American Century Sponsors Theater Symposium on Women Playwrights of the Prohibition Era: March 17

The American Century Theater is pleased to announce a special theater symposium event in association with the current production of Drama Under the Influence. Renowned national scholars will discuss the remarkable women playwrights showcased into the premiere collection Drama Under the Influence by director Steven Scott Mazzola.

Drama Under the Influence is a never before seen collection of neglected plays written by Susan Glaspell, Dorothy Parker, Gertrude Stein, Sophie Treadwell Susan Glaspell, Eulalie Spence and Rita Wellman.

Brought together by Andy White, dramaturge for Drama Under the Influence, the stellar panel of national scholars will discuss a period when women were finally portrayed as kaleidoscopic as life itself. And not stick figures of a male's point of view or fantasy"

The panelists are:

  • Judith Barlow, University of Albany, SUNY, and Editor, of the Applause series, Plays by American Woman, a Rita Wellman scholar,
  • Sarah Bay-Cheng, Universityof Buffalo, SUNY, distinguished Gertrude Stein authority,
  • Jerry Dickey, University of Arizona, published extensively on Sophie Treadwell,
  • J. Ellen Garinor, Cornell University, devoted to the work to Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown Players,
  • Kathy A. Perkins, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, designer on the Chicago theater scene and first to edit and publish the plays of Eulalie Spence.

"If only our culture have not restricted the opportunities of women to have their plays produced, the theatrical legacy from the 1920's and 1930's would have been much richer than it was." said Jack Marshall, TACT Artistic Director.

The panel will take place immediately following the March 17, 2:30 matinee of Drama Under the Influence. The panel is free. The symposium will be held at Theater II, Gunston Arts Center, 2700 S. Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Call 703-553-8782 or go to

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Bios for participants in the March 17 post-show discussion:

Judith E. Barlow is Professor of English with joint appointments in Women's Studies and Theatre at the University at Albany, S.U.N.Y. She is the author of Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O'Neill Plays and editor of Plays By American Women, 1900-1930; Plays By American Women, 1930-1960; and the forthcoming Women Writers of the Provincetown: A Critical Anthology.

Sarah Bay-Cheng is an assistant professor of theatre and media studies at the University at Buffalo/SUNY, pursuing research in avant-garde theatre and film, modernism, and intermedia performance.  She is the author of Mama Dada: Gertrude Stein’s Avant-Garde Theater (Routledge 2005), and is currently working on an anthology of modernist drama.

Jerry Dickey is Vice-Director and Associate Professor in the School of Theatre Arts at the University of Arizona.  He is the co-editor of Broadway's Bravest Woman: Selected Writings of Sophie Treadwell and author of Sophie Treadwell: a Research and Production Sourcebook as well as numerous book chapters and journal articles on Treadwell.

J. Ellen Gainor is Professor of Theatre and Associate Dean of the GraduateSchool at CornellUniversity.  She is the author of Susan Glaspell in Context:  American Theater, Culture, and Politics 1915-48 and the co-editor, with Linda Ben-Zvi, of the forthcoming Complete Plays of Susan Glaspell.  She specializes in British and American theatre of the modern period and is an editor of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Drama.

Kathy A. Perkins is Professor of Theatre at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) where she chairs the Lighting Design Program. She is the editor of Black Female Playwrights: An Anthology of Plays Before 1950; Black South African Women: An Anthology of Plays; co-editor with Roberta Uno of Contemporary Plays by Women of Color; and co-editor with Judith Stephens of Strange Fruit: Plays on Lynching by American Women.  Kathy has just completed African Women Playwrights: An Anthology, currently under review.







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