Established in 2017, the Aphra Behn Festival’s goal is to give women interested in directing and writing for theatre an opportunity to get some more experience, try out ideas, experiment, and hone their craft.
Submissions from applicant directors and writers are reviewed and selected by members of SATE’s Artistic Advisory Ensemble and SATE’s co-producers.
Introduced during the Fifth Annual Festival, SATE piloted a mentorship program to strike a balance in professionalism for the organization and our productions while still creating opportunity for emerging artists. SATE also hopes to create ongoing opportunities for artists who have previously participated in the Aphra Behn Festival.
In 2015, SATE produced a fictionalized account of Aphra Behn’s life in Or, by Liz Duffy Adams. Next, the SATE team partnered with Prison Performing Arts (PPA) to create an adaptation of Behn’s play, The Rover, with actors at Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Correction Center in Vandalia, MO. SATE and its artists feel part of Aphra’s legacy.
Poet, Playwright, Soldier, Spy.
Aphra Behn is widely considered to be the first English woman to make her living as a playwright – and that was just her day job! She served as a spy on behalf of Charles II, a poet, playwright, possible friend to history’s most famous Orange Girl, Nell Gwynn, and was incarcerated in the course of her work. Taken together, Aphra’s experiences align with the spirit of SATE’s mission and collaborative, multi-talented ensemble.