Actor Call

Arizona Theatre Matters, under the co-artistic direction of Pamela Sterling and Jeanmarie (Simpson) Bishop, seeks woman actors over 40 for the We Ain’t Done Yet Festival, November 9th2019.

8 actors are needed for an ensemble performance of A Single Woman (we’re considering changing the title for this ensemble version), an award-winning play about first US Congresswoman Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973). The production is directed by Pamela Sterling.

The first table read will occur on a Saturday in February or March, availability depending. The reading and rehearsals will take place in Tempe at a blackbox/performance space at ASU. The festival will happen at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, 1202 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

WHY are we casting with an assemblage of women actors over the age of 40 dozens of characters of all genders, ages and ethnicities?


We are 80 percent of the artists in the theatre, and we are 20 percent of the actors cast. We will make our own work – as we always have – and we will do it together. The We Ain’t Done Yet Festival is an opportunity for us to gather, to work together, to engage each other’s creativity on and off the stage in panels, discussions and with meals together in an all-day experience that we hope will be the beginning of a collaborative movement that reaches into the far-flung future.

Published by Jeanmarie (Simpson) Bishop

Jeanmarie (Simpson) Bishop was born in rural Arizona in 1959. Her family moved to Toronto in 1970 and she fell in love with the theatre after seeing, with her 7th grade class, the legendary production of Godspell (featuring Gilda Radner, Eugene Levy and Martin Short). She performed dozens of roles in regional theatre and stock in the US and Canada and began directing while still in her teens. Jeanmarie is Founding Artistic Director of the Nevada Shakespeare Company (NSC), from which she retired in 2008. With NSC she directed many projects, wrote original works and played myriad parts including Maud Gonne in Sailing to Byzantium, Gertrude in Hamlet, Lady M in Macbeth and Elsa in The Road to Mecca, directed by Zakes Mokae. Jeanmarie wrote and performed more than 300 times (including a run Off-Broadway) the play A Single Woman, about the life of first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist, Jeannette Rankin. She also starred in the film version that featured Judd Nelson, the voices of Martin Sheen and Patricia Arquette and the music of Joni Mitchell. In 2007, she appeared at the historic Beverly Hills Theatre 40 in the American premiere of the solo tour-de- force Shakespeare’s Will, produced by Leonard Nimoy. With Shannon Cain, co-editor of the anthology Powder: writing by women in the ranks from Vietnam to Iraq, Jeanmarie conceived the notion of creating a stage version titled Coming In Hot. Following an adaptation and rehearsal period of nine months, the play opened at Tucson’s Rhythm Industry Performance Factory in September 2009. Simpson began an international tour of Coming In Hot in March of 2010, taking it throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. She was commissioned by the Be the Change project to create a piece based on interviews with Dreamers; Liberty’s Children premiered at the Potentialist Workshop in Reno, Nevada in March 2014. She toured with her original solo performance work, Mary’s Joy, from 2011-2014.  The piece explores the life and struggles of Quaker martyr, Mary Dyer, hanged in Boston in 1660. Jeanmarie now performs the play under a new title, The Joy. She  is a retired member of Actors' Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and the Dramatists Guild of America. Founding Artistic Director of Arizona Theatre Matters, she lives with her husband, Dan, in a cottage with a garden in Glendale, Arizona.