Embracing, encouraging and empowering

Woman-centered arts festival enters second year on Aurora stages

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“Embrace-Encourage-Empower” is the subtitle for The Athena Project, a woman-centered Arts Festival, in its second year.

Occurring around Aurora, the festival involves women from across the metro area.

It includes a World Premiere play, “Government Issued Long Johns” by Erin Wagoner,” the 2013 new play winner; four workshop presentations of new Plays-in-Progress; a Utopia/Dystopia Fashion Show; dance performances, music and a display of works by visual artists.

In addition, there is a “Girls Write PIP Series,” run in conjunction with Girls Inc., which teaches young women how to write a play. Performances will be at 10 a.m. March 30 at the Aurora Fox Mainstage. Tickets: $10/$5.

Events are all in Aurora within a few blocks of each other at the Aurora Fox Studio Theatre, 9900 E. Colfax; the Aurora Cultural Arts District Studio, 1400 Dallas Street and the Kim Robards Dance Studio, 9990 E. Colfax.

• Opening night receptions: 5 to 8 p.m. March 14 at the ACAD Studio and March 15 at Kim Robards Dance Studio. Musical guest SuCH performs at 6 p.m. March 14.

• “Government Issued Long Johns” takes a satiric look at what constitutes a good citizen as Jane raises questions about her society where sex is forbidden. Performances: 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays at the Aurora Fox Studio Theatre. Tickets $22/$20, 303-739-1970, www.athenaprojectfestival.org.

• Female choreographers will present original dance pieces from 11:30 to 12:30 a.m. March 22 and 29 at the ACAD Studio. Tickets: $12/$10.

• Four Plays in Progress will each have two workshop productions, where audience feedback is invited. All plays at the Aurora Fox Studio. Tickets: $12:

“Crazy Patterns” by Melissa Lucero McCarl, directed by Amanda Flageole, will play at 7 p.m. March 20 and 1 p.m. March 22.

“Harm's Way” by Marilyn Harris Kriegel, directed by Alicia Wheelock, plays at 4 p.m. March 22 and 7 p.m. March 23.

“Relative Communications” by Nicolette Vatjay, directed by Tracy Shaffer, plays at 7 p.m. March 27 and 1 p.m. March 29.

“Paradise” by Laura Marie Censabella, directed by Danielle Lombardo, plays at 4 p.m. March 29 and 7 p.m. March 30.

• Musical performances will run one hour before theater events at the ACAD Studio.

• Visual Arts are exhibited at the ACAD Studio during studio hours.

• The Utopia/Dystopia Fashion Show Fundraiser will be at 8 p.m. March 26 at the Aurora Fox Studio Theatre. Tickets: $25 and includes a gift bag for attendees.

• Dance performances at the Kim Robards Dance Studio will be from 4:30-5:30 p.m. March 23 and 30. Tickets $12/$10.