Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

By Jane T. Peterson; Suzanne Bennett | Go to book overview

WAKAKO YAMAUCHI

( 1924- )


BIOGRAPHY

Born in California's Imperial Valley, Wakako Yamauchi was one of four children born to Issei (Japanese-born American) parents who made their living from farming. The young Wakako turned to reading and writing to escape the solitude and isolation of farm life. Her high school education was interrupted with the outbreak of World War II when she and her family were placed in the internment camp at Poston, Arizona. Her father died in the camp, but Wakako was eventually able to leave for Chicago where she went to art school and attended plays for the first time.

After marriage to Chester Yamauchi in 1948, she gave up hopes of a career in commercial art and design to devote herself to her family. In 1955 Yamauchi gave birth to her only child, Joy. It was following the birth of her child that she began to write, as one way to pass on the Japanese culture of her own mother to her daughter. Later she took a correspondence course in short-story writing at the University of California at Berkeley.

Her short story "And the Soul Shall Dance" was published in the 1974 landmark anthology of Asian writing, AIIIEEEEE, where it gained the attention of Mako, the artistic director of the East West Players of Los Angeles. He convinced Yamauchi to turn the short story into a play, and her career as a playwright began. Since then she has written eleven additional plays and received four Rockefeller Foundation playwriting awards.

Wakako Yamauchi is also a prose writer; many of her short stories have been published in anthologies and textbooks. A collection of her writing, Songs My Mother Taught Me, was published by the Feminist Press at City University of New York in 1994.

She currently lives in Gardenia, California, near her daughter's family.

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Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Abbreviations xv
  • Introduction: The Challenges of Diversity 1
  • The Sista Masses (1970s-1990s): African American Women Playwrights 7
  • Brave, Bold, and Poetic: The New Generation of Asian American Women Playwrights 13
  • Beyond the Festival Latino: (Re)Defining Latina Drama for the Mainstage 17
  • Lesbian Playwrights: Diverse Interests, Identities, and Styles 27
  • PLAYWRIGHTS 35
  • Rosanna Yamagiwa Alfaro 37
  • Claudia Allen 42
  • Lynne Alvarez 45
  • Jane Anderson 49
  • Valetta Anderson 53
  • Janis Astor Del Valle 56
  • Jeannie Barroga 59
  • Martha Boesing 63
  • Claire Chafee 69
  • Jane Chambers 72
  • Eugenie Chan 76
  • Denise ChÁvez 79
  • Theresa Chavez 83
  • Kitty Chen 87
  • Pearl Cleage 90
  • Kathleen Collins 94
  • Kia Corthron (1961- ) 97
  • Clare Coss 101
  • Migdalia Cruz 104
  • Linda Faigao-Hall 109
  • Evelina Fernandez (1954- ) 112
  • Five Lesbian Brothers (fl. 1989- ) 116
  • Maria Irene Fornes (1930- ) 120
  • J. E. Franklin 128
  • Terry Galloway 131
  • Terry Garner 135
  • P. J. Gibson 137
  • Gloria Gonzalez (1940- ) 142
  • Silvia Gonzalez S. (1958- ) 145
  • Judy Grahn (1940- ) 150
  • Jessica Hagedorn 153
  • Wendy Hammond 157
  • Kim Hines 160
  • Endesha Ida Mae Holland 163
  • Velina Hasu Houston 166
  • Holly Hughes 171
  • Naomi Iizuka 175
  • Marsha A. Jackson 178
  • Mercilee M. (lee) Jenkins 181
  • Julie Jensen 184
  • Michael Angel Johnson 188
  • Karen Jones-Meadows 191
  • June Jordan 194
  • Honour Kane 197
  • Adrienne Kennedy 201
  • Susan Kim 206
  • Tina Landau 209
  • Cherylene Lee 212
  • Lisa Loomer 216
  • Josefina LÓpez 220
  • Nikki Nojima Louis 223
  • Lynn Martin 226
  • Robbie Mccauley 230
  • Cassandra Medley 234
  • Marlane Meyer 238
  • Susan Miller (1944- ) 242
  • Chiori Miyagawa (1961- ) 246
  • CherrÍe Moraga (1952- ) 249
  • Lesli-Jo Morizono 254
  • Phyllis Nagy 256
  • Lynn Nottage 260
  • Madeleine Olnek 264
  • Monica Palacios 267
  • Suzan-Lori Parks 270
  • Estela Portillo-Trambley 276
  • Dolores Prida 279
  • Aishah Rahman (1937- ) 283
  • Sandra Rodgers (1956- ) 287
  • Kate Moira Ryan (1966- ) 290
  • Milcha Sanchez-Scott 293
  • Joan Schenkar 297
  • Ntozake Shange 302
  • Anna Deavere Smith 307
  • Beverly Smith-Dawson 312
  • Diana Son 316
  • Split Britches 318
  • Caridad Svich 323
  • Regina Taylor 327
  • Carmelita Tropicana 330
  • Alice Tuan 334
  • Edit Villarreal 337
  • Paula Vogel 340
  • Lucy Wang 345
  • Cheryl L. West 349
  • Elizabeth Wong 353
  • Charlayne Woodard 356
  • Marian 358
  • Wakako Yamauchi 362
  • Shay Youngblood 366
  • Appendix A Playwrights by Cultural/Ethnic Grouping 371
  • Appendix B Additional Playwrights 375
  • Appendix C Nominators--Theatres 377
  • Appendix D Nominators--Individuals 379
  • Selected Bibliography 381
  • Index 385
  • About the Authors 400
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