PS M.A. Alum Nikki Davis' New Play To Premiere This November

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2023

Photo Of PS M.A. Alum, Nikki Davis

PS M.A. Alum '21, Nikki Davis

The Abbey Theater of Dublin, Ohio will present the world premiere production of "Women Who Know: A Witch Play," an original work co-researched, written, and directed by Nikki Kendra Davis (M.A. '21) and creative partner Cassandra Gress. 

Haunted by a lesser-known historical tragedy, this new work explores the lives of three generations of women from Pendle, England, who met a tragic end when the “King’s Justice” found them guilty of witchcraft and hanged them. Instead of focusing on their trials and hangings, the play reimagines their full, complex lives, shining a spotlight on women who possessed magical connections to the land, to the cosmos, and to feminine wisdom and relationships.

Nikki and Cassandra’s love of history and the unknown, their talents, and their creative visions led them to create "Women Who Know," weaving a narrative that is relevant, illuminating, and emotionally resonant. To create “Women Who Know,” Nikki and Cassandra followed the process laid out in Nikki’s MA thesis “Theatre of the Ghostly Feminine: A Pedagogical Offering in Five Apparitions.” Over the course of two years, they went in search of the ghosts in the archives and then upon the land and then in community with fellow witchy femmes. They researched, analyzed, journaled, meditated, played, traveled, collaged, (re)imagined, and scripted a story in the hopes of liberating the mysterious Pendle Witches from History’s patriarchal framework and producing a show that would speak to the eerily familiar oppression that women and femme folk are facing today.

Set against the backdrop of a society where the gathering of and kinship amongst women becomes suspect, the play raises poignant questions. What becomes of magic when women's shared knowledge and practices are deemed evil and their words are branded as curses? What happens when the ancient bonds between women and the natural world are severed by strategic property lines imposed by men? "Women Who Know" explores the unceasing struggle between the power of feminine magic and the forces that seek to dismantle its potential. It’s a reimagined tale from the end of the Burning Times - the multi-century genocide of women, marginalized persons, and matriarchal culture across Europe.

This play is a theatrical ritual honoring the magical potential of feminine relationships and of communal acts of resistance and re-enchantment which have and will always exist to rupture patriarchal violence. Says Nikki, “We aim to inspire audiences to recognize the power of the collective feminine will, and how necessary it is to employ said collective will in these troubling times.”

For dramaturgical and rehearsal photos and info: Follow @womenwhoknow_witchplay on Instagram. Join the Facebook Event.

Nikki Kendra Davis is a witch working as a playwright, actor, director, and dramaturg in Columbus since 2016. Her Columbus credits include “Two Gentlemen of Verona” (Silvia), “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” (Mairead), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Bottom), “Chamber Music” (Girl in Gossamer Dress), “Poe: The Play” (Virginia Poe), “Loa to the Divine Narcissus” (Director), “Gently Down the Stream” (Assist. Director), “Slave Play” (Dramaturg, Regional Premiere), and “What the Constitution Means to Me” (Dramaturg, Regional Premiere). In 2020, her original work, which she wrote and performed, “Marie Regina: The Life of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots” premiered at The Abbey Theater of Dublin, OH. She earned an MA in Performance Studies from NYU (2021), during which she created her feminist, political, history-adjacent performance praxis “Theatre of the Ghostly Feminine,” which she uses to create original works.

“Women Who Know: A Witch Play” will premiere on Friday, November 3 at 7:00 PM followed by two showings on Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM and will conclude with a matinee showing on Sunday, November 5 at 2:00 PM.

Photo of "Women Who Know: A Witch Play" Rehearsal

"Women Who Know: A Witch Play." Rehearsal

"WOMEN WHO KNOW: A Witch Play" Rehearsal Photo

"WOMEN WHO KNOW: A Witch Play" Rehearsal Photo