“a city of women”

“I’m spending my days and nights in a city of women,” wrote Barbara Baracks of the Village Voice. From the start of the WOW Cafes home in the East Village, it was more than just a theater. It was a community for woman of all walks of life. It is interesting to read about how woman were “spilling into the streets” and how the area was ‘like the town square of a blossoming lesbian village.” It’s incredible to imagine what this must have been like for women of the time searching for a place to call their home.

The crowds of woman at the WOW Cafe were extremely diverse. There were “middle-class women from the Midwest, working class New Yorkers, straight women, butches, femmes,” etc. What’s amazing about this is that no one was judged. Everybody was there experiencing the same thing and getting what they wanted out of it.

The WOW Cafe is truly a unique place being that it is run by nobody in particular. By helping each other out with shows and taking care of business at the storefront, the theater has stayed alive. Although there have been failures, it’s inspiring to read about the success that these woman achieved through much hard work.

“What I thought I was doing was falling in love,” wrote Holly Hughes. While some of the women at these productions weren’t even lesbians, most of them were having sex with each other. This was very radical in the 80’s. It was an “erotically charged atmosphere.” WOW has always been about theater, but due to the women bee free-spirited, there were much sexual acts going on as well. By having the doors open to anyone who wishes to come, the WOW theater has created a community and an experience for people of all walks of life.