The lights on Broadway this past weekend were bright, as crowds gathered and cars lined up outside the historic Palace Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles. The occasion? A celebration of women in the form of a theatrical production, gallery show, short film screening, and clothing shop. We the Women, the Los Angeles–based collective for women in the arts, hosted the weekend fete that welcomed Demi Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Jonah Hill, Amber Heard, and two nights’ worth of Angelenos. As guests arrived, tables were lined with clothing and accessories—each piece appropriately adorned with feminist sentiments—from Rachel Antonoff, Los Angeles–based 323, and others, as well as flower arrangements by Garden Collage surrounding the lobby entrance.
The play, Women of Manhattan, by John Patrick Shanley, was directed by Martha Gehman and starred Nathalie Love and Samantha Ressler (the cofounders of the collective), Jackie Shea, Armen Weitzman, and Bechir Sylvain. The story follows three fabulous women, and their lives in 1980s New York City, who navigate their way through friendships, relationships, and ultimately—their own identities. “This play really spoke to us because it is about friendship and self-discovery,” discussed Ressler and Love, “We are all trying to grapple with the idea of our place in the world and the hope is this sparks a dialogue for everyone.” After a standing ovation for both performances, a very loud buzz could be heard as guests headed downstairs to continue the celebration and fundraising for Planned Parenthood.
The multifaceted gallery and shop space, showcasing multiple short films, photographs, and paintings from local women artists, was curated by Laura Watters. Guests—and artists featured—included Gia Coppola, Alina Perkins (who also designed the set for Women of Manhattan), and Pamela Hanson, who all came out to show their support. Love and Ressler agreed that their hope for the future of the collective is to continue their backing of Planned Parenthood. “They provide an invaluable service to our community that we want to support in any way we can,” said the duo. Guests danced into the night to a DJ set by Allie Teilz, and stepped out of the space carrying shopping bags, theater programs, and even tacos from Susan Feniger’s Border Grill. The success of the event shouldn’t be anomalous; Love and Ressler urged other women with a creative voice to take action. Photos of the event here
This weekend, March 10 and 11, at the historic Palace Theater in Los Angeles, Nathalie Love and Samantha Ressler will debut their production of Women of Manhattan—a witty 1986 play written by John Patrick Shanley—and donate 100 percent of the proceeds to Planned Parenthood. "Planned Parenthood is open to anyone in need of reproductive healthcare and sex education, regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation," Nathalie says. "Sam and I both feel that their policy of inclusion is the most important thing right now." In their rendition of Women of Manhattan, directed by Martha Gehman, Nathalie, Samantha and Jackie Shea portray three Upper West Side women who are deeply frustrated with their personal lives. "Billie describes this hunger, this insatiable appetite, this feeling of never being satisfied and always wanting more," Nathalie explains of her character. "I really relate to that." It was Nathalie and Sam's own dissatisfaction that led to their recent founding of We the Women, the collective that is presenting the play, as well as the corresponding art show. "Just one talented woman after the next came on board," Nathalie says. "It just grew, and all of us knew why we had to do it—we all were so upset, so angry at what is happening in the world. Everyone rallied around the idea of putting energy into a project that benefitted PlannedParenthood." In the following interview, Nathalie discusses We the Women and Women of Manhattan, and also talks women's rights, women's marches, and the future for females. Full article here
“We had this idea in back of our heads about creating a female-centric company that supports women,” says actress Nathalie Love, “and then with everything that was happening politically, we had this energy and anger inside that propelled us into action.” The idea that Love is referring to is a collective, We the Women, that she founded with close friend (they basically finish each other’s sentences) and fellow actress Samantha Ressler. The two previously worked together on Ressler’s web series, and had been kicking around the idea of another project since. “What you have to do these days as an actress is create your own content,” Love adds.
The concept started (relatively) small: The friends set out to put on a play with collaborator Jackie Shea, and the idea snowballed into a more-than-production company and large-scale, two-evening benefit in service of Planned Parenthood. All proceeds from tickets to the play, John Patrick Shanley’s Women of Manhattan, were donated to the cause; 100 artists and friends of Love and Ressler donated pieces to be auctioned off at the event, which took place in Los Angeles this past weekend. (You can still purchase art and make donations via their website.)
Full article here