The Feminist’s Guide to the Hollywood Fringe

It’s summer, which means elite theater professionals all over America are headed to the country for summer stock. If you can’t make it up into the mountains this summer (or if you can’t afford the expensive tickets to these high-society productions), fear not: Our cities are full of all variety of underground artists hawking their […]

Cooking Oil Sparks Conversation on East Africa’s Women

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Art can often be the most striking medium for inspiring change and sparking dialogue, and artists in the developing world are harnessing this power to see that their stories are told on a global scale. One recent dialogue-sparker is the play Cooking Oil, written by award-winning Ugandan playwright Deborah Asiimwe, which makes its U.S. premiere […]

Miss Julie and The Timeless Art of Slut-Shaming

Apparently, some things never get old. Neil LaBute, screenwriter of such movies as a remake of the 1973 film The Wicker Man, about crazy, man-killing witches, has adapted the misogynist classic Miss Julie, written in 1888 by August Strindberg. (If you haven’t heard of Strindberg, think Rush Limbaugh as a 19th-century Swedish playwright: avowedly sexist, […]

The Pulitizer-Prize Winner As a Young Feminist

Latina Magazine Hosts The "Next Generation Latina" Breakfast

At the age of 35, playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes has much to be proud of. A Yale graduate from West Philadelphia, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama last year for her play Water by the Spoonful and wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning musicalIn the Heights. And it turns out that she also […]

The Little-Told Story of Elizabeth Keckley and Mary Todd Lincoln

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As the DVD of Spielberg’s latest epic, Lincoln, hit shelves last week, the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. was telling a different Lincoln story: that of Mary Todd Lincoln and her dressmaker, former slave Elizabeth Keckley. Keckley, author of Behind the Scenes, or, Thirty years a Slave, and Four Years in the White House, was […]

Dammit Mamet

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Warning: This post contains language which may be considered profane, sexist, ironic, feminist and/or totally quotidian. Oh Mamet. Mamet Mamet Mamet Mamet Mamet. Fuuuuucking Mamet.”Who knows not where a wasp does wear his sting. In his tail? In his tongue.” Ask almost any theater practitioner what they like about David Mamet and they’ll tell you: […]

Is Forgiveness Overrated? “From White Plains” Raises Questions

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I’m a movie person, not a play person. Suspending reality in a dark room with a stage is not one of my fortes. And I’m drawn to movies with strong female characters, whether it’s Silence of the Lambs or Alien or Bridesmaids. So when someone told me “You’re going to love this Off-Broadway play about […]

The Barrier-Breaking Baby Dolls of Mardi Gras

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As Mardi Gras–Fat Tuesday–is celebrated today in New Orleans, we take a look at a newly revealed women’s “masking” tradition that has been revived in the city. The “Baby Doll” masking tradition at Mardi Gras in New Orleans developed from women who worked in “Black Storyville”–the “uptown” part of the legal red-light district that operated […]

Trains, Pullman Porters and a Woman’s Blues

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What do you get when you combine passionate individuals determined to survive with multi-generational family drama and two key moments in African American history? A pretty great new play, that’s what. Opening November 23 at Arena Stage in Washington, DC, Pullman Porter Blues, by Cheryl L. West (Jar the Floor, Before it Hits Home), takes […]

Lynn Nottage Brings 80 Years of Women, Race and Hollywood to the Stage

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Looking for an evening of entertainment that’s humorous, thought provoking and possibly paradigm changing? The West Coast premiere of African American Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage‘s new play By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is your ticket. But it’s not your typical evening of theater. Directed by Jo Bonney and featuring Sanaa Lathan (The Cleveland Show, […]