Philadelphia culture pushes boundaries at the Wilma Theater.
A 1929 essay by Virginia Woolf entitled A Room of One’s Own uses a fictional sister of William Shakespeare—Judith—to make a point that a woman with intelligence equal to the iconic poet and playwright would lack similar opportunity and acclaim.
Inspired by this character, artistic director Jiri Zizka reimagined Judith in 1973 as a woman who had a space to express herself. The Wilma Project represented this woman with her new name, and it later evolved into a critically-acclaimed destination for the performing arts.
The Wilma Theater’s mission centers around producing adventurous and imaginative works that are bold and impeccably executed. Taking a liberal approach to choosing and producing pieces that go against the grain, the theater’s creatives maintain high standards for every element of the stage.
Recent showings include Danai Gurira’s 2014 play The Convert, a unique look at colonial South Africa circa 1895 from the point of view of a young local woman who chooses a newly discovered Christian faith over an arranged marriage. Don Juan Comes Home from Iraq was another boundary-pushing production from 2014. Premiering at the Wilma Theater, the play from Paula Vogel told the story of a veteran exploring the streets and history of Philadelphia in search of his lost lover.
The thought-provoking stories that frequent the Wilma make it a distinguished hub of Philadelphia culture. To discover what would happen if Judith was let free with her inherent Shakespearean brilliance, swing by the Wilma Theater for a play that you probably won’t find on Broadway.