Following the release of the infamous Access Hollywood tape in which then-presidential candidate Donald Trump bragged about women letting him “grab them by the pussy,” more than twenty brave women came forward with their own stories of Trump’s sexual misconduct, molestation and abuse. These women were reduced to statistics and sidelined by Trump’s election, but their voices echo now with each powerful man brought down by the #metoo movement. As theater makers and storytellers, we are committed to amplifying their voices, revealing the difficult choices they’ve made, and celebrating their courage.
The Pussy Grabber Plays is a theatrical production comprised of a series of short plays inspired by interviews with these women, created by some of the most highly acclaimed young women writing for theater today including Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51), Halley Feiffer (I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard), Bess Wohl (Small Mouth Sounds), Melissa Li (Interstate), Natasha Stoynoff (Captive: A Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult, published by Simon & Schuster), Sharyn Rothstein (By The Water), Julia Brownell (NBC’s This Is Us), Sharon Kenny (Mrs. Hughes) and Sam Chanse (Trigger, Fruiting Bodies).
Telling the stories of seven women who have come forward at great personal cost, in addition to one play about all of the women who have not come forward, The Pussy Grabber Plays is a tapestry of hurt and humor, disgust and courage, honesty and anger. Each play focuses on different aspects of the women’s stories and their experiences – from telling their families what happened to them, to deciding to come forward, to their questioning and confrontation of victimhood, sexism and power.
With an all-female creative and producing team working on a completely volunteer basis, The Pussy Grabber Plays kicked off in a production on Monday, January 14th at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York.
The plays are now available royalty-free for any group that wants to perform the plays and join in our mission. It is our hope that theaters, community groups, colleges and universities around the country use this opportunity to create their own productions, readings, and presentations of the play, spreading awareness, sparking conversation, and ultimately bringing change. We ask that proceeds from productions be donated to local and national woman's organizations.
Proceeds from our January 14 The Pussy Grabber Plays Kickoff went to support:
The Fund is a vehicle to ensure that the momentum and awakening of the #MeToo Movement is sustained beyond news cycles and hashtags, by supporting organizations around the country working to prevent sexual violence and harassment and promote the healing of survivors and victims. Its creation builds on The Foundation’s long history of responding to the needs of women leaders who are building transformational movements and investing in community-led solutions that confront gender violence in New York City.
The first grant recipients are:
Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective – Los Angeles, CA
Black Women’s Blueprint - National, New York City
DC Rape Crisis Center - Washington, D.C.
Equality Labs - National
FreeFrom – Los Angeles, CA
The Firecracker Foundation – Lansing, MI
The “me too.” Movement - National
Violence Intervention Program – New York City
The New York Women’s Foundation
Since 1987, The New York Women’s Foundation has advanced a dynamic philanthropic strategy based on the fundamental reality that, when women thrive, their families and communities also thrive. The Foundation’s grantmaking places it at the top of public women’s foundations in the United States, and in the top two in the world. We invest in women-led, community-based solutions that promote the economic security, safety, and health of the most vulnerable women in New York City. We foster women’s leadership, create partnerships that spark catalytic change, exchange insights with experts across sectors, and empower women by training them in activism and philanthropy to accelerate and sustain forward progress. Visit www.nywf.org to learn more about our work to transform lives, families, and communities – and create a better New York City for all.
For more information, please see NYWF’s Fund Launch press release