Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell

Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell

Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell

Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell

Synopsis

Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell presents critical introductions to two of the most significant American dramatists of the early twentieth century. Glaspell and Treadwell led American Theatre from outdated melodrama to the experimentation of great European playwrights like Ibsen, Strindberg and Shaw.

This is the first book to deal with Glaspell and Treadwell's plays from a theatrical, rather than literary, perspective, and presents a comprehensive overview of their work from lesser known plays to seminal productions of Trifles and Machinal.

Although each woman pursued her own themes, subjects and manner of stage production, this shared volume underscores the theatrical and cultural conditions influencing female playwrights in modern America.

Excerpt

Barbara Ozieblo and Jerry Dickey

Overview

This volume offers an introduction to the lives and careers of two of the most significant American women playwrights of the modern era: Susan Glaspell and Sophie Treadwell. Glaspell and Treadwell wrote during a time of rapid change in American society, as ideas of progressive modernism challenged and supplanted the Victorian, traditionalist world into which both women were born. Biographically, both women moved from small Midwestern or rural Western locales to become actively engaged in the modernist bohemian culture of New York City, the center of progressivism in politics and art during the first few decades of the twentieth century. As writers, both employed a variety of media – including journalism, fiction, and drama – to examine and redefine women’s roles in modern society, including the exploration of such issues as suffrage, sexual freedom, society’s moral double standard for the sexes, and women’s rights for autonomous identities both within and outside of marriage. Yet their traditional upbringings and subsequent marriages to well-known and sometimes domineering husbands contributed to personal conflicts in their desires for career and family that can be seen in both their own lives and in some of the central female characters of their dramas. At times, Glaspell’s and Treadwell’s search for a sense of community took them to Europe as expatriates and relative outsiders – Glaspell to Delphos, Greece, and Treadwell to Vienna and later Torremolinos, Spain. Finally, both . . .

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