Q. How would you like to be remembered?
A. "Someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability. And to help repair tears in her society, to make things a little better through the use of whatever ability she has." - The Notorious RBG
Stories are vital in shaping who we are as individuals and as a society. It is interesting that in the entertainment industry, women are vastly unrepresented, especially considering that female-led movies and movies with female characters at the center of the story have moved front and center in terms of the box office and critical acclaim. Women-fronted films are the top three highest-grossing movies of 2017, and yet, currently female characters fill only 28.7% of all speaking roles in film. Only five women have ever been nominated for directing for a Best Director Oscar. And only one of them won, when Kathryn Bigelow won for directing "The Hurt Locker" in 2010. As of 2018, only 82 films directed by women in the Cannes Film Festival have been honored by an official selection in competition, compared to 1,645 films directed by men, a ratio of less than five percent.
Clearly, the entertainment business needs to make meaningful change.
And, it is.
Fortunately, the paradigm is starting to make a massive, tangible shift. We are excited to live in a renaissance, where through storytelling the very fabric of our society can change for the better, as women and men are presented with a broader perspective. It's inspiring to see more and more strong women stepping up, more and more are leading the brigade, more and more are helping each other along the way. Stories are being created to reflect the women of our time, women of all ages, shapes, sizes, color, and socioeconomic backgrounds are being represented, women with real back stories, women who have grit and a bite to them, women with real substance, women who are the central driving character, who are allowed to have a storyline where everyone looks to her for leadership and courage, and who never have to backdown, apologize, or diminish her strength and ability. These are women we know. These are women we strive to be. And finally, these stories are having a chance to be represented.
It's heartening to feel the world wake up.
And we've been asking ourselves as artists, "How can we help?" We've realized, it is not enough for us to stand by, watch, and cheer others on, but it is vital to us to be a part of the conversation, to have a voice for our generation and for the generations to come. We initially started RoaN Productions to create more roles for women in front and behind the scenes in both film and theater, but it has become more than that. It's about giving women a voice and an equal place in shaping humanity. Because if you want something to change, you have to be willing to be a part of that change.
RoaN Productions produces works that challenge, inspire, and entertain audiences through its reverence for language, spirit of adventure, and through the staging of unique and unparalleled new works and classics. Our artistic policy includes: a feminine perspective, a strong collaborative environment, and non-traditional casting. Guided by a philosophy that brings light to humanity, we are in pursuit of producing works whose potential and beauty may otherwise be overlooked.
Here we go!
Noël Neeb (Co-Founder, Producer, Director)
Raised in Texas, I always dreamed of launching new works and classics on an international level. Dreams do come true. Since moving to New York, some of my directing experience includes: critically acclaimed European Premiere Grasmere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Tough Guys Don't Shoot Blanks at the Fringe NYC at the Barrow Street Theatre, and Disillusioned at The Midtown International Theater Festival (picked up for an extended run & Winner, Top 3 Short Subject Plays). I am an Associate Member of Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, a Lincoln Center Director's Lab Alumna and have studied with Jean-Guy Lacat and viewpoints creator Mary Overlie. Check out: www.noelneeb.com for a complete list of credits!
Rachel McKinney (Co-Founder, Producer, Actor)
Having grown up as the youngest of three girls, living in Chile, Mexico and Arizona & raised by Texan parents, I’ve always been surrounded by people & places that have sparked my imagination for storytelling. Since moving to New York, a few of my accomplishments include: co-founding RoaN Productions, co-starring in film Shades of Gray, gaining international acclaim portraying Dorothy Wordsworth in European Premiere Grasmere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and acting in the webisode series Heroes and Monsters. For more information, check out: www.rachelmckinney.com