The B Word: Theatre for Women by Women

Keri Wormald has been “in talks” with TheatreLAB for months (mostly at Dot’s Back Inn, Deejay’s favorite haunt) trying to figure out how we could work together. We knew it had to happen since our White Rabbit Red Rabbit collaboration was so successful. But how?


The Women’s Mercury has been lying nearly dormant since 2006, when we first gathered in Bridget Gethins’ living room with Richmond’s best and brightest women to talk about women and theatre and art and Richmond and how we could create more opportunities here for women artists. Then I moved to Scotland and Bridget Gethins moved to New York in 2007. When we both came home, we said, “C’est maintenant ou jamais, ‘baby.’” [It’s now or never!]

Based on the Mercury dime, the woman’s winged helmet symbolizes “Freedom of Thought.”

Designed by Greig Leach.


Deejay, Annie, Bridget and I came up with “The B Word,” a late-night, after-show gathering of women (and men who want to hear what women have to say!) TheatreLAB and The Women’s Mercury are both interested in workshopping an original piece of theatre (the direction of which will be determined by Richmond women who take the mic to share their stories. We hope to record the proceedings (unless a participant prefers we don’t.)


This is the topic for December 4th, right after the incomparable Katrinah Carol Lewis’ performance of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. I’ve been kicking this idea around for a couple of years. The question: why do women who get ahead throw down shards of glass as they break through the glass ceiling? Wasn’t Carly Fioriana the only Republican candidate who couldn’t think of a single woman to put on the $10 bill?

I admit it; I have a personal axe to grind. I’m warming up to share some emails and stories from academia. Let’s just say that the way we learned to spell “PRINCIPAL” never applied to me when the principal was a woman. WHY???? Bring your stories of bad bosses. Exorcise those demons. Besides, revenge is a dish best served cold. [No names, please!]


We will be covering other topics late night after upcoming TheatreLAB shows. If you want to share, but the topic become too personal, participants will be invited to bring in their material to be read by another woman.


We will form a core, diverse group of women to devise and write an original piece of theatre to be workshopped in the wonderful Basement space of TheatreLAB. The child of our labors may serve to put Richmond on the map internationally through participation in festivals (like my favorite, the Edinburgh Fringe).


We’re throwing caution to the wind so we hope you’ll come and play with us.


Our other initiative, by way of shameless self-promotion is “The Theresa Pollak Project,” a plan to brand Theresa Pollak and write a book about (based on the transcript of a candid 1989 interview Bridget conducted with VCU School of the Arts’ first department chair in her Fan apartment). We will chronicle the growth of Richmond from “arts-desolate” to “Richmond: City of Arts.” Not only did Theresa start the School of the Arts at VCU, she did the same at U of R and was a mover and shaker when the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts was founded. Without Theresa, we wouldn’t be the arts-friendly haven we are today. Go to to hear Theresa, in her own words. Stay tuned for more on this.

Pollak Project wristbands. Available through donation at

Theresa Pollak in NY in the early 1920s.

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