Julia Miles (1930–2020) was a visionary theatre director who enabled women to have a voice and more importantly, a space for their work, in American theatre. She acted as a mentor to hundreds of emerging women theatre-makers, opening doors and creating essential artistic networks. Born in Pelham, Georgia, Miles studied acting at Northwestern University and took classes with Lee Strasberg at the Actors’ Studio after moving to New York. Initially, she co-founded the Theatre Current company in Brooklyn Heights during the early 1960s, then worked closely with Wynn Handman at The American Place Theater Off- Broadway, becoming an Associate Director there. Noticing the lack of plays by women produced during her time there, she applied to the Ford Foundation and received an $80,000 grant which enabled her to start the Women’s Project. From 1978 onwards, the project grew into a leading organization which acted as a seedbed for new playwrights, developing, producing and promoting their work. It also provided an essential training ground for emerging women directors, producers, designers and other artists to grow their skills and launch them into the field.
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