This week’s Wednesday 5 is all about women dominating the arts on multiple platforms: the small screen (the Emmys), the big screen (international film festivals), the stage (Off Broadway), and the page (the memoir as art). See how women are game-changers at this year’s Emmys, barrier-breakers at the Venice Film Festival, leading ladies on stage and behind the scenes, and authors of their own stories.


Game-Changing Women of the Emmys

The Oscars are no Emmys! This year, that’s a good thing, since the Oscars are increasingly criticized for their lack of women nominees—a reflection of  Hollywood’s dismal hiring statistics. But anyway, we’re focusing on the positive, and in this case we laud the abundance, not absence, of women nominated for Emmys this year in the gender-neutral categories. Meghan Casserly at Forbes believes that “Women Could Rule the Primetime Emmys.” Here’s the evidence: three of the six contenders for Outstanding Comedy Series are female-led: 30 Rock, Veep, and Girls; two women are nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, Girls’s  Lena Dunham and Parks And Recreation’s, Amy Poehler; and Lena Dunham is nominated again for Outstanding Directing for A Comedy Series. Let the floodgates open, says Casserly:

[For] smart dramas and sharp-tongued comedies that put both put women center-stage and behind the camera, calling the shots. In fact, television programming has become so female-focused that the male powers-that-be have begun to take note.


More Game-Changing Women of the Emmys: the 50-Plus-Year-Olds

There is more groundbreaking territory to celebrate for this year’s Emmy nominations: a third of the actors and actresses nominated are 50 or older—32 of them, to be exact. Of those 32 nominees, 16 are women. The Huffington Post put together a slide show of the seasoned nominees here. We’re happy to see the usual suspects, Maggie Smith (77), Kathy Bates (64), Betty White (90), and Glenn Close (65) and few wonderful surprises like Loretta Devine (62) and Jean Smart (60).


Mira Nair’s The Reluctant Fundamentalist Opens the Venice Film Festival

Why is the 54-year-old Mira Nair phenomenal? Let us count the ways: Her film The Reluctant Fundamentalist will “represent the fifth time the India-born Nair, who won Venice’s coveted Golden Lion prize in 2001 for Monsoon Wedding, had a film screen on the Venice Lido,” reports The Hollywood Reporter. As noted above, while women continue to make small steps in Hollywood, Nair has been making giant leaps as a female director of color since launching her company, Mirabai Films, in 1989. Her noteworthy hits include New York, I Love You; Vanity Fair; Mississippi Masala; and Monsoon Wedding. With more than 20 feature and short films under her belt, Nair has been recognized by the Golden Globes, Independent Spirit Awards, Cannes Film Festival, the Emmy’s, and the Oscars, among others.


In Their Own Words:
Plays Written and Directed by Women Take Center Stage

It’s so critical that we be the authors of our own stories. We are thrilled to see the news that the Women’s Project in New York City, a 35-year-old Off-Broadway theater company that produces plays written and directed by women, is heading into fantastic season. Particularly exciting will be  the winter production of Jackie, written by the Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek and directed by Tea Alagic, on the life of Jackie Kennedy Onassis. The Women’s Project’s artistic director, Julie Crosby, calls the play “a disturbing exploration of submission, power, and the hypocrisy of everyday life.” Read more about the theater’s women-led season at the New York Times’ s Artsbeat Blog.


101 Memoirs Penned by Famous Women

Gossip magazines have become celebrated news sources these days, with headlines feasting on the personal lives of the famous and infamous as if this is breaking news. For example, “Breaking News: Katie Holmes Files for Divorce from Tom Cruise; Scientology to Blame.” In reality, no one knows what truly happens in the lives of famous people—that is, unless they write a tell-all memoir. The folks at Tres Sugar put together a list, 101 Memoirs Penned by Famous Women that do just that—let us into the lives of famous women directly from the source–themselves. These women  are telling their stories in their own words. Notably present are some fabulous 40-plus-year-olds: Jane Lynch, Tina Fey, Hillary Clinton, Carol Burnett, Elizabeth Edwards, Carrie Fisher, Ellen DeGeneres, Condoleeza Rice, Sarah Palin, and Laura Bush, among others.


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