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The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights
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 The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

 

This volume addresses the work of women playwrights throughout the history of the American theatre, from the early pioneers to contemporary feminists. Women playwrights and their work are viewed through a number of lenses: cultural and historical, critical and theoretical, aesthetic and ideological.  The book is written for students of drama, theatre, and women's studies. Each chapter introduces the reader to the work of one or more playwrights and to a way of  thinking about plays. Together they cover significant writers such as Rachel Crothers, Susan Glaspell, Lillian Hellman, Sophie Treadwell, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Megan Terry, Ntozake Shange, Adrienne Kennedy, Wendy Wasserstein, Marsha Norman, Beth Henley, and Maria Irene Fornes. Playwrights are discussed in the context of topics such as early comedy and melodrama, feminism and realism, the Harlem Renaissance, the feminist resurgence of the 1970s, and feminist dramatic theory.  A detailed chronology and illustrations enhance the volume, which also includes bibliographical essays on recent criticism and on African American women playwrights before 1930.

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CONTENTS


Chronology                                                                                         xix

STEPHANIE ROACH


Part 1: Pioneers

1 Comedies by early American women                                                      1 
AMELIA HOWE KRITZER

2 Women writing melodrama                                                                   19
SARAH J. BLACKSTONE

3 Realism and feminism in the Progressive Era                                         31
PATRICIA R. SCHROEDER


Part 2: Inheritors

4 Susan Glaspell and modernism                                                             49
VERONICA MAKOWSKY


5 The expressionist moment: Sophie Treadwell                                       66
JERRY DICKEY


6 Feminism and the marketplace: the career of Rachel Crothers                82

      BRENDA MURPHY

7    The Harlem Renaissance and the New Negro Movement                    98

JUDITH L. STEPHENS


8 Lillian Hellman: feminism, formalism, and politics                                118
THOMAS P. ADLER


9 From Harlem to Broadway: African American women playwrights at
mid-century                                                                                         134
MARGARET B. WILKERSON


Part 3: New feminists

10 Feminist theory and contemporary drama                                          155
JANET BROWN


11 Feminist theatre of the seventies in the United States                           173
HELENE KEYSSAR


12 Contemporary playwrights/traditional forms                                       195
LAURIN PORTER


13 Wendy Wasserstein: a feminist voice from the seventies to the present 213
JAN BALAKIAN


Part 4: Further reading

14     Contemporary American women playwrights: a brief survey of

selected scholarship                                                                              235

CHRISTY GAVIN


15    Discovering and recovering African American women playwrights

writing before 1930                                                                               144

CHRISTINE R. GRAY

  

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