Wednesday, March 17, 2010

more women in theater news...

Theatres 'risk ignoring talented female playwrights' says Sir David Hare
Sir David, 62, an associate director of the National Theatre, said the theatre lagged behind other creative art forms, such as the novel, when it came to equality of expression. Theatres should realise that women's writing for the theatre had reached a "tipping point", he said. "I don't think the repertory of most theatres at the moment is reflecting what seems to be happening in terms of the most interesting new theatre," he said."We would hope to see management of theatres reflecting where we think the creativity in playwriting is coming from."

And my meetup group Works by Women is offering a great deal on tickets to see MISS LULU BETT. Although I am curious about this play, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1921 - the first time a woman won the Drama Pulitzer, you can get a pretty good idea why the play isn't done much nowadays by this wikipedia synopsis:
The story concerns a woman, Lulu, who lives with her sister's family, essentially acting as a servant. She does not complain about her position, but is not happy. When her brother-in-law's brother, Ninian, comes to visit, there is a certain attraction between them. While joking around one evening they find themselves accidentally married, due to the laws of the state requiring little more than wedding vows to be recited while a magistrate is in the room for a marriage to count as legal. On learning this, Ninian and Lulu decide they actually like the idea of being married, and choose to stick with it. However, within a month, Lulu is back home, having discovered that Ninian was already legally married: 16 years prior he had wed a girl who left him after 2 days, and he had actually forgotten about the whole thing. Lulu considers this a reasonable story, but her brother-in-law, Dwight, insists that it would be a humiliation to the family to reveal such a thing, and insists that she tell everyone instead that Ninian grew bored with her and left her. Lulu is unable to see why this should be a less humiliating story, and begins to complain about her circumstances for the first time. She also notices that her teenage niece, Di, is unhappy, and also seems to be trying to use marriage as a way to escape her circumstance. Lulu eventually has to prevent Di from eloping, and is finally inspired to move out of her sister's home and live on her own.

Oops! We are accidentally married! Oohh kay.

This week's New Yorker has a profile of Oskar Eustis, and I found especially interesting the part about his collaboration with Tony Kushner, and how much he was involved in the development of ANGELS IN AMERICA.

Now I think that Tony Kushner is the greatest living playwright, as I told Jason Zinoman the other day, but ye gods he sure got SO MUCH help and encouragement for ANGELS from Eustis. According to the article
Although (Kushner's first play A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY) received mixed reviews, Eustis was eager for Kushner to write more... the play... was six years in the making. Throughout the process Kushner and Eustis talked frequently..."

Eustis directed a couple of versions of the play, but then Kushner got George Wolfe to direct it for Broadway and that caused a rift between then.

Needless to say, Eustis has never directed anything by me... but my play THE SLASH was directed for Looking Glass by someone who made money by babysitting Eustis's two kids. I don't know how she did as a babysitter but I was not impressed by her directorial work and the experience is what clinched for me the idea that I must direct all my own plays. That, and being sued by another director.