( 1951- )
Born to a Jewish father from New York and a Catholic mother from New Orleans, Vogel received her BA from Catholic University in 1974 and did advanced degree work at Cornell from 1974 to 1977. She taught at various colleges and universities before going to Brown University in 1984, where she heads the MFA Playwriting Program, which has achieved esteem and national visibility through the caliber of her graduates. She also teaches a theatre workshop for women in the maximum security Adult Corrections Institute in Providence, Rhode Island.
Vogel enjoyed a productive relationship with the Circle Repertory Company in New York in the early 1990s where three of her plays, Desdemona, Baltimore Waltz, and And Baby Makes Seven, were produced. She has worked frequently with director Ann Bogart, who directed the premiere of Balitmore Waltz in 1992, which has susequently had more than sixty regional productions. Her screenplay The Oldest Profession is currently optioned, and Vogel was selected for the Warner Brothers workshop in 1991. She has also written for television.
Acknowledging her debt to Maria Irene Fornes and John Guare, she describes the contemporary climate for playwrights as hostile: "This is a racist, misogynist, homophobic society, and after a while it becomes the air you inhale. . . . I believe we have to get out there and write flawed plays that disturb everybody, and change the atmosphere" ( Coen, 26). She would resist calling herself a lesbian playwright, saying that "I do not write lesbian plays. I will not speak for all women, and I will not speak for all lesbians" ( Coen, 27).
Vogel's plays are characterized by a dark whimsy, an imagination rich and quirky that takes on ordinary subjects from an off-center perspective. She writes