In 1988, for the first time in history, women dramatists gathered from around the world to discuss their profession, their craft as playwrights, their situation as women in theater and in the larger society, their insights into past and current social and political realities, and their dreams and visions for the future. Women from very different cultural backgrounds shared their experiences and their viewpoints_some of them in sharp contradiction to each other, others startlingly similar. Many were leading playwrights in their own countries. Some were among the first women to write for their nations' theaters. The assembled dramatists included theatrical pioneers and innovators, heads of theater companies, directors, actors, scholars, teachers, social workers, and social activists. They came from Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, Israel, Russia, England, and Canada, as well as the United States. As U.S. playwright Megan Terry observed, 'It's as if the oceans receded enough to show the new continent of women: Atlantis is alive and here today.'
This volume provides a record of that conference, edited to bring out the highlights of discussions on a range of topics including censorship and self-censorship, race and class, changing family roles, eroticism and sexuality, uses of myth and legend, developing and directing plays by women, and the form and structures of their plays. With index, bibliographies of playwrights, and appendix.