The New (Feminist) Pornographers

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Pornography is one of the more controversial issues in feminism, and the Ms. Blog has published many posts on the topic. Here, a writer goes directly to a self-proclaimed feminist pornographer to get her take on how the industry intersects with women’s issues. In her keynote address at the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, pornographer Courtney Trouble opened […]

Help Spread the Story of the First Black Prima Ballerina!

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In the 1930s, when 15-year-old ballet dancer Janet Collins first began to audition for dance companies, she was invited to join the prestigious Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. The only condition was that the black performer would have to wear whiteface. “I said no,” Collins told The New York Times in a 1974 interview. “I […]

46 Plays By Women You SHOULD Be Seeing

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In 2013, 13 women hailing from Los Angeles banded together to form The Kilroys, who coyly announce, “We make trouble. And plays.” Named after the graffiti soldiers used to declare their presence during World War II, The Kilroys are playwrights and producers looking to end the underrepresentation of female-identified voices in the American theater scene. […]

MOM BABY GOD: Going Undercover in the Anti-Choice Movement

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Imagine heading out for a night of theater, only to end up chanting along with the rest of the audience: “We are the pro-life generation!” If you’re lucky enough to catch a performance of the currently touring MOM BABY GOD, you just might find yourself unexpectedly wrapped up in a “pro-life” slumber party, meeting all […]

Two Plays By Women, Two Worldviews

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When I hear producers say, “Plays by women don’t sell tickets” (and they seem to say that a lot), I always find myself asking, “Which plays by which women?” The classification “plays by women” denotes nothing other than the author’s sex, and any two plays by any two women are as likely to be as […]

Venus in Fur: Is It Good for the Feminists?

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Before I met 36-year old Chicago-based director Joanie Schultz, I never really saw or thought about the connection between Jane Austen and the politics of the dominatrix. This was among the topics we discussed recently at the opening of  a production of Venus in Fur that Schultz directed at the Goodman Theater in Chicago. The comedic […]

War Torn

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  I believe that the things we don’t express will kill us. Kill us as a country, kill us as people. Paula Vogel   Walking the streets of Philadelphia is like walking through time. Reenactors in colonial garb occupy park benches and linger next to food carts, ready to regale passers-by with stories of our […]

“Top Girls” is Top-Notch Feminist Theater

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Few women playwrights have garnered as much praise and generated as much controversy as Caryl Churchill. Her work has been called feminist, post-modern, post-colonial, Marxist, experimental, irritating, innovative, ludicrous and brilliant. She has worked with feminist collectives such as Monstrous Regiment and at establishment institutions such as the Royal Court Theatre, where she was the […]

“Love Alone” Takes on Malpractice, Grief and Gay Rights

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‘Tis the season when theaters across the country announce their 2014-2015 seasons. Two plays continue to dominate the boards, just as they did last year: David Ives’ Venus in Fur and Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. These shows played off-Broadway in 2010 and 2012, respectively, both transferred to Broadway and both […]

A Feminist Light in the Piazza

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The great Southern writer Elizabeth Spencer wrote her most famous story, “The Light in the Piazza, ” while living abroad. She had left the small town in which she grew up, Carollton, Miss., on a Guggenheim Fellowship for Italy. There she also wrote The Voice at the Back Door, about race relations in the South. This […]