031: Festival Production Manager for the Women’s Theatre Festival, Katy Koop, keeps it all on track

Based in Raleigh NC and founded in 2016, the Women’s Theatre Festival (WTF) creates, produces, and promotes extraordinary theatre by women. Each play in their summer festival was written by a woman, directed by a woman, and features a diverse cast and crew that’s at least 50% female. In additional, the WTF produces a 24 hour play festival called Occupy the Stage paired with workshops, classes and panel discussion.

The theme for the WTF 2018 is Women are Heroes! The first show in the festival opens June 8, 2018.

In the first half of our conversation, we discuss Katy Koop’s work as Festival Production Manager for WTF and the training provided to potential directors and producers for this year’s festival. In the second half of our conversation, we cover art & politics, Katy’s decision not to become a lawyer, and the value of theatre criticism for the local artist.

Katy Koop is a writer and theatre artist based in Cary, NC. Recent projects include directing Space Girl by Mora V. Harris and Little Women adapted by Lorelei Lemon with the Women’s Theatre Festival. In addition, she has written theatre criticism for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, Indy Week, and Howlround. As a freelance writer, she has had essays published in Electric Literature, Femsplain, Feministing, and Aloe. Her play The Amazing Cunt and Lil’Bitch take [Your City]! has been produced in part and in whole in New York City, NY, Minneapolis, MN, and Raleigh, NC. As her day job, she works as an marketing writer. She runs Plucky Media, a pop culture criticism website, on the side with co-founder Sarah Koop, who is her sister and frequent artistic collaborator.

Katy on Twitter

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Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Katy’s bio and info about the Women’s Theatre Festival.

[2:37] Why did Katy get on board with WTF in their very first year?

[3:54] Is Festival Production Manager a new role for WTF? Why is it needed?

[4:47] Katy’s job responsibilities as the Festival Production Manager and the training series for potential directors and producers (WTF U). The pitching process for WTF.

[8:02] What are the expectations for the directors and producers of WTF? How are 1st time directors supported? Benchmarks for designers and stage managers (rehearsal reports!).

[11:35] What is the rhythm of the schedule for the Festival Production Manager?

[13:45] This seems like a challenging job! Why does the Festival Production Manager position appeal to Katy?

[16:25] What were most common questions people had about the pitch forms?

[19:55] Why has Katy been drawn to doing so many different jobs in the theatre universe?

[21:17] Katy has a clear feminist viewpoint as a writer and playwright. What is that POV important to her? What would she say to people who discourage artists from getting political?

[23:28] So, why theatre and not law school?

[25:37] Theatre criticism and writing: Does writing about theatre change Katy’s relationship to it (and vice versa)? As a critic, what is she looking for from theatre productions? What are the benefits of theatre criticism for local artists?

[29:37] What’s next for Katy?

[32:58] Thank you and sign-off

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