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In Memoriam: Julia Miles, Co-Founder of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Stage Directions • Industry NewsTheatre Buzz • March 26, 2020

Julia Miles

The League of Professional Theatre Women announced that one of their co-founders, Julia Miles, passed away on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, following a long illness.

Julia Miles was an influential theatrical force for decades, making her impact felt in New York City theatre and especially in the lives of women theatre artists. At the League’s Theatre Women Awards in 2016 Estelle Parsons said, “I remember the very first meeting of the very beginnings of the League, at the bottom of an escalator at the old American Place Theatre on West 46th Street, where Julia Miles had the Women’s Project downstairs. It was 1982. There we were—me, Julia, Margot Lewitin, Liz McCann, and I think Marsha Norman—out in the middle of the downstairs lobby, standing around, discussing what we wanted this new organization [The League of Professional Theatre Women] to be, and how we were going to make it happen.”

Miles also co-created Julia’s Reading Room, which continues to provide a place for women playwrights and directors to hear their work. After many readings in Miles’ living room, Julia’s Reading Room became an important, supportive space for many artists. Over a glass of wine, cheese and crackers, someone’s homemade cookies, you could hear your work out loud and know that the feedback came from friends and colleagues who understood the process. League member Gail Kriegel, for instance, had her first two plays read there, which Julia then produced at The Women’s Project.

Kriegel and Maxine Kern wrote of the program’s impact, “Julia’s Reading Room was a way to get feedback, to network, and to make friendships. Julia was the one you could count on to be spot on about what worked and didn’t work in the script. We will never forget her, and we were proud to have worked with her.”

Further information from The League of Professional Theatre Women: www.theatrewomen.org

 

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