A System of Anarchy and Acceptence

“WOW is a thirty-woman collective with no one in charge. More than a theater company, it’s a community. If you’re just interested in putting up a show, WOW may not be for you. Here you have to care about the collective.”

-Lisa Kron, 1990

The WOW theatre is a very progressive space, not only in the people who inhabit it, but the way it is run. WOW believes in a system of anarchy, where the only rule is to not follow the rules. Putting this belief in an average societal town may lead to chaos, but that is exactly the kind of effect that WOW hopes for. The definition of unorganized chaos. I think that this is a brilliant way to construct a small creative community of people. It promotes diversity and celebrates what some may consider as taboo. It also allows people to be as creative as they want to be at any given moment, which leads to better works of art and a happier work environment. You were pretty much free to be, at a time when women were told to follow orders and be submissive. That is what attracted a lot of women to the WOW theatre. They could come to meetings on Tuesday nights and be apart of something extremely unique. Although it was not always a jovial or healthy environment, it was always dynamic. You felt included under any circumstance and were treated as an important member of their small community.

WOW was not like any other feminist organization at the time. It was liberal in a time of narrow-mindedness. It allowed women of all ends of the spectrum to join in and did not discriminate for what they were or were not. The theatre and casting director, Heidi Griffiths, sums up the accepting brand of the WOW when she says “I came from this feminist palace where everything was very button-down, and here was a place where you could be whatever you wanted. You could be a butch or a femme or a straight woman who was married.” WOW was a place unlike any other in New York, or in America for that matter, and was an ideal place for women who wanted to celebrate difference in themselves and acceptance through the WOW community.