Many theater artists are familiar with Machinal, an expressionistic play written by Sophie Treadwell in 1928 about a Young Woman living in a cold mechanistic world who winds up killing her husband and being executed for it. What you may not know is that Treadwell wrote 39 other less recognized plays, and she was also a journalist and a war correspondent (WW I). Her most famous dramatic work is receiving a Broadway revival, a mere 86 years after it made its Broadway debut featuring Clark Gable. If you are in NYC, check out this new production directed by UK artist Lyndsey Turner. If you’re not in NYC, join me in heading to the library to check out one of Treadwell’s other plays! PS. The Newsday article that brought us this news item was written by theater critic Linda Winer, who also hosted the amazing Women in Theatre series for which she has interviewed many national-level artists for CUNY Television.
“Demographic stats released on Thursday by the Broadway League, a trade association, show that the Great White Way lives up to its monochromatic moniker: Last year, 78% of all tickets were bought by Caucasians. The person sitting next to you at a Broadway show is most apt to be white, female and from out-of-town.”
Everyman Theatre hosted a panel discussion entitled “How Women’s Voices in the Theatre Reflect Our Culture” on January 18th, as part of its The World of the Play series that began earlier this season. Joining host and moderator Marc Steiner were top-level theatrical leaders: Teresa Eyring (Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, New York), Jacqueline Lawton (professional playwright and dramaturg, Washington, DC), and Dr. Jackson Bryer (professor emeritus of American theatre at University of Maryland, College Park). The panel discussion took place last Saturday, January 18th at 5 PM at Everyman Theatre.
The panel discussion was inspired by Everyman’s current production of Beth Henley‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy Crimes of the Heart. The discussion delved into the surprising inequality when it comes to female playwrights on the American stage and how this lack of the feminine voice may be a reflection of our culture itself.
Lexi Alexander, Hollywood artist and Oscar-nominated director has written a passionate manifesto about Hollywood’s treatment of women, where she details her experiences and gets vocal about the lack of parity in the entertainment industry.
Hat tip to Chloe Bronzan for sharing this with us!
Our next Meetup is YBCA’s UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW, the latest experiment by Obie award-winning playwright and director Young Jean Lee, hailed as “the most adventurous downtown playwright of her generation” by The New York Times and “one of the best experimental playwrights in America” by Time Out New York. In UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW, six charismatic stars of New York City’s downtown theater, dance, cabaret, and burlesque worlds come together to create an exhilarating—and irreverent—celebration of a fluid and limitless sense of identity.
A blend of comic vignettes, contemporary dance sequences, and evocative video images, what inhabits the stage are a series of ideas echoed in the characteristics of the performers who are liberated from the constraints of pre-defined roles and are meant to resist categorization. With the absence of words (and clothes), the performance twists and turns in hilarious ways that both reveal and challenge the viewers’ assumptions about gender politics.
Image courtesy: Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal