Mary Candler

Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre, Inc.
Expanding the Canon: Womxn and the Classics
Artistic Discipline: Dance
Category: Brooklyn Arts Fund
Grant Year: 2020
Location: Bushwick

Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre elevates the voices of womxn by reimagining the classics. By investing in the growth of artists, they nurture an inclusive and collaborative community that creates artistically excellent work.

Each season, Mary Candler (Artistic Director) picks plays that elevate the voices of womxn in the classics and support Hedgepig’s ensemble. Their ensemble of 15 classically trained actors and directors has an active voice in project selection, trains together on a monthly basis, and forms the backbone of casting for their projects. The ensemble is interested in exploring classical work by female-identifying playwrights.

The classical canon forms an important part of the collective cultural fabric: these works have stood the test of time and seep into modern references and culture. Yet while these plays are wonderful, most were conceived within a white, patriarchal society and represent a limited perspective. The ensemble has no interest in minimizing those works; rather, a desire to explore work by female-identifying playwrights and non-white writers that have been overlooked by time. As they hand down stories to the next generation, Hedgepig wants them to be stories that champion equality and showcase diverse voices.

In their 2020 season, they are launching "Expanding the Canon: Womxn and the Classics." They will present eight plays by female-identifying playwrights that they think are worthy. Examples of plays under consideration include "Agnes de Castro" by Catherine Trotter (18th Century British playwright) and "House of Desires" by Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (17th Century Mexican nun, scholar, and playwright).

For each play, they will offer an intimate theatrical event which will bring the spirit of the play to an audience. These will be ‘pay-what-you-can’ so that there is no cost-barrier to entry.