The Bechdel Test Fest

The Bridge Initiative: Women in Theatre is partnering with the Tempe Center for the Arts for our Bechdel Test Fest, September 9th & 10th.

Come and enjoy live music, an audition workshop, talkbacks, panel discussions, as well as workshops for children on site.

Selected plays and films satisfy the requirements of the Bechdel-Wallace Test: two female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man.

The concept that launched the Bechdel-Wallace Test appeared in 1985 in a comic series titled Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel, who attributes the idea to her friend Liz Wallace. It refers to the representation of women in film, and according to numerous press reports annually, many films continue to fail to meet its criteria. When conceiving of The Bechdel Test Fest, the Bridge Initiative decided to apply the test not only to film but also to theatre, charging writers to consider complex, diverse female characters when they sit down to write.

Festival Passes

Tickets are $8 adults / $5 students per show (plus service fees). Buy more and save!

Children’s Workshops

Workshops will be taught by valley professionals and will be available on site for kids 5-8 (fully potty trained, please) from 2-4 on Saturday and 12-2 on Sunday (pending enrollment). Cost is $10/child for the 2-hour workshop. Reservation and advance payment requested.

Questions? E-mail If we have sufficient interest in children’s workshops, we can offer additional sessions. Please let us know.

Festival Schedule

SATURDAY September 9th:

12pm: PANEL DISCUSSION – Why the Bechdel Test? The importance of diverse voices  (FREE EVENT!)

  • Moderators: Brenda Jean Foley & Tracy Liz Miller
  • Panelists:
    • Chandra Crudup (ASU School of Social Work)
    • Amanda Embry (Scottsdale Community College)
    • Jeff Kennedy (ASU West, Phoenix Theatre, iTheatre Collaborative)
    • Ralph Remington (Tempe Center for the Arts)
    • Diane Senffner (Cine Learning Productions)

2pm: CHOSEN CHILD by Monica Bauer, directed by Xanthia Walker  (FREE EVENT!)

  • Mothers and memories combine to change the fate of a schizophrenic man at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, who’s waiting for a sister he hardly knows, to fulfill an agreement that was never made. Adoption, obligation, and the ties that may, or may not, bind.
  • Stage Manager: Kristina Metz
  • Cast: Lizbette Benge, Austin Campbell, Patrick Morrison,  Liz Pollen, Shari Watts
  • 2pm-4pm Children’s workshop available: Registration required. Click here


  • STARLIGHT PASS (from Caelia Adams)
    • While dealing with the recent death of her husband, an architect wakes up in a vacation cabin, only to find her young daughter missing.
  • FOUR MILLIMETERS (from Morgan Callahan)
    • follows Emily, a competitive figure skater, as she makes a life changing decision between her skating career and her unexpected pregnancy.
  • PATCHWORK DREAMS (from Lee Quarrie)
    • The story of a young woman finding her way to her own vision for her
  • MISSION CONTROL (from Parco Richardson)
    • It’s never too early to accomplish your dreams. A child with a vivid imagination, Serenity Dexter, wishes to set foot on the moon. She’s clever and wont give up. As her mom taught her, “You have to think the impossible, to do the impossible.”
  • GIVING UP THE GHOST (from Jennifer Jones Nesbit)
    • Discovering the ones who truly love you is sometimes simply a matter of letting go of the ones who maybe don’t so much after all.
  • AUNTIES (from Dineta Williams-Trigg)
    • A young woman visiting her relatives, discovers a family secret.

6pm: EDGE Happy Hour (music mixer).  (FREE EVENT!)

8pm: WELCOME HOME, ROBERTA DUCANT by Larissa Brewington, directed by Christina Marín

  • Dark secrets, depression, and an inability to escape the past become a current day nightmare for a blended family trying to move forward physically. While leaving a hidden past behind.
  • Stage Manager: Rebekah Weagraff
    Cast: Thommi A’mal, Brian Foley, Lateisha Howe, Nadine Jackson, Karen Kirkland, Marceliño Quinonez, Amanda Rahaman


SUNDAY, September 10th:

12pm: ALL THAT MATTERS by Hira Ismail, directed by Daniela Talarico

  • Three years ago, Sara left her home to become a professional dancer against the wishes of her mother. She returns to try and salvage her relationships with her family while still staying true to her self.
  • Stage Manager: Sydney Haugen
  • Cast: Suzanne Aslam, Muneera Batool, Tarnim Bybee, Amanda Rahaman, Valerie Ritchie, Elayne Wheatle
  • 12pm-2pm Children’s workshop available: Registration required. Click here

2pm: ACTORS TOOLBOX,  The Business of Acting with casting director/actress Laura Durant.

3pm: Tandem Duo – musical performance (FREE EVENT!)


  • NASTY by Germaine Shames, directed by Micky Small
    • Peggy Guggenheim, Annemarie Schwarzenbach and Nancy Cunard, witnesses to the rise of Fascism,  time-travel to the era of pussycat hats. What can we learn today from the unlikely example of three defiant, determined and damaged heiresses?
  • THREE CONVERSATIONS NOT ABOUT MEN by Angelica Howland, directed by Rosie Close
    • In a world where active listening is becoming a lost art, how bizarre do our conversations with each other need to get so that someone… anyone… will pay attention?
  • 27 SIGNS by Laurelann Porter and Amy Funk, directed by Maren Maclean
    • An ethnographic drama based on the research conducted by Amy Funk about sibling grief, 27 Signs traces the stories of both the study participants and the researcher as they move through the experience of grieving the loss of a sibling.Stage manager: Kati Long
    • Cast: KatiBelle Collins, William Crook, Donny Gonkowski, Shae Kennedy Leonard, Laura Munoz Bottini, Julie Peterson, Shannon Phelps, Sasha Wordlaw

Event Sponsors

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”2″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”0″ thumbnail_width=”240″ thumbnail_height=”160″ thumbnail_crop=”1″ images_per_page=”20″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”0″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”View as Slideshow” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

Festival Selection Finalists

Below is the full list of finalists as announced on Facebook and Broadway World on July 9th, 2017.


Two Men Walk into a Bar – Monica Bauer
ILL – Lisbett Benge
Chosen Child – Monica Bauer
Welcome Home, Roberta Ducant – Larissa Brewington
Shades of Grey – Larissa Brewington
Adventures of a Modern-Day Spinster – Linnea Liu Dakin & Brenda Jean Foley
The Family Silk – Cody Goulder
Three Conversations NOT about Men – Angelica Howland
All that Matters – Hira Ismail
A Woman Onstage – Ilana Lydia
Modern Slave – Elaine Romero
Salome, AZ – Laurelann Porter
27 Signs – Laurelann Porter and Amy Funk
City of Ladies – Amanda Prahl
Nasty – Germaine Shames
Home – Alex Tuchi

Finalist Films

Starlight Pass – Caelia Adams
Four Millimeters – Morgan Callahan
Cos Love – Josh Essenberg
Down for D – Jenny Cohen Sanchez
Giving Up the Ghost – Jennifer Jones Nesbit
Small Happys – Lee Quarrie
Patchwork Dreams – Lee Quarrie
When It’s Time – Phil Ramirez
Mission Control – Parco Richardson
Aunties – Dineta Williams-Trigg