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Twentieth-Century American Women Playwrights: Home

A research guide for Maya Cantu's course Twentieth-Century American Women Playwrights (DRA2183.01)

Course Description

This course examines the ways in which American female playwrights of the twentieth century engaged with modernity, feminist and civil rights movements, concepts of national and cultural identity, and a wide range of theatrical genres and styles–from the realist problem play and “Golden Age” Broadway comedy through modernism and the avant-garde. Exploring the diversity and dynamism of the “Other Canon” (as described by Susan Jonas), we will study plays by Rachel Crothers, Susan Glaspell, Angelina Weld Grimké, Sophie Treadwell, Mae West, Clare Booth Luce, Lillian Hellman, Lorraine Hansberry, Alice Childress, Wendy Wasserstein, María Irene Fornés, Jackie Curtis, and others. Through close readings and discussion, students will discover connections among American women playwrights, their historical contexts, and our contemporary moment in which their plays continue to resonate and to influence the landscape of American theater.