International Conference "Theatre Between Tradition and Contemporaneity"
Theatre - Dance - Music - Visual & Multimedia Art - Arts Administration - Performing Arts Training - Theatre Design & Technology

Early Women Playwrights: A Brief History.

Interactive lecture by Amy Drake - Ohio Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild of America, Board member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights and a member of Producer’s Perspective PRO.

Amy Drake is Ohio Ambassador for the Dramatists Guild of America, Board member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights and a member of Producer’s Perspective PRO. Amy appeared in the Emmy-winning episode of Columbus Neighborhoods. Eyes Like Opaque Gems won Most Popular Play in the MITF Short Play Lab. Currently writing the book and lyrics for DEVICES, a musical about technology, with composer/lyricist Mark Brymer. M.A. in liberal studies/English and a M.S. in marketing and communication. Her education includes programs at Yale University, Cambridge University, graduate studies at Reed Hall, Paris and playwriting at the Kenyon (College) Summer Institute.


Early Women Playwrights is presented as a lecture inviting discussion with conference participants on the topic of women who worked creatively beginning with the masques of commedia dell’arte, progressing through writers of closet drama, moving into sixteenth- and seventeenth-century women dramatists, highlighting Aphra Behn and Mary Pix, the popularity of plays by women on the London stage until the end of the eighteenth-century, reasons for the decline in production of works by women between the late eighteenth-century and 1900, concluding with striking thematic parallels between plays by seventeenth-century women playwrights and works penned by women today.

The purpose of the talk is to familiarize participants with the lesser-known names and plays by women to build awareness for their work. The need for this information to be disseminated became apparent when I conducted a Facebook survey of favorite female playwrights from any era. One man responded that he didn’t recall seeing more than one play written by any woman. Their works are not being taught because of educators’ unfamiliarity with them. Many graduates of theater programs are unaware of these works and playwrights merely because the writers were female, published works outside of the traditional mold (what would now be considered Brechtian), maintained amateur status to protect their anonymity, were not credited on Playbills or posted announcements of performances, and were criticized for the frank, bawdy, and sometimes violent nature of their plays. Interestingly, these are the topics used by many modern women playwrights projecting their reality on to the stage.


Organized by IUGTE in collaboration with "ArtUniverse" and New International Performing Arts Institute