In fall 2004, several women in Austin, Texas who loved theater, but who were weary of the sexism that typically exists in theater practice and tradition, banded together to produce a feminist adaptation of Macbeth, performed by an all-female cast. The title of the play was The Weird Sisters, Hand in Hand, and because its topic was witch persecution, our program design (now our logo) depicted three women dancing in the woods, our fundraising party was a Hellraiser, and we reveled in a kind of modern-day, feminist coven. Our venue, a former convent chapel, provided a dream environment for a play that exposed and challenged Macbeth’s celebration of the sadistic and hypocritically religious King James I of England, for whom Shakespeare wrote the original play. Our cast and crew of twenty-five women collaborated in a marvelous production that re-imagined a classic tale from the perspective of its female characters.
We became The Weird Sisters Women’s Theater Collective, a loosely defined troupe of artists and audience who promote women’s work by providing a female-centric space for women to create and play together. Any woman who wants to be a member is a member; we also welcome pro-feminist men who are willing to support us artistically and cheer us on.
In addition to producing plays by, about, and for women, we also hold informal salons, readings, and workshops where we explore women’s issues and celebrate women’s work. Our fundraisers—legendary performance events in themselves—have included the aforementioned Hellraiser 2005, Sapphic Drag Fest 2006, Monster Mash 2006, and Under the Sea Prom 2007.