Look no further than LaRita Shelby if you’re in need of a voice to express the understanding that theater is a vehicle for telling stories and that “our stories give us the power to transform ourselves and others.”
Shelby, former Memphian, actress, singer, writer, broadcaster and media professional, has been named honorary chairperson of the second biennial Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis (WTFM) August 7-9.
“I got my start in the theatre in Memphis and received exemplary training,” said Shelby, who has appeared on the air, on stages and on screens around the globe. “I accept this honor with a charge to build domestic and global cohesiveness within the creative community, and to forge new alliances among those in the creative and performing arts.”
The Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis (WTFM) will shine the spotlight on the works of female playwrights, directors, and artists, etc. during the three-day event specifically designed to give more exposure to women in the arts. The event takes place at four venues in the Midtown Theatre District of Memphis: Playhouse on the Square, The Circuit Playhouse, TheatreWorks and the new Hattiloo Theatre.
As honorary chairperson, Shelby will emcee the Gyneka Awards Gala, the opening ceremony for WTFM. Gyneka is the Greek word for woman. Grecian women were denied the right to perform in the theatre and the Gyneka Awards represent “barrier breakers and strong women who never gave up their God ordained talent.”
Thirty-six performances, workshops and readings will take place during the festival. WTFM received submissions from over 50 theatrical and dance companies in the U.S. and abroad and this year accepted an international submission from Australia. Organizers said it is the first international women’s theatre festival in the world.
“As we highlight and recognize women for their artistic talent and dedication, LaRita Shelby exemplifies what we are about, and as a former Memphian she was a perfect fit, said WTFM Founder and Executive Producer Karen Moore.
Shelby currently has a stage production in development with Memphis playwright Levi Frazier Jr. and she is a contributing reporter for EURweb.com. Her film acting credits include “Walk By Faith, Kings of The Evening” and the movie “South Central.”
On August 8th at 3 p.m. at The Circuit Playhouse, Shelby will conduct a special workshop titled Acting: From The Stage to the Soundstage.
To donate, purchase tickets or for more information click here: www.WomensTheatreFestivalofMemphis.org.