Windsor Feminist Theatre, a non-profit theatre company founded in 1980, is recognized as one of the nation’s first feminist theatre organizations and is among the oldest organizations of its kind in Canada.
WFT, Founded 1980: History
Throughout its thirty-five year plus history WFT has written, created, developed, produced and presented more than fifty socially relevant and groundbreaking productions to thousands of audience members. Our season consists of participation in MayWorks Windsor, the Windsor Writers Series, the production of The Pelee Island Stone & Sky Music & Arts Series, and at least one other original creation annually. With a goal of inclusion, WFT invites community participation, and provides employment for primarily local professional artists through specialized workshops/master classes, artists’ residencies, and original productions. Other than numerous play festivals, directors’ projects, improvisation troupes, coffee houses, consultations, and open stages events, upcoming and past productions include:
Vox Balaenae, Dominatrix on Trial, Équilibre, Nurdles and Waves, Alchemy, The Bolt House, Moonscapé, Big Green Sky, The Hidden Fairy, Pat & Emilia, Letters to My Mother: A Memoir, The Waste Land, The Pelee Island Stone & Sky Music & Arts Series (annual, since 2012), RIVETER, My Little Butterball, The Attic, the Pearls, and Three Fine Girls, Talking With, Choices, Girl Power, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Men Creating Art in the Context of Feminism, Shear Noise, Living on the Fringe, Come As You Are, Charming and Rose: True Love, Always Wear Clean Underwear, Getting It Off Our Chests, Sex Tips for Modern Girls, Shared Intimacies, Love Taps, Cindylear Goes to Moscow, Opposite Directions, Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, It’s Not OK, Poverty Experts, Poverty Was Not My Dream, Sisters, Sometimes I Wonder, Not Shown Actual Size, Here We Are, Estro, December 6, Looking Forward, Looking Back, Vital Signs, Coming Up Equal, Cassandra, Witches, Girls Guide to Chaos, Crackwalker, Ages and Stages, Albertine in Five Times, Aid Thy Neighbour, Bible Herstory, Talking With, Ladies Against Women, Top Girls, The Saga of Baby Devine, Female Parts, Woman Alone, Independent Female, Slam the Door Softly, Dusa Fish, Stag and Vi, Women Working, Voices.
Illuminating the reality of women’s lives and stories through theatre and the arts.
a) To provide improved opportunities and facilities for the general public to become aware of and appreciate theatre arts relating to the situation of women;
b) To provide improved opportunities and facilities for emergent and established artistic talent, and to conduct or support performances, recitals, workshops, artists’ residencies, and other like events for such purposes;
c) To promote interest in and study of theatre arts on the status of women.
“A community that values and celebrates women’s stories expressed through the arts.”
Governing Core Values
A Feminist Framework – We recognize & support the social, ethnic, political, and economic empowerment of women and girls.
Engagement – We encourage critical thought and creative expression for effecting social change with participating artists and our audience.
Learning – We foster collaborative mentorship, training and education within our organization and our community.
Our longevity and many successes are due, in part, to the valuable partnerships we have formed with many individuals and organizations. These partnerships have enabled a more immediate penetration and intimate engagement with the communities whose stories we have told. A partial list of these significant production partnerships follows:
|CanAm Indian Friendship Cntr.||Support for 1st Nations||Big Green Sky (2016)|
|Canadian Mental health Assn.||Support for Mental Health||Letters to My Mother (2014)|
|Royal Canadian Legion||Support for Veterans||RIVETER (2012)|
|Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Assn.||Support for Eating Disorders||My Little Butterball (2010)|
|The Downtown Mission||Support for the homeless||Poverty Was Not My Dream (1998)|
|Hiatus House||Support for battered women||Love Taps (1994)|
|CanAm Urban Native Homes||Support for 1st Nations||Sisters (1992)|
|Canadian Automotive Workers||Support for Autoworkers||Women Working (1988)|
Another level of important partnerships includes working with other organizations in a non-performance specific manner to create respectful and healthy arts communities. The significant partners we are currently working with include:
- Organisation: Support for Performing Arts in Rural & Remote Communities (SPARC)
Mandate: SPARC’s mission is to connect creators, producers, presenters, and anamateurs to sustain and grow the performing arts in rural and remote communities.
Initiative: uniting non-siloed multi-disciplinary performance artists in the formation of a regional guild.
- Organisation: Bloomfield House
Mandate: The Bloomfield House is a community collective participating in grassroots community outreach initiatives through a safe and accessible space for human growth.
Initiative: creation and support of an accessible community blackbox theatre.
- Organisation: Making Waves Windsor Essex Pelee Island
Mandate: We have assembled for the purpose of broadening solidarity with one another with a specific focus of experimenting with new forms of more coordinated, progressive, grassroots, organizing and outreach to promote social justice.
Initiative: Community Arts Facilitator.
- Organisation: MayWorks Windsor
Mandate: a celebration of labour, arts, and community.
Initiative: promoting labour and arts with annual productions of working women’s stories.
Awards & Grants
- Canadian Heritage, Cultural Spaces (2018)
- Windsor-Essex Endowment for the Arts, Community Arts Leadership Award (2018)
- Canadian Heritage, Arts Presentation (2016 – present)
- Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival, Big Green Sky (2016), Most Educational Performance
- United Communities, Community Award (2015)
- Windsor-Essex Endowment for the Arts, Infrastructure Visual Artist (2014)
- City of Windsor Arts, Culture, & Heritage Award (2014)
- Pelee Island Canada Day Parade, Best Overall Entry (2013, 2015, 2016)
- The Ontario Aggregate Resource Corporation (2013)
- Theatre Ontario, Professional Artist Development (2011)
- Bulimia Anorexia Nervosa Assn., Community Partner Award, My Little Butterball (2011)
- Trillium Foundation (2010)
- Ontario Arts Council, Theatre, Arts Presentation, Multi-Inter Arts (1998, 2012, 2016 – 2018)
- Windsor’s Excellence in the Arts Mayor’s Award, Outstanding Arts Organization (1995)
- Windsor International Buskers Festival, Homegrown Talent Award (1995)
Board of Directors
Daniel Lockhart, President
Julia M. Burgess, Vice-President
Russell Heath, Treasurer
Julie Fraser, Secretary
Patricia Fell (Artistic Director, ex officio)