New Girl Theatre Project Fails to Find Audience


Girl Improved Reading - April 2015 - Ground Floor Theatre, Austin, TX | Pictured: Lisi Sweeten, Liliana Sweeten, Zia Kinzy, Grayce Fischer

Girl Improved Reading – April 2015 – Ground Floor Theatre, Austin, TX | Pictured: Lisi Sweeten, Liliana Sweeten, Zia Kinzy, Grayce Fischer

| Four girls attempting to overcome audience reluctance to vacate their home theaters are shocked to discover that live theatre is dead in Austin. |


AUSTIN, Texas – July 3, 2015 – Two new one-act plays centered around adolescent girls open next week at Ground Floor Theatre. Ten months in the making, four Austin girls gamely attempt to attract an audience by devising, directing and producing new works from a girl’s point-of-view. They discovered that live theatre is dead.

“Losing girls during the writing stage should have been a clue,” Grayce Fischer (13) sighs. Originally a group of nine girls convened to create change. Nine turned into eight, eight turned into seven, so by the end of the writing portion of the project, Girl Improved was down to four. The girls who quit knew that writing for low-budget theatre is so last-week. Undeterred, the four remaining adolescents entered production, only to be met with a massive barrier. “We couldn’t find actors,” states Liliana Sweeten (13), “I need people to direct.” After weeks of casting notices and multiple auditions, with few additional outside actors in the mix, the girls had to settle on casting themselves and their parents in multiple roles. Obstacle two: Actors are not willing to take a risk on new works with new directors and a new theatre company.

Fully cast and with reinvigorated optimism, marketing commenced. A novel idea, support for girls, fresh works for theatre, creating change, all seemed newsworthy. However, after multiple press releases, a social media campaign, word-of-mouth, and a 2-for-1 sale on admission, the girls are staring into next week with a pre-sale of 14 tickets. “Maybe we should have a Harry Potter marathon, instead,” Zia Kinzy (12) laments. Lisi Sweeten (11) adds, “Does this mean I shouldn’t set my goals on a theatrical career?”

Despite the fact that all seems grim, and with an exuberance that only youth can emit, rehearsals, marketing and the hard work it takes to create theatre continues. And if the girls have learned one thing in the process, it’s that failure is always an option.

Mentored by industry professionals, Girl Improved, an ImprovEd Shakespeare Project, teaches adolescent girls the skills needed to craft radical and original stories, creating opportunities for fair and positive representation of girls in the entertainment industry. Don’t see Girl Improved’s “Bad Spies” and “Jaded” at the Ground Floor Theatre, 979 Springdale Rd, July 9-18, Thurs-Sat, 7pm; Sun, 2pm. Tickets $10/$5 in advance, $15/$10 at the door. Or you can skip the show and donate, instead: