La Femme Theatre Productions

About Us

Inspired by Powerful Women


Inspired by the journeys of her mother, Joanne Dillon Lichty, her grandmother, Viola Sherwood Dillon, and her maternal ancestor, Myrtle Shaw Fadler (pictured here), Executive Director Jean Lichty watched her mother burn the candle at both ends, writing her master’s thesis while raising a family, and her grandmother build a reputation as a leading educator. She grew up hearing the family lore about Myrtle’s dynamic civic leadership before tragically dying in childbirth. Fighting the odds to get a higher education, these three generations of women all valiantly established meaningful careers.


Bob Dohmen, La Femme’s board chair, has been profoundly influenced by his mother and stepmother. Their legacies are the namesakes of La Femme’s development programs – Women on the Verge: The Gladys and Mary Dohmen Reading Series. His mother, Gladys Dite Dohmen, was one of the female graduates of the University of Wisconsin School of Commerce, while his stepmother, Mary Dohmen, carved out a career as an educator well before marrying.


La Femme’s board member Pendleton, much like Jean and Bob, owes his inspiration and mentorship to women ahead of their time. He was initially mentored by the legendary Uta Hagen at HB Studios, where he now teaches and mentors countless artists. Furthermore, his mother, Francis Manchester Pendleton, served as a source of inspiration. He directed her as Amanda in The Glass Menagerie at TNT, a theater that his mother helped establish in Warren, Ohio. At present, he proudly holds a seat on the board of La Femme 

Mission Statement

La Femme Theatre Productions is an all-inclusive theater company dedicated to the exploration and celebration of the universal female experience. Its mission is to highlight and clarify the experiences of all women, particularly but not exclusively those of adult women, through the texts of both women and men, particularly but not exclusively those of the classic American canon – and to investigate the lens through which both women and men view women. Accordingly, La Femme endeavors to engender stage, film, television, and digital media projects that probe those lenses.


Moreover, La Femme seeks to produce works that not only feature significant roles for women but also examine the meaning of female identity in yesterday’s, today’s, and tomorrow’s worlds. And, by presenting and sharing these stories of the female experience, La Femme hopes to encourage girls and women of all ages and backgrounds to follow their dreams – and “break ceilings.” To help break those ceilings, La Femme will act to mentor young women by providing professional internships.

Our Story

Austin Pendleton and Jean Lichty, front center, and Robert Dohmen, back right, with the company of Nora.
Austin Pendleton and Jean Lichty, front center, and Robert Dohmen, back right, with the company of Nora.

Over the past decade, La Femme has curated seasons that not only align with our mission but also resonate with the zeitgeist of the American canon. Through collaborations with the Peccadillo Theatre Company and the Cherry Lane Theatre, as well as independent productions at the Theatre at St. Clement’s, La Femme has expanded its reach, serving as a platform for female artists to thrive. As we enter a new chapter, we at La Femme are excited to maintain this momentum with programs such as “A Woman’s Storyland” and “Women on the Verge: The Gladys and Mary Dohmen Reading Series.” With La Femme’s legacy continuing to grow, we are honored to have collaborated with award-winning artists on the 2023-2024 Off-Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana at the Pershing Square Signature Center’s Diamond Stage.

Board Members

Click a name below to read more information. 

Jean Lichty

Jean Lichty, a producing artist, founded La Femme Theatre Productions in 2013. Now piloting the NYC  revival of Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana and the world premiere of Phanésia Pharel’s Black Girl Joy,  the recipient of La Femme’s first NEA grant, Jean previously led La Femme’s production of Tennessee Williams’s A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur and co-produced Horton Foote’s The Traveling Lady and Ingmar Bergman’s Nora.  Associate producer of Clifford Odets’s Rocket to the Moon and the first NYC revival of William Inge’s A Loss of Roses, she also produced a staged reading featuring Brian Cox.

Before playing Hannah in La Femme’s virtual presentation of The Night of the Iguana, Jean portrayed Dorothea in A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur, the title roles in The Traveling Lady and Nora, preceded by Lila in A Loss of Roses, and Cherie in Bus Stop. After graduating from Barnard College, Columbia University, with theater honors, she trained with William Esper and Wynn Handman. And her partnering with Austin Pendleton and Robert Dohmen to establish a theater company has been the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.

Robert Dohman headshot

Robert Dohmen, a lifelong supporter of the arts, was a Production Partner at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), sponsoring its productions of Hamlet, Long Day’s Journey into Night, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He is also a major supporter of the American Players Theatre (APT), former Chairman of the Board of the F. Dohmen Company, a 150-year-old family pharmaceutical company that has now evolved into a family charitable foundation. He has proudly served as Secretary to the Board of Directors of the International Crane Foundation (ICF) since 2003 – and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation since 2013. A proud Badger, he earned his BA degree from the University of Wisconsin, majoring in history, philosophy, and psychology.

Austin Pendleton headshot

Austin Pendleton, was last seen on Broadway in the 2022 production of The Minutes by Tracy Letts. Other Broadway productions include Choir Boy (MTC), The Diary of Anne Frank, Mike Nichols’s revival of The Little Foxes, and Fiddler on the Roof (OBC). Pendleton has acted in over 300 movies and, on TV, in recurring roles in Oz, Homicide, and Law and Order.

As a director, Mr. Pendleton has worked on Broadway directing the Tony-nominated production of Pulitzer Prize winner Between Riverside and Crazy as well as The Little Foxes (starring Elizabeth Taylor). Austin has directed several productions at Classic Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Steppenwolf Theatre, and La Femme.

Mr. Pendleton has written three plays all produced Off-Broadway, regionally, and abroad. He also penned the libretto for A Minister’s Wife, adapted from Shaw’s play Candida and originally produced at Lincoln Center’s Newhouse Theater.

Advisory Board Members

Click a name below to read more information. 

Ben Feldman headshot

Ben Feldman, Esq. is a principal of the law firm Feldman, Golinski + Reedy PLLC., practicing in film, theater, television and start-ups, representing creatives, entrepreneurs, venues, agencies, taste makers and other makers of art.

As production counsel, his documentaries have won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance – and have been nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar. Ben has been production counsel for many fictional films, ranging from Kissing Jessica Stein to the upcoming Tripped Up (Universal and Decal).

As a producer, he has been nominated for four Tony awards, winning two.

He also serves on the Board of the Chase Brock Experience.

He is a graduate of Choate, Yale College (Summa Cum Laude) and NYU Law.

Lori Rotskoff headshot

Lori Rotskoff is a cultural historian, writer, and educator. She earned a B.A. in History from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale. For over two decades, she has taught classes for adults at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, the 92nd Street Y, the Scarsdale Adult School, and in private groups in person and online. She is co-editor of When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made (2012) and author of Love on the Rocks: Men, Women, and Alcohol in Post-World War II America (2002). Her articles and book reviews have appeared in the Women’s Review of Books, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of American History. She also serves on the Board of Directors of LEAP, a non-profit that provides access to arts education programs for underserved NYC public school students; and the Jewish Women’s Archive, a digital resource for oral histories, public programs, and feminist activism.

Molly Smith headshot

Molly Smith, served as the Artistic Director of Arena Stage for 25 years, concluding her tenure in 2022. Her directing credits range from Carousel to Mother Courage. Her directorial work has been seen at The Old Globe, Berkeley Repertory, Trinity Repertory, and Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, which she founded and ran from 1979-1998. Molly has been a leader in new play development for over 30 years. She has worked alongside playwrights such as Sarah Ruhl, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, and many others. She led the reinvention of Arena Stage, focusing on the architecture and creation of the Mead Center for American Theater and positioning Arena Stage as a national center for American artists. During her time with the company, Arena Stage has workshopped more than 100 productions and produced 37 world premieres. Smith was awarded honorary doctorates from American University and Towson University.