Kitty Mortland

Actor / Musician

Fresh Fruit Festival

A little over a week ago, I got an email from Jordan Bean, a woman with whom I've worked on a couple of projects now, asking if I would perform in a short piece that was to be part of the Fresh Fruit Festival. I thought the script was cute, and I am a fan of Jordan, so I agreed to do it. She got the rest of the cast together, we had a few rehearsals, and last night we performed Brokendown House on the first night of the short play festival. The audience was great, the festival was fun, and I got to see some other friends from shows past. It was a lot of fun.

The icing on the cake, though, was that our piece, Brokendown House, won the Audience Favorite award. They liked us, they really liked us! In fairness, it is a sweet little piece, and the women I shared the stage with are so lovely, but it was a little surprising as I don't think anyone I knew was in the audience so it wasn't necessarily a stacked vote. But it means the piece will have a slot in the larger play festival thrown by the Fresh Fruit Festival in July, which is exciting.

So congratulations to our playwright, Lezlie Revelle, to our director Jordan Bean, and to the two wonderful women with whom I got to share a stage, Naomi McDougall Graham and Sue-Ellen Mandell! Thank you for letting me be part of this. And thank you to the Fresh Fruit Festival for organizing the event, the Nuyorican Poets Cafe for hosting, and everyone who was in the audience for coming out and supporting the festival! See you in July!

Ivy Theatre Company

I am woefully behind in putting this post up, but on the off chance you've not heard the news yet, I am now officially a member of the Ivy Theatre Company. Ivy was founded by Audrey, Katie, and Gwenevere and focuses on dynamic stories that help give a voice to the under-represented. I worked with them on Incongruence in November, fell in love with the company, and pestered them to keep me in mind for various things, offering to be an extra set of hands whenever they need one. Lucky for me, they took me up on the offer and now I'm a company member. If you want to know more about the company, please check out their website, linked above, or check out our Indiegogo fundraising campaign to help support our 2015 season.

On a slightly more personal level, I'm excited to be working with such a dynamic group of women, in part because there need to be more women out there making theatre, and in part for the theatre they make. A 2002 study showed that only 20% of working professional theatre artists are women, with the percentage of female writers, directors, producers, and technicians being even smaller. Ivy was founded by women and while we are an inclusive group, the four official members are all women. This means women are directing, producing, marketing, fundraising, all of that stuff. And every little bit helps, right? But I am also excited by the work that Ivy does. I think that theatre is a very powerful tool with which to start conversations, and that the shows Ivy does start the conversations that we, as a culture, need to be having right now. So I'm thrilled to be part of this company that is working to advance not only women in theatre, but other minorities as well. It just feels like important work to be doing and I'm excited to be part of it.

So check out the Ivy website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, come out to our trivia night fundraiser on Sunday, or consider supporting our Indiegogo campaign. There is a lot of fun stuff coming up and you won't want to miss it!