A Guide to Its Records at Georgia State University
University Georgia State University Library Special Collections and Archives 100 Decatur St., SE Atlanta, GA 30303-3202 404-651-2477 Fax: 404-651-4314 firstname.lastname@example.org
EAD version 2002 finding aid created in
XMetaL 4.5 by Morna Gerrard,
Georgia State University Library,
Special Collections and Archives,
EstroFest Productions, Inc.
7 linear ft. (in
Established in 1999, EstroFest
Productions, Inc. produced and sponsored programs that promoted and affirmed
the creative talents and technical skills of women in the visual, performing
and fine arts. EstroFest was active until the end of 2003. The records contain
administrative records, documentation of EstroFest performances, and reference
Organization of the Records
Organized into 3 series:
Series I: Administrative Records
Series II: EstroFest Productions, Inc. Productions
Series III: Reference Files
Scope and Content of the Records
The EstroFest Productions, Inc. Records, 1997-2004, are comprised of
founding documents, administrative files, grant-writing files, publicity
materials such as programs, flyers, and press-releases, photographs, videos and
reference files. The bulk of the collection highlights EstroFest's performances
between 2001 and 2003.
History of EstroFest Productions, Inc.
Established in 1999, EstroFest Productions, Inc. produced and
sponsored programs that promoted and affirmed the creative talents and
technical skills of women in the visual, performing and fine arts. EstroFest
was active until the end of 2003, at which time its co-founder and director,
Ruth Anna Millman, resigned.
Throughout the fall of 1999, several Atlanta women directors and
actresses came together to discuss the possibility of creating a playreading
festival to promote the work of women playwrights and women-centered plays, and
to see more of those produced in Atlanta. This group included Rachel May, Sarah
Raskin, Josie Burgin Lawson, and Stephanie Harvey. Others who became involved
included Shayna Nickel who, for three years, had been producing the successful
Big Mama Cinefest at IMAGE Film and Video Center; dancer Martha Donovan, who
had worked on The Spare Rib Festival while at Northwestern University; and Ruth
Anna Millman. Also a Northwestern alum, Millman had already produced two events
that combined arts with women's activism. By February 2001, with a core group
of artists - 21 curators and production staff - EstroFest Productions, Inc.
created Atlanta's first women's arts festival.
Estrofest Projects, 2001-2003
Seen + Heard: The Atlanta Women's Arts Festival (February 2001)
honored and celebrated the varied experiences of women of all shapes, sizes,
colors, creed, sexual orientations, and ages through multiple avenues of art
and creativity. The festival's purpose was to explore what it means to be a
woman through the art of process and the process of art. It was hoped that the
festival would connect its audience with information on various women-centered
organizations and resources, and that, through the festival, there would be
recognition within the Atlanta community of the work of women artists. Cool
Girls, Inc. and Charis Circle were chosen to be beneficiaries of the
The Twilight Moonbeam Ball (December 2001) was a winter fundraiser
performance party for EstroFest Productions. It was a lunar-themed event that
featured the spoken word and poetry of local lesbian artists and San Francisco
spoken word artist Thea Hillman. The show promoted the works of over 20 local
women artists (mostly lesbian), and was technically managed and produced by
The performance The Weather Equals the
World (February-March 2002) incorporated theater, dance, spoken word,
music, and video to examine the parallels between weather and human perception.
It included a photography exhibit exploring similar themes, curated by
Sistagraphy, a local African-American photography collective.
The Weather Equals the World offered both a
meditative and light-hearted examination of weather phenomena and mood
fluctuations, and the performers blended original and found text, movement, and
music generated largely through the rehearsal process. The result was a
personal and reflective glimpse into the overlapping worlds of six women. The
purpose in creating the show was to examine the relationship between weather
and the human spirit through art, and to transfer that knowledge to help women
in Altanta with mental illness. The New Learning Center, an Atlanta non-profit
which helped low-income and medically underserved women with mental illness was
the benefitting organization.
Vamp/Revamp (June 2002, PushPush Theater) was EstroFest's first Gay
Pride production honoring the lesbian experience in art and culture. Featured
shows included Underground TRANSit (starring Kt
Kilborn and Angela Motter) and KINGdom Come.
