Checklist of over 12,000 plays by some 2,000 American women, with library and anthology sources.
The first three decades of the twentieth century saw the New Woman writing an astonishing array of dramatic presentations. This checklist, gleaned from hundreds of library collections and out-of-print anthologies, reveals over 12,000 plays by perhaps 2,000 American women. Some of these works are well known, most are not; some are of enduring literary quality, probably most are not; but all are of social significance and serve to document women's history of the period. Included in a broad definition of play, are dramas and comedies, musicals, farces, monologues and dialogues, pageants and masques, stunts and exercises, operas and cantatas. In addition to adult drama, there are numerous plays written for children and for holiday celebrations. A vast amount of dramatic material was written for amateur theatre, school and church productions, and community events. The sheer volume of these mostly unrewarded contributions is noteworthy, and this checklist should be consulted by researchers in women's studies as well as drama.
Playwrights include such noted writers as Susan Glaspell and Zora Neale Hurston in addition to many unremembered women, some of whom have entries for scores of plays. The playwrights are listed in alphabetical order with their works following. Information is given on life dates as known, and the playwrights are keyed to inclusion in major biographical reference books if relevant. The type of dramatic presentation and number of acts is indicated, as is production and publication information as available; and, in almost all cases, at least one library or anthology source is given, coded to a list in the front of the book. Appendixes record contributions to several anthologies, and a selected bibliography completes the work.