started as an international women's theatre festival in October of 1980.
Over the course of eleven days, 36 shows from 8 countries were performed
for hungry New York lesbians. Within 18 months the group had a permanent
space at 330 e. 11th street, where they began the monster that is WOW today:
a year-round festival of women's and transgender peoples' performance. In 1984 (or thereabouts),
WOW moved to the 1400ft loft space that we inhabit today at 59-61 east 4th
street. Those familiar with the downtown NYC theatre scene call the
block of east 4th between 2nd ave and the Bowery "theater row", and WOW
is proud to have among its neighbors: New York Theatre Workshop, the Rod
Rodgers Dance Company, La Mama ETC, and 14 other arts groups, as collectively represented by Fourth Arts Block, at www.fabnyc.org.
WOW mission statement as of 9/06/2005
WOW Café Theater is a women's theater collective in NYC's East Village, which
promotes the empowerment of women through the performing arts.
Historically, WOW has been a majority lesbian woman's space. WOW welcomes the
full participation of all women and transpeople in solidarity with women. WOW
especially welcomes women and transpeople of color, and women and trans people
who identify as lesbians, bisexual and queer. We provide a working theater space
to our members & the technical support to create and produce works, regardless
of economic status.
We acknowledge the links between different kinds of oppressions and strive to be
open to all sexualities and spiritualities, to be multilingual and
intergenerational, and to challenge all oppressions including racism, classism,
ableism, sexism, ageism, and sizeism. Our weekly Tuesday meeting and collective
governance structure provide a space for artists to share their ideas,
facilitate the exchange of labor and knowledge, and realize their creative