Women Playwrights of Diversity: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook

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

CLAIRE CHAFEE

( 1959- )


BIOGRAPHY

Chafee grew up in New York City where she studied acting and directing. She also studied in London and spent time in San Francisco studying drama therapy while working in theatre. For Theatre Rhinoceros, she was one of the composers for Judy Grahn Queen of Swords. Chafee spent a year in the master of fine arts ( MFA) program at Brown University, where she studied with Anna Deavere Smith and Paula Vogel, but she returned to San Francisco where she became an associate artist at the Magic Theatre. Her play Why We Have a Body ran there for six months prior to New York and Los Angeles runs.

About the lack of a political agenda in her plays, she states, "I resist topics. Topics don't interest me and I resist speaking for any one other than myself. I'm from the school of thought that if you're willing to go deeper into what you don't know about yourself, it's more interesting than expressing what you think you do know about other people" ( Milvy, D26).

Chafee taught playwriting at San Francisco State University while completing A Practical Guide to the Night Sky, a commission from the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. She is adapting Why We Have a Body for film and completing an MFA in fiction at Brown University.


PLAY DESCRIPTIONS

Why We Have a Body ruminates on the lives of four women: an absent mother who is off exploring exotic lands; her youngest, psychotic daughter Mary, who robs only 7-Elevens; her oldest daughter Lili, a lesbian private detective who specializes in divorce cases; and the married woman Renee, whom Lili seduces. The mother is an archeologist, Renee is a paleontologist, and Mary is obsessed

-69-

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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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