SWAN Day Pittsburgh 2015: One Show, Sixty Women and Tons of Talent


They stitched the first flag, penned the world’s most infamous novels, founded the Red Cross, and invented windshield wipers, among many, many other things…“They” are the women who have made major contributions to our human history, and, one month each year, we celebrate their achievements.

March is Women’s History Month, and, if you’re looking for a special way to mark the occasion, No Name Players’ annual offering is right up your alley. Each year, the group celebrates the women who are making history right now, by hosting an event known as SWAN Day.

“SWAN” is an acronym for “Support Women Artists Now,” and that’s exactly what No Name Players’ unique event aims to encourage and accomplish. The event showcases the work of females on the forefront of the arts and promotes increased awareness about the ways women are currently contributing to, and reshaping, culture.

This year’s event will be held at 8 pm on Saturday, March 14, at The Twentieth Century Club in Oakland, and the impressive multidisciplinary lineup will feature world premiere works by more than sixty local female artists, including, but not limited to, musicians, dancers, theater artists, filmmakers and visual artists.

According to No Names Players Producing Artistic Director Tressa Glover, SWAN Day Pittsburgh 2015 will be comprised of three short plays, three musical numbers, three choreographed dance performances, two short films and a variety of other pre-show, interlude and standing room exhibits. There will even be a number of visual artists on hand, each painting live in the audience, in response to the performances of her peers.

The entire event is expected to last under two hours, which, Glover said, means just about every minute is going to be jam-packed with creative genius. What’s more, she went on, the multidisciplinary, multi-artist showcase will not only be well-rounded, but also cohesive, as the individual pieces are intimately connected.

Artists were asked to submit works in response to a prompt (“Everyone has an untold story hidden behind closed doors. Try to understand that people are not always as they first seem.”). Glover explained that SWAN Day Pittsburgh 2015 contributions were compiled in three concerted movements: first by selecting theatre scripts that exemplified this prompt; then by sharing the scripts with musicians, who were asked to interpret the script in their music; and then by sharing the music with choreographers, who were tasked to use the music in their creations.

The films, which are stand-alone pieces, and the visual arts displayed in the gallery were also inspired by the initial prompt, as were the many other surprises slated for Saturday.

Tickets for SWAN Day Pittsburgh 2015 can be purchased in advance online at ShowClix or on the day of the show, at The Twentieth Century Club. Student discounts are available with valid school ID.

Doors open at 7:15 pm and everyone in attendance will get a chance to take a piece of the evening home with them. With your ticket purchase, you’ll also receive a raffle ticket, to try your luck at giveaways for items related to the arts, such as theatre tickets, CDs and artwork.

This will be the seventh year No Names Players has hosted a SWAN Day Pittsburgh event. Over the past six years, the group has brought the work of more than 300 women into the limelight—and, with more than sixty artists on the books for 2015, the numbers keep growing.

The first SWAN Day Pittsburgh was inspired by the international SWAN Day movement, in conjunction with WomenArts. Though scores of other cities across the world are involved in this movement, No Name Players and SWAN Day Pittsburgh is one of only seven official SWAN Day partners, as named by SWAN Day co-founder and Executive Director of WomenArts, Martha Richards. The other six SWAN Day partners are in Bulgaria, Kenya, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Florida.

In other words, SWAN Day Pittsburgh is making a global mark in the arts and drawing attention to local artists, giving Pittsburgh a cultural accolade to be proud of—and, it’s giving local patrons of the arts a unique way to celebrate the women, and the city, around them.

“There’s an energy that happens at this show, unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before,” Glover told us. “It’s a community event, happening here in Pittsburgh, presented by people who live here and work here, who want to celebrate all the area has to offer and support the many incredible things Pittsburgh women are doing.”

Wanna be a part of this celebration? What are you waiting for?!?! Get your tickets now!