Magazine article Stage Directions

A Woman's Touch

Magazine article Stage Directions

A Woman's Touch

Article excerpt

THE PLAY'S THE THING

This month we focus on plays by women, both the plays themselves and the creative imagination (and hard work) behind them. Such a focus isn't difficult, since all the plays mentioned here have been published within the last few months-an indication of the growing interest in women's artistic (and commercial) contributions to theater.

In the introduction to the 1997 edition of Women Playwrights, playwright Marsha Norman asked, "Will the feminine aesthetic survive?" As evidenced by the latest in the series, Women Playwrights The Best Plays Of 1999, the answer is an unequivocal "Yes!" The new volume includes Abstract Expression by Theresa Rebeck; The Exact Center Of The Universe by Joan Vail Thorne; A Small Delegation by Janet Neipris; Last Train To Nibroc by Arlene Hutton; Fall by Bridget Carpenter; and Lobster Alice by Kira Obolensky. This is an exceptional collection, but three stand out. If you've been looking for an old-fashioned, bittersweet comedy with bite and freshness, look no further than The Exact Center Of The Universe. It's a captivating tale of a small-town Southern woman's journey through the 1950s and 1960s. Last Train To Nibroc is a Kentucky-flavored romance that unfolds during the first three years of World War II. Lobster Alice centers around Salvador Dali's brief stint at the Walt Disney studio in 1946, with choice verbal sparring between the surrealists "anything is possible" concept of art and the cautionary "within reason"philosophy of the legendary animator who oversees Dali's project. …

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