WOW Café Theatre is a women’s theater collective in NYC’s East Village, which promotes the empowerment of women through the performing arts.
Historically, WOW has been a majority lesbian woman’s space. WOW welcomes the full participation of all women and transpeople in solidarity with women. WOW especially welcomes women and transpeople of color, and women and trans people who identify as lesbians, bisexual and queer. We provide a working theater space to our members & the technical support to create and produce works, regardless of economic status.
We acknowledge the links between different kinds of oppressions and strive to be open to all sexualities and spiritualities, to be multilingual and intergenerational, and to challenge all oppressions including racism, classism, ableism, sexism, ageism, and sizeism. Our weekly Tuesday meeting and collective governance structure provide a space for artists to share their ideas, facilitate the exchange of labor and knowledge, and realize their creative visions.
Join a meeting at 6:30 on a Tuesday, and lo, you’re part of our collective.
No membership dues, no trial periods – just show up
If you know WOW but haven’t been here in a while, come check out our recent renovations – we have beautiful new walls, ceilings, makeup tables, and a dance-friendly flooring!
How to Become a Member – Q & A
How do I get involved?
Any woman and/or transgender person is invited to come to our weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. You are immediately a member of the collective!
The best way to get involved is to volunteer to help; don’t be afraid! Get to know WOW members; go out for coffee or a drink after a meeting! The best way to learn is to do—if you are interested in learning a new skill, volunteer to do it.
Who can be a member?
Our collective welcomes women and/or transgender people, encompassing any trans-identifying person, including any non-binary, transfeminine, transmasculine, and gender non-conforming people.
What are the benefits of being a collective member?
Learning, gaining theater skills (lights, sound, acting, leadership, directing, working with others, handstands, arts administration, etc.)
Space to present your show or art
See free theater (when you work shows)
Making connections (theater networking)
How do we make decisions here? Who’s in charge at WOW?
We are a collective, so we make decisions by consensus. We make proposals and decide on issues at the Tuesday meetings. You are, we are; everyone is in charge. New members are welcome to participate in decision-making.
Who should I ask if I have questions?
Each meeting has a designated hostess, host and/or host/ess. Talk with this cordial and informative person! Also, you can talk with any collective member. See the listserv section, as well.
How do I stay in the loop? How do I get on the listserv?
Inquire about how to be included on the listserv once you’ve come to a meeting or three. Much of our business and news is exchanged there.
How do I get a show at WOW?
WOW works on a sweat equity system – that means that you work on other peoples’ shows and/or for the space as a whole, and you earn the right to produce your work here and to be supported by other members. We have moved to a quarterly proposal schedule, but experienced producers can also propose between the formal proposal deadlines.
On rare occasions, an existing WOW member, who already has sweat equity, will agree to take on a new person’s project as their own production. However most of our works are self produced.
There is no membership fee. We run almost entirely on box office proceeds.
Access to Space and Resources
The best way to get involved with WOW Cafe Theatre is to volunteer to help. After attending a meeting, if you are interested in learning a skill, volunteer to do it.
Accessibility Info: The building is wheelchair accessible and has an elevator, however there is not yet an accessible bathroom in WOW or on WOW’s floor.