Women Writing Plays: Three Decades of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series)

Women Writing Plays: Three Decades of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (Louann Atkins Temple Women & Culture Series)

By: Alexis Greene (editor), Marsha Norman (contributor), Emilie S. Kilgore (foreword_author)Paperback

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Women's playwriting burgeoned in the United States and the United Kingdom as part of the feminist movement of the 1970s. Ever since, playwriting women have been embracing new subjects, experimenting with form, and devising new ways of looking at the world. To honor their achievements and inspire future endeavors, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize was established in memory of an American actor, journalist, and feminist who died of breast cancer. In the nearly three decades of the award's existence, more than three hundred English-speaking women playwrights have been finalists for the Blackburn Prize in recognition of their work, including such prominent writers as Marsha Norman, Cheryl L. West, Wendy Wasserstein, Caryl Churchill, Paula Vogel, and Suzan-Lori Parks. This volume offers a comprehensive overview of women's playwriting, as well as a celebration of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. It combines critical essays, playwrights' memoirs, and conversations and interviews with playwrights to explore how women's playwriting evolved in relation to the women's movement and how it continues to map new territory and find fresh modes of expression. The majority of contributors to this volume-playwrights, arts journalists, and theater critics-have had some connection to the Blackburn Prize, either as award recipients, play readers, or judges. The memoirs, conversations, and interviews come from some of the finest women playwrights of the last three decades. These dramatists offer fascinating insight into the playwriting art, theatrical careers, and women's goals in writing for the theater.

About Author

Alexis Greene, of New York City, is an author, editor, theater critic, and dramaturg, with a special interest in theater and women's history.


Foreword (by Emilie S. Kilgore) Acknowledgments and Note to Readers Introduction: Women Writing Plays (by Marsha Norman) Part One: Breaking the Silence 1. Social Change, Artistic Ferment The U.S.A. (by Charlotte Canning) The U.K. (by Elizabeth Swain ) 2. Entering the Mainstream: The Plays of Beth Henley, Marsha Norman, and Wendy Wasserstein (by Mel Gussow) 3. A Conversation: Timberlake Wertenbaker, Max Stafford-Clark, and Michael Billington Part Two: Facing the World 4. The Female Gaze (by Emily Mann) 5 . Women and War: The Plays of Emily Mann, Lavonne Mueller, Shirley Lauro, Naomi Wallace, Shirley Gee, and Anne Devlin (by Alexis Greene) 6. Our Bodies, Ourselves Memoir of a Sexual Woman (by Sharman MacDonald) An Excerpt from the Play Sweeping the Nation (by Susan Miller) Standing at the Crossroads (by Pearl Cleage) 7. Engaging Social Issues, Expressing a Political Outlook (by Gwynn MacDonald) 8. Crossing Borders: A Conversation with Bridget Carpenter, Lynn Nottage, Dael Orlandersmith, and Diana Son Part Three: The Art of the Playwright 9. Whose Voices Are These? The Arts of Language in the Plays of Suzan-Lori Parks, Paula Vogel, and Diana Son (by Amy S. Green) 10. First-Person Singular: Female Writers Embrace the One-Person Play (by Mandy Greenfield) 11. Women's Imaginations: Experimenting with Theatrical Form (by Carole Woddis) 12. Joking Aside: A Conversation about Comedy with Christopher Durang, Gina Gionfriddo, Sarah Ruhl, and Wendy Wasserstein Part Four: The Expanding World of Women's Plays 13. The Freedom to Create (by Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti) 14. Beyond the U.S.A, Beyond the U.K. A View from South Africa (by Fatima Dike) A View from Australia (by Peta Tait) A View from New Zealand (by Jean Betts) A View from Canada (by Judith Thompson) 15. New Voices (by Alexis Greene) 16. Prescriptions for a Playwriting Life Dear Emily: On Being a Playwright (by Timberlake Wertenbaker) Afterword (by Bill Blackburn) Appendix: The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize About the Contributors Permissions and Credits Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780292713291
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 318
  • ID: 9780292713291
  • weight: 635
  • ISBN10: 0292713290

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