatre format Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 in the Warehouse Theatre. During the same weekend, Amy Rene Byrne from Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, conducted workshops in stage combat and improv for women of all ages. And on Oct. 1 and 2, HGWP presented five short plays in the Warehouse Theatre All five were directed by women (with mentor if she had not directed before), and 14 females were cast in these plays. This weekend provided opportunities for over 40 women Again response was enthusiastic from performing women as well as from audiences. It was clear that HGWP must continue its mission into the future.