WORDTheatre is on a mission to connect people across the globe with compelling performances of stories that reflect the colorful, complicated, and fascinating world we live in. We celebrate the power of language. Words matter.
WORDTheatre is a nonprofit organization made up of artists who are passionate about the value of literature to tell stories that wake us up to our humanity and to the complexities we — of various races, nationalities, ages, and backgrounds — face. Stories ignite curiosity about ourselves and others; they engender compassion, foster conversation, and deepen our understanding of questions we may not even think to ask ourselves. We champion writers who are bold enough to take on issues that are relevant and real to us now. Their stories come alive because of the emotional richness of the actors’ performances. Musicians and dancers sometimes lend their talents. There is an alchemy to WORDTheatre collaborations that make manifest the transformative power of storytelling.
Cedering Fox, an Event/Theatre Producer, Director and VO Announcer, was introduced to the simplicity and power of hearing great writing brought to life while working with Darrell Larson at Literary Evenings at The Met in Los Angeles. After partnering with NPR Station KCRW on several literary programs, she founded WORDTheatre in 2003. English Film Producer and Screenwriter, Kirsty Peart, found herself at an early event and was so impacted by the experience that she suggested they bring WORDTheatre to London. With the generous support of colleagues including Christian Banfield, April Webster and Brian Cox, Cedering and Kirsty hosted their first London performance that November. Ever since, on two continents, in venues large and small, this dynamic duo has gathered together writers, actors, musicians and audiences for live literary performances. A collaboration with The Pushcart Prize began in New York in 2005 and has continued with support from The Oster Family Foundation.
In the US and the UK, short stories are brought to life by esteemed actors in directed readings with the writers present for post-performance Q & As and book signings. WORDTheatre has introduced this simple yet elegant format to enliven prestigious literary awards. The pandemic necessitated a pivot to digital programming and fortunately we were ready to share recordings from our vast archive. Audiences everywhere are now able to access our free, weekly WORDTheatre Short Story Podcast. Additionally, we began streaming WORDTheatre’s live writer/actor events each month for audiences everywhere.
WORDTheatre’s original theatrical events entertain and inform while shining a spotlight on important conditions and issues, making them emotionally accessible to audiences. Performed by esteemed talents, they have been very successful at engendering empathy, raising both awareness and essential funds for research into challenging conditions such as Autism, Mental Health and Parkinson’s; for at-risk youth; for community college programs; for stemming the tide of domestic violence; and more.
WORDTheatre’s literary explorations include such rich subjects as the histories of Jazz, The Cosmos, Love Letters, and Cricket, as well as celebrations of works by notable authors from past centuries, such as Langston Hughes, Isak Dinesen, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Stefan Zweig, mounting fresh productions that resonate with contemporary audiences. We are strong proponents of the works of John Edgar Wideman and the late Brian Doyle.
Writers’ Workshop & Retreat
Since 2010, in the heart of England’s Peak District, an esteemed American author leads an international group of participants in an immersive week of writing instruction and comradery. Visiting guest speakers host evening salons. Nurturing but intensive classroom time, delicious group meals, comfortable accommodations, time for quiet reflection and writing, shared readings, evening fires, and hikes on magnificent trails all conspire to make this annual Workshop & Retreat an unforgettable, magical experience. It’s no surprise that participants return again and again…
Ron Carlson will lead the 2021 Workshop the week of October 8 – 15th. It is fully booked and has a waiting list. For information, please email [email protected].
WORDTheatre in the Schools
Since WORDTheatre’s inception, authors and actors have been eager to share the work we do with our adult audiences with students in historically under-resourced schools. The goal is to inspire a connection to literature by making it feel fun and accessible. Whether bringing to life curriculum relevant literature or introducing students to important topics with theatrical presentations, conversations about theme, plot and character follow the performances, nurturing feelings of empathy and compassion. Students are encouraged to read, to write and to express their personal experiences.
Our objective is to partner with interested schools to make available WORDTheatre resources that best serve a school’s curriculum.
School Administrators, please connect with us. For more information please visit our WITS page.