Damaged but Not Dead...And Other Hilarious Survival Stories (October
19-20, 2002) was produced by invitation for First glance Atlanta - a festival
of new works. All the performers wrote/chorographed/created their own works
about their personal survival stories. Performers included artists from Atlanta
and New York; African-American, Asian-American and Hispanic-American artists;
and lesbian artists. Topics addressed in the performances included food
addiction, mourning the death of an abusive father, families and alcoholism,
corporate conformity, and ageism. Damaged, But Not
Dead was written and performed by Colleen O'Hare, and the "other
hilarious survival stories" were told by Jennie Row (Wanna Be K-Girl), Ruth Anna Millman (Cryophobia), Christine Suarez (Drunken Butterfly), Martha Donovan (Father's Day), Kt Kilborn (Falling
as Sport), and Robin G. White (For the Love of
The Lysistrata Project (March 3, 2003) was produced to oppose the war
in Iraq, provide a humorous entree into a health community dialogue about
"diplomacy by violence," and raise money for organizations that work for peace
and human rights. The idea for the project was born in January 2003, when New
York actresses Kathryn Blume and Sharron Bower were inspired by Theaters
Against War to do something about their feelings regarding the war in Iraq. The
resulting project turned into a world-wide theater event for peace.
Lysistrata is a comedy by Greek dramatist
Aristophanes, and tells the story of a group of women from opposing states who
unite to end the Peloponnesian War. In Atlanta in March 2003, five other
theater groups were doing their own readings of Lysistrata, therefore EstroFest's reading was
purposefully gender-bent and re-sexually oriented. Men played women and women
played men; the majority of the characters were changed to gays, trans, and
The Rage Project (March 21-30, 2003) was a provocative, investigative,
and sometimes humorous exporation of anger, aggression, and violence in women
through theater, dance, performance art, film, and photography. It included the
telling of stories of women in history often not heard because they have been
incarcerated. The project included: Rage
Within/Without, written and performed by Kathy Rendels;
Seeing Red: Film Shorts, curated by Genevieve
McGillicuddy; Fume, written and directed by
Melissa Foulger and writen and performed by Thersa Cunningham, Tamara
Madison-Shaw, Alka Roy and Ruth Anna Millman; Manifestations of Rage: Photography Exhibit by
Sistagraphy; Blind Spot: Murder by Women, a video
directed by Irving Sarah, Allie Light, and Julie Hilder
Dykes with Baggage (June 12-22, 2003 at
PushPush Theater; June 28-30 touring in Atlanta for Gay Pride weekend) was
Atlanta's second lesbian-targeted annual Gay Pride performance project honoring
the lesbian experience. Based on the book of the same title edited by Riggin
Waugh and featuring material by writers Laura A. Vess and C.C. Carter, Dykes
with Baggage was a humorous and touching look at lesbians in therapy, with
writings by prominent lesbian writers and cartoonists from across America.
Three actresses, Heather Starkel, Deisha Oliver, and Melissa Travis, played all
of the characters.
Biography of Ruth Anna Millman
After graduating from Northwestern University in 1994 with a BS in
Speech, Ruth Anna Millman worked at Turner Classic Movies where she was an
award-winning writer/producer of entertainment documentaries. A native of
Atlanta, Millman has been performing since she was 10, first with the Ruth
Mitchell Dance Company, Horizon Theater Teen Ensemble, Georgia Shakespeare
Festival and Onstage Atlanta. Since graduating from Northwestern, Millman
performed with Dad's Garage Theater Company, Theater Gael, Sol-stice Repertory,
and Horizon Theater New Horizon's Project. In 1997, Millman helmed a
theater/benefit project at Horizon Theater, which raised money for Georgia
State University's Women's Studies Institute. Millman also volunteered for
local feminist and arts organizatins: she was a member of MAFIA (Metro Atlanta
Feminists in Action) - a group of young women working for economic, racial adn
social justice; Charis Circle; and IMAGE Film and Video. Millman was Co-Founder
and Artistic Director for EstroFest Productions, Inc. Millman resigned from
EstroFest in 2003, and is currently a Supervising Producer for the Travel
Channel in Washington, D.C.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the
Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring
materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog
using these headings.
Restrictions on Access
Access to one file is restricted. All requests subject to limitations
noted in departmental policies on reproduction.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any
publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection,
the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical
property and (2) the holder of the copyright. Persons wishing to quote from
this collection should consult the reference archivist to determine copyright
holders for information in this collection. Reproduction of any item must
contain the complete citation to the original.
[item], [Folder title], [series title], EstroFest Productions, Inc.
Records, W081, Archives for Research on Women and Gender. Special Collections
and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.