Magdalena Project

The Magdalena Project is an international network of women in contemporary theatre and performance. It aims to increase awareness of women’s contributions to theatre and to create the artistic and economic structures and support networks to enable women to work.


1 Background
2 International Festivals and Affiliate Groups
3 Publications
4 References
5 External links

The idea for a network of women theatre practitioners was born in a café in Trevignano, Italy in September 1983, during a festival of alternative theatre: a discussion on the predominance of male directors and writers at the festival led Jill Greenhalgh to ask what such a festival might be like if the primary creative voices were those of women.[1] Inspired by this, Greenhalgh organised MAGDALENA ’86 – The First International Festival of Women in Contemporary Theatre, in Cardiff, Wales in August 1986[2] and at this event the Magdalena Project was founded.
From then until 1999, The Magdalena Project operated from an administrative base in Cardiff, with a board of advisors and Greenhalgh as its artistic director. During this period the Magdalena Project produced performances, organised workshops and festival gatherings in Europe and published a regular newsletter.
In 1988, women theatre practitioners in Latin America became involved, organising meetings in Peru, Colombia and Uruguay, and extending the network to Chile and Argentina with further meetings in 1993. This was to be the beginning of growing interest in the Project from around the world, with affiliate groups forming and hosting festivals and events in many countries.
In 1999, the Welsh Arts Council ceased its infrastructure funding of the Magdalena Project, necessitating the closure of the Cardiff office and the cessation of most cost-bearing activities. However, by this time the network was strongly established at an international level, and was about to launch its web site and email list. The move into online communications ensured the continuation of the network despite the loss of funding.
International Festivals and Affiliate Groups[edit]
The international membership of the Magdalena Project network is made up of individuals (men and women), theatre companies and organisations; in some locations affiliate Magdalena groups have been formally established. These groups are autonomous and all of their activities are organised and funded locally.
The Latin American network has been operating since 1988