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making room & making plays

 
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ATHENA by GRACIE GARDNER at JACK.

FEBRUARY 15 - MARCH 24

"The story of two teenage girls who sharpen their fencing skills on each other, it’s a deadly serious comedy about ambition, success and owning your superiority. In its delicate ferocity, it shows a playwright who, at 26, is full-throttle funny and wise beyond her years."

-LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES, The New York Times

"Hugely appealing and stealthily moving"

-ALEXIS SOLOSKI, The New York Times

What we do

In 2015, the League of Professional Theatre Women conducted a study of New York theaters and their employment of female theater-makers over a five-year span. They found that less than half of the jobs on a given production are held by women. 2012-2013 saw the highest amount of plays by female writers - 36%. That same year, only 8% of lighting designers were women. When theaters did hire women, they often hired the same several people over and over again.*
We're sick of these statistics.  So we've set out to do something about them.

The Hearth tells the stories of women.

We nurture and celebrate female and non-binary artists (playwrights, directors, actors, and designers) and develop plays that represent the complex and vast spectrum of womanhood.

The Hearth produces plays that explore female characters who pulse with emotional, intellectual, and psychological complexity.  We seek to challenge stereotypes, advance and complicate the conversation about feminism, and expand perceptions of what it means to be a woman.

We are committed to making room for the next generation of female artists in the landscape of the American theater.

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who we are

Julia Greer & Emma Miller

Artistic Directors

 Photo by Mike Edmonds

Photo by Mike Edmonds

JULIA GREER is a producer, actor, and writer.  She most recently was seen in Athena with The Hearth, Tommy's Girls at Primary Stages/Fordham, Pose at PublicArts, The Trojan Women with New Collectives, For Annie with The Hearth, Nurse Sluts in The Tank's LadyFest and at Dixon Place in Gaming and Crying and Dreaming and Gaming. She acted as Paula Vogel’s script assistant on her productions of Indecent at The Vineyard Theater, The La Jolla Playhouse, and on Broadway. Past employment includes The La Jolla Playhouse, New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Season, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company, The Civilians Theater Company, The Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Kenyon Playwrights Conference, and ACT Theatre Seattle.  As an actor, Julia's other credits include Tutus, Ryan and Alice, Gidion’s Knot (Thomas Turgeon Memorial Award and Joanne Woodward Award for Best Actress), Noises Off, Summer and Smoke, The Bakkhai, boom, Red Light Winter, From Up Here and originated the role of Mavis in Wendy MacLeod’s The Ballad of Bonnie Prince Chucky. Julia is a proud graduate of Kenyon College and the National Theater Institute.  juliagreer.co

EMMA MILLER is a director, producer, and educator. Emma’s recent work as a director includes Athena (The Hearth/JACK), BallgirlCare, and Time Away (Queens Theatre)  Nurse Sluts (The Hearth/The Tank), Spa Play (Bridge Residency), For Annie (The Hearth/Lucid Body House), Gaming and Crying and Dreaming and Gaming (Dixon Place), Ryan & Alice (Cincinnati Fringe/KNOW Theatre); Summer and Smoke, Gidion's Knot (Thomas Turgeon Memorial Award for Achievement in Directing), A Steady Rain (Thomas Turgeon Memorial Award for Achievement in Directing), Boeing Boeing, Arsenic and Old Lace (Kenyon College); Dry Land, and Post Grad: A New Musical (StageFemmes). Emma was the Casting Fellow at Playwrights Horizons and the Directing Assistant at the Kenyon Playwrights Conference. Emma is an alumna of Kenyon College and the National Theater Institute - Advanced Directing at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center. 

News + Updates

Check out our Playbill feature about Athena, The Hearth, and sexism in the industry.

We sat down with TDF Stages and talked about our work on Athena.

Gracie Gardner won the Relentless Award for her "unique and fearless" writing.

We presented a reading of Rae Binstock's POSE directed by Whitney White on December 15. 

The Hearth presented a reading of Lizzie Stern's WILLIAMSBURG at Dixon Place on December 5.

We presented a workshop of NURSE SLUTS, a new play by Julia Greer and Shelby Green at LADYFEST at THE TANK in summer 2017.

Scroll down to the press section to read more reviews and features.

SUMMER READING SERIES 2016

We accepted submissions of plays on the theme of female friendship.

We workshopped two beautiful plays, Alma Mater by Cassidy Lu Jones and For Annie by Beth Hyland.

Twitter

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Press

ATHENA was listed as the Theater Event of The Week in The New York Times. 

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Julia, Emma and Gracie Gardner talked to TDF Stages about fencing, ATHENA and what The Hearth has set out to do. Read the article HERE. 

"It makes me sad when teen girls are an object of derision, or just the words 'teenage girls' are used as an insult," says Gardner. "I think what's important is disentangling this idea that teenage girls' lives are sort of competitive in an arbitrary way, or that the lives of teenage girls are not as important as other people's. Theatre can be a tool to combat that."

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Julia, Emma and Gracie Gardner sat down with Playbill to talk about Athena, gender parity and the origin story of The Hearth. Read more HERE. 

"'The stories are about women who exist without pretense and without the context of men or other things that are put upon women [are ones] … we want to add to the conversation about women in theatre in a way that feels exciting and nuanced,' adds Greer."

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Julia and Emma were featured as Young Alumni to Watch in the Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin. You can read the full feature HERE.

Nora Gardner interviewed Julia and Emma on her fashion blog about being a woman in the workplace, fashion, and more. Check out their interview HERE. 

 Photo by Gracie Gardner

Photo by Gracie Gardner

 

Emma Miller and FOR ANNIE playwright Beth Hyland were interviewed by Works by Women. Check out their interview HERE!

 

Julia and Emma produced the Off-Broadway premiere of Natalie Margolin's The Power of Punctuation. 

Read the New York Times Review here.

"A SMART, WELL-ACTED PLAY, CLEVER AT DELINEATING COMPETING DEMANDS: THE EMOTIONAL INTIMACY OF FRIENDSHIP AND THE PRIVACY REQUIRED TO DEVELOP, OR EVEN DREAM OF, ATTACHMENTS ELSEWHERE...

A WELCOME OASIS OF ENTERTAINMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS FRAUGHT SUMMER."

-Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times

Julia and Emma were featured in the Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin and were interviewed by Kenyon College Public Relations for founding StageFemmes, a campus feminist theater company, and to discuss their plans for starting a similarly-minded company after school. 

"GREER AND MILLER WORKED TO PUT ON MORE PLAYS IN A VARIETY OF GENRES -- HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE BY PAULA VOGEL AND DRY LAND BY RUBY RAE SPIEGEL -- OFTEN MAKING USE OF NONTRADITIONAL THEATER SPACES.

THEY SET UP A LIBRARY OF FEMALE-WRITTEN PLAYS IN THEIR STAGEFEMMES-THEMED HOUSE TO ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO CONSIDER THOSE WORKS FOR SCENES IN THEIR ACTING CLASSES OR AS THEIR SENIOR THESIS PRODUCTIONS...'THEY'RE AMAZING YOUNG PRODUCERS,' SAID WENDY MACLEOD...WHO SERVED AS THEIR FACULTY ADVISOR."

-Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin, Fall 2015

Read the full article here.