Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-5381-1525-1 • Hardback • December 2019 • $45.00 • (£35.00)
978-1-5381-1526-8 • eBook • December 2019 • $39.50 • (£30.00)
Carey Purcell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association and League of Professional Theatre Women. A writer, reporter and theatre critic, Purcell has written for many publications including The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Nation, Politico, The Village Voice, and Playbill.
Women buy the majority of theater tickets even though plays are written and directed overwhelmingly by men. In this earnest survey of feminist theater, Purcell discusses that conundrum and explores how and why feminism has or has not been presented on the stage, noting that despite the success of female playwrights in recent years, women are still “grossly” underrepresented on Broadway and Off-Broadway. Among the female playwrights she discusses is the largely unknown Aphra Behn, a prolific seventeenth century English playwright as well as such groundbreakers as Lillian Hellman and Lorraine Hansberry. While Purcell excels in telling the untold stories of feminist theater, she also includes the work of such well-known playwrights as Eve Ensler, Susan Stroman, Paula Vogel, Wendy Wasserstein, and Mary Zimmerman, and such important women directors as Julie Taymor and Garry Hynes (cofounder of the Druid Theatre Company). Purcell's overview culminates in an exploration of the unlikely success of the benchmark lesbian-themed musical Fun Home, an adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir. An invaluable addition to theater collections.— Booklist
"Fast paced and conversational, this title [is] a solid, accessible overview of feminist theater."— Library Journal
Purcell is a respected theater critic, and here she is at her best in the terrific, chapter-long treatment of Fun Home, the groundbreaking Broadway musical adapted from Alison Bechtel's graphic novel (2006), which boasts the first-ever lesbian protagonist in a Broadway musical. [Other] noteworthy gems: a fascinating portrait of Antoinette Perry, for whom Broadway’s Tony Awards are named; a feminist critique of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s male-dominant Hamilton; and a telling exposé of the destructive preponderance of white, male theater critics. Endnotes are extensive and valuable.— Choice Reviews