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North American Women's Drama

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North American Women's Drama begins with the works of Mercy Otis Warren, Judith Sargent Murray, and Susanna Haswell Rowson in colonial times. It includes a rich collection of nineteenth-century melodramas exploring topics from domestic entrapment to life on the frontier to the Underground Railroad. The database covers the campaign for voting rights, including propaganda plays, as well as the growing crusade for women's access to higher education and inclusion in various professions. The collection covers contemporary drama, including the works of performance artists.

The database will be of particular interest for the study of feminism and women's studies. Alexander Street Press's Semantic Indexing makes it possible to find and analyze particular dialogue, characters, and events, providing answers to these questions from the preface to Women in American Theatre, by Helen Krich Chinoy and Linda Walsh Jenkins:

Where do women fit in? Where can they make a living, have a career, and create authentic theatre art from women's lives? Is there a feminine sensibility in theatre creation? Is it the result of nature (some essential female quality) or of nurture (the socialization that makes us feminine or masculine)? Do women directors approach their tasks in markedly different ways from the practices of male directors? Do women view the sacrifices and spoils of conventional success as men do? Can they or should they try to break the "Broadway barrier?" Do women playwrights have something special to say as women, not just as individual artists? Do they create in a distinctive way, use unique forms, speak a long-silenced "mother tongue"

The following authors are included: Susan Glaspell, Sophie Treadwell, Rachel Crothers, Gertrude Stein, Beth Henley, Carol Bolt, Cherr´┐Że Moraga, Dorothy Heyward, Zona Gale, Zora Neale Hurston, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Megan Terry, Rochelle Owens, Shirley Graham DuBois, Jeannie Barroga, and many others...more than a hundred in all.

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Theatre; Women's and Gender Studies

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