Shoptalk is a casual salon-style gathering of theater makers engaging with the pressing topics that define theater today. For this installment, we consider the past and current trials, tribulations, and accomplishments of women in theater. Typically held around a dining table, this presentation will be the first time these intimate conversations are opened up to a broader public.

Guest participants include Maria Goyanes, Marsha Norman, Tamilla Woodard, Ginia Bellafante (moderator), and Shakina Nayfack.

Artist Bios

Maria Goyanes
Maria Goyanes joined the staff of The Public Theater in 2004 as an Artistic Associate under Producer George C. Wolfe, and is currently the Associate Producer to the Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis. As Associate Producer, she is responsible for producing a full season of plays and musicals at the five-theater venue at Astor Place and at The Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park. While at the Public, she has worked with hundreds of artists, including David Byrne, Suzan-Lori Parks, Alex Timbers, Michael Friedman, Phyllida Lloyd, Lisa Kron, Jeanine Tesori, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tommy Kail and Julie Taymor. In addition, Maria was the Executive Producer of Obie-award winning 13P (13 Playwrights, Inc.), a 13-play project founded with a collective of writers that included Sarah Ruhl, Young Jean Lee, Anne Washburn, Lucy Thurber, and Sheila Callaghan. She ran the Soho Rep Writer/ Director Lab for two years developing work with David Adjmi, Jason Grote, Karinne Keithley, and Mike Daisey, among others. She was the recipient of the Josephine Abady Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women. She graduated from Brown University and is a first generation American hailing from Jamaica, Queens.

Marsha Norman
Marsha Norman won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for her play, ‘night, Mother, and a Tony award for the book to her musical, The Secret Garden. She is co-chair, with Chris Durang, of the Playwriting Program at The Juilliard School. Her newest projects include the book for the musical King Kong, and a play about trafficking and violence toward women worldwide. She won a Peabody award for her work in television, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation. She won the Margo Jones Award, the Sidney Kingsley Award and the William Inge Lifetime Achievement Award in Playwriting. She writes and lectures frequently on playwriting and the musical book. She serves on the Board of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. She is a founder and President of The Lilly Awards Foundation, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Tamilla Woodard
Tamilla is a theatre director working nationally and internationally. Currently, she is serving as the Artistic Director of The Five Boroughs/One City Project, a multi year initiative of The Working Theater. She is co-founder of PopUp Theatrics, a partnership creating site specific and immersive productions and collaborations around the world. She is a current Time Warner Directing Fellow at the Women’s Project Theater Lab, a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab and former Audrey Fellow at New Georges. She graduated from The Yale School of Drama’s Acting program and is the recipient of The Josephine Abady Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women and The Charles Bowden Award from New Dramatists.

Ginia Bellafante (Panel Moderator)
Ginia Bellafante is an American writer and critic for The New York Times. She was a Senior Writer for Time Magazine, and has worked for The New York Times for over a decade, starting as a fashion critic, reviewing off-Broadway theater, and then spending the next five years reviewing television. She currently writes the weekly column “Big City” devoted to life, culture, politics and policy in New York City.

Shakina Nayfack
Originally from Southern California, Shakina has enjoyed an eclectic career as a performer, director, writer, producer, and social activist. In 2015 she became the first transgender woman to receive a Lilly Award recognizing the remarkable contributions to the American Theatre made by women. Her autobiographical rock musicals One Woman Show (2013) and PostOp (2015) both premiered to soldout houses at Joe’s Pub, and will be returning to the Public Theater for encore engagements in June. This summer she will be joining the second season of the Hulu original comedy series Difficult People. Shakina is also the Founding Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory, a volunteerbased organization dedicated to helping musical theatre artists develop and present new work. More at Follow her on the socials: @shakeenz