Women in American Theatre (2012)
“Women in American Theatre” is meant to give students a taste of the rich history, theory, and practice focused on women in American theatre and performance from the early 20th century to the present. Though a one-semester course can’t offer an in-depth survey of this broad and diverse field, my hope is that the materials I’ve selected will whet your appetite for more. We’ll read plays; see performances; look at clips and on-line sources; participate in workshops; and engage live with various significant playwrights/artists, historians, and theorists. The course is meant to introduce you to the field; no prior knowledge of theatre and/or of women in American history is necessary. Because we meet only once a week, the reading looks extensive but isn’t difficult. If you pace yourself, getting through it wouldn’t be a problem. I promise that we’ll address and discuss everything I assign.
Some of the themes we’ll address include gender inequality in the arts and how to address it (Should there be quotas? Should theatres be required to produce work by women?); the ways in which gender always intersects with race, class, and sexuality identities; how space and venues influence work by women (its form and content); various forms and formats used by women artists to different effect; audiences; training; popular theatre; experimental theatre; and activism.