Monday, October 29, 2007

It's raining men

Am I the only one who is impressed over the amount of press Rock 'n Roll is getting? I mean, I never thought it... And I don't understand it really... but there you go! Huge national breaks for it! Huge! I just hope I understand the show. I've received a primer so I have faith.

I was going to write about how glad I am that Roger Rees is gone from Williamstown (has anyone previously buried a theater company that quickly?), but instead I feel compelled to respond to the Variety article about female playwrights. I’m all for the rise of the woman—I am like the proudest Wellesley alum ever—but I feel this story is a little odd. It is title is “Women scribes boost play cache” and its subtitle is “Writers seeing gain this season,” these things said to me that this story was going to be all about how many women are having off-Broadway plays produced this year. That’s a valid trend story. But a major thrust of the story is actually that women are not well represented in terms of new plays on Broadway, but neither is anyone who is not white and male. Why are we having this discussion about women and not about everyone non-white? Because women are actually not a minority so it is all the more striking? I just don’t get it. I can’t even address this point anymore because I so don’t understand it.

Let’s imagine however that this story were a valid trend story just dealing with off-Broadway. The story quotes Playwrights’ Tim Sanford as saying he does think having a woman playwright on his season schedule is important. Playwrights is doing four shows with female scribes this year. Now, I read the script for Sarah Treem's A Feminine Ending before Playwrights decided 100% that they would do it and I thought “this show will never get produced anywhere—it is so bad.” Then Playwrights announced it for their season. I hope it wasn’t because the writer was a woman. I’d like to think that the Playwrights people just have bad taste and thus would have produced it if it were written by Samuel Treem. I hope that. That would make me happier. Because producing crappy work by women does nothing to further the cause of women.

That said, I'm all for the advancement of women. So I cheer any good new play on Broadway, but I indeed may secretly cheer a little louder if the good new play was written by a woman. I feel like Lynn Nottage is the big hope in this area. I look forward to seeing a play by her at the Biltmore.

22 comments:

Seth Christenfeld said...

Yeah, what the hell is Lynn Nottage up to, anyway? It's been three years since the one-two punch of Intimate Apparel and Fabulation.

Moxie said...

I couldn't agree more regarding the horrorshow that is A Feminine Ending. Here's a play that sells itself as being about the female experience, but all it's really about is how tough it is for us gals to choose between marrying sexy rockers and actually contributing to society. Ewwwww.

One more story of a woman deciding what to do with her men, as if that's the entire beginning middle and end of the female experience.

Even Mauritius, which seems to be about a woman and her family/power issues gets neatly resolved with the heroine getting conveniently rescued by a man, and promised a margarita on a beach, which obviously solves everything that troubles us women.

Is this all there is?

I'm looking forward to Top Girls.

Moxie said...

P.S. Seth - Hoodoo Love, currently at the Cherry Lane, was written by Katori Hall, who was mentored by Lynn Nottage.

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