Women Pulitzer Playwrights: Biographical Profiles and Analyses of the Plays

Overview

In the first century of the coveted Pulitzer Prizes, only 11 women have won the prize for drama: Zona Gale (1921), Susan Glaspell (1931), Zoe Akins (1935), Mary Coyle Chase (1945), Ketti Frings (1958), Beth Henley (1981), Marsha Norma (1983), Wendy Wasserstein (1989), Paula Vogel (1998), Margaret Edson (1999), and Suzan-Lori Parks (2002). Here in this book are their stories and the stories of their landmark plays, beginning with Gale’s Miss Lulu Bett, which championed the unmarried woman forced to work in the ...
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Overview

In the first century of the coveted Pulitzer Prizes, only 11 women have won the prize for drama: Zona Gale (1921), Susan Glaspell (1931), Zoe Akins (1935), Mary Coyle Chase (1945), Ketti Frings (1958), Beth Henley (1981), Marsha Norma (1983), Wendy Wasserstein (1989), Paula Vogel (1998), Margaret Edson (1999), and Suzan-Lori Parks (2002). Here in this book are their stories and the stories of their landmark plays, beginning with Gale’s Miss Lulu Bett, which championed the unmarried woman forced to work in the home of a married relative, and closing with Parks’ controversial Topdog/Underdog, which made her the first black woman to win the prize.

Drawn from personal interviews with the playwrights and research from archives and unpublished material, this work shows how the stage art of women has reflected life in the American family and traces a strong thread of feminist history in our culture. Overview chapters set the stage for each playwright and play with sketches of the time period, highlighting the major points of women’s experiences in culture, society, and the family. Other chapters analyze each play in detail and discuss the playwright’s life and opinions. The book also includes a quick history of the Pulitzer Prize and a chapter honoring black female playwrights.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786418817
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/22/2004
  • Pages: 347
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

Meet the Author

Carolyn Casey Craig taught theatre and women's studies at Loyola University in Chicago and is a member of the Actors' Equity. She now lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : "take, for example ..." : a brief retrospect on women, theatre, and prizes 1
Prologue : family ties - a troublesome knot? 13
Pt. I Family lies and the unwed woman : Gale, Glaspell, and Akins 17
1 The 1920s : those not-so-good old days 18
2 Zona Gale and the real village tale 25
3 Susan Glaspell : from Iowa village to Greenwich Village 44
4 The Depression years : gaining despite the losses 61
5 Zoe Akins, escape artist 66
Pt. II Domestic wars : Chase and Frings 83
6 The 1940s : women in a world at war 84
7 Mary Chase and her wartime rabbit 89
8 The 1950s : an uncomfortable homecoming 108
9 Ketti Frings and her stageworthy angel 113
Pt. III Whose woman is she? : Henley, Norman, and Wasserstein 127
10 Being female in the 1950s, '60s and '70s 129
11 Beth Henley's funny-terrible world view 140
12 The 1980s : backlash and beyond 160
13 Marsha Norman : getting out the truth about family and self 166
14 Wendy Wasserstein : Lola's well-rounded daughter 184
Pt. IV Lessons driven home : Vogel and Edson 207
15 The 1990s : gender crisis at the crossroads (or, wrong turn at the men's movement) 208
16 Paula Vogel's winding road to victory 213
17 Margaret Edson's advanced course in wit 232
Pt. V History in the staging? : Suzan-Lori Parks and the sisterhood of black playwrights 249
18 The early 2000s : "bang, bang - you're American" 251
19 Suzan-Lori Parks : putting dirt and deadly games onstage 259
20 "Also in the winner's circle" (the legacy of black women playwrights) 279
Epilogue : parting thoughts on family flux and cultural flummery 291
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