A guest post from the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project

It was the final offering of Tennessee Women’s Theater Project 3rd annual Women’s Work festival of works created by women. Although we’d had some truly stunning presentations (poetry, music, music, dance, play readings, 1-woman shows – you name it!) I’d felt like I was saving the best for last: the only Nashville screening of Pamela Tanner Boll’s documentary, Who Does She Think She Is?

We’re tiny . . . and young . . . and word of our festival is just beginning to get around. In other words, attendance is not blow-the-doors-off-standing-room-only – yet. So, as screening time neared, I worried – I wanted this film to be seen! I needn’t have fretted. Word had indeed gotten out, and there soon began a steady stream of people – mostly women – through our doors. Happy, happy Founding Artistic Director!

I couldn’t have hoped for a more engaged, more receptive audience. These women, many of them artists themselves, took in every word. We sat – some 60 of us – together in the dark. We were riotous, we were reverent, we laughed, we chortled, we wept – we felt blessed. No one was disappointed – and no one wanted to leave. We sat through the credits, and when it was all over women (and some men) lingered in the theater, then slowly made their way to the lobby – and lingered a while longer. We felt a part of something important. We, the artists in the crowd, felt important . . . and validated . . . and strong.

To the women and men who shared that screening with me, I say “thank you.” To Pamela Tanner Boll, her cohorts in truth and beauty, and everyone who was a part of this glorious film, I say “thank you.” To those of you who have not yet seen Who Does She Think She Is?, I say, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??!!”

Maryanna Clarke
Founding Artistic Director
Tennessee Women’s Theater Project


3 Responses to “A guest post from the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project”

  1. I was experiencing one of those days in the life of a painter when the passion for your craft gets overwhelmed by the responsibilities and roles you play in daily life. When it looks so hard to keep yourself going that you consider an alternate path. And you wish for someone to show up to pull you along.

    As I went into self-doubt mode about the decision to become a working artist I heard the plink of an incoming email. A friend forwarded the URL for the film Who Does She Think She Is, and because this is a friend I love and trust, I took the time to watch the trailer. Then I replayed it twice, riveted to the small window – taking in every meaningful word. After just a few minutes of listening to and watching these strong, articulate women artists, my whole day changed and so did my world.

    It was like being instantly pulled into a community of close, understanding friends. I was so moved by the connection I made to these women and how inspired I was after only seeing the preview, that I contacted the producer to find out how to buy the film and promote it. It is with deep gratitude that I thank Pamela Tanner Boll for her commitment to create this film.

    As a woman artist, you will find an infusion of strength in this film. It is a hand to hold onto that will pull you back into your authentic life. And for everyone else, it is an access to a deeper understanding of living life as a creative human being.

    Congratulations on a film that is destined to make a big difference in every community!

  2. Wow! Truly amazing. I love the work your doing. We need our arts more than ever in tough times! Thank you for hosting us. And stay in touch.

  3. Maryanna:

    Thanks so much for sharing!! I am always so humbled and happy when I hear of the responses to the film. Also, love hearing about screenings in the South, as I am sort of a Southerner–born in Texas and raised in West Virginia.

    yours, Pamela

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