Contemporary American Theatre by Bruce King (eds.)

By Bruce King (eds.)

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264-7, and Lucy France Pierce, 'Women Who Write Plays', The World Today, vol. 15 Gune 1908), pp. 725-31. After Gale and before the arrival of the new wave of feminist writers, only four women were awarded the Pulitzer Prize: 1931, Susan Glaspell, Alison's House; 1935, Zoe Atkins, The Old Maid; 1945, Mary Chase, Harvey; 1958, Kitti Frings, Look Homeward, Angel. For an excellent discussion about the canonisation of women's plays see Jill Dolan, Feminist Spectator as Critic (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1988), and 'Bending Gender to Fit the Canon: The Politics of Production', in Linda Hart, Making a Spectacle (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1989).

Wasserstein concludes The Heidi Chronicles with her heroine remaining a 'true believer' (p. 116) to the most basic of feminist ideas: the right to choose. But Heidi's choice at the play's conclusion to adopt a daughter has sparked cavilling by feminists who regard it either as a cop-out or, ironically, the wrong choice. Likewise, Uncommon Women has been faulted for not offering 'alternatives to or a substantial critique' of the limited opportunities open to women (Keyssar, 1984, p. 154). Wasserstein would agree, but she might respond, as she implied in a recent lecture,14 that she cannot posit solutions, for to do so would not only be to make the very dogmatic prescriptions and proscriptions she views as the source of women's current confusion and divisiveness, but also, and more pointedly, would be to belie her convictions, those born out of the feminist movement, that every woman must make her own choices irrespective of the current rhetoric or rules of others, and furthermore must be embraced by other women for her courage to choose even if her decisions are not theirs personally.

S. , vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 364-75. Stout, K. , pp. 29ff. Wasserstein, W. (1978) Uncommon Women and Others (New York: Dramatists Play Service). - - . (1985) Isn't It Romantic (New York: Dramatists Play Service). - - . (1988) The Heidi Chronicles (New York: Fireside Theatre Edition). 'Women in Theatre', (1985) The Theatre Annual (special issue), vol. 40. 'Women Playwrights: Themes and Variations', (1989) New York Times, 7 May, pp. I, 42. 2 Not-Quite Mainstream Male Playwrights: Guare, Durang and Rabe DENNIS CARROLL Guare, Durang and Rabe: what do they have in common except that they are all male, with Roman Catholic backgrounds and with careers that germinated in the rich, explosive period of the late 1960s and early 1970s?

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