A.C.T. Celebrates '20s Women Playwrights, 2/23-3/24

The American Century Theater will present "Drama Under the Influence," an evening of one-acts written in the '20s by women.  The production will open at Theater II, Gunston Arts Center, and run from February 23 to March 24.

The evening features "eight very different plays by remarkable women playwrights, each telling a different story but together telling one: how many of America's best playwrights had their work shackled by a theatrical establishment that distained female authors, and how they persevered nonetheless with talent, wit, and courage," according to production notes.
 
"The 1920s was arguably the richest period in the history American theater, with innovation, variety, and too many plays, reviews and musicals to count. While the country was engaged in the doomed social experiment of Prohibition, women were experiencing an exhilarating rush of new experiences and possibilities signaled by women in the workplace, gender issues and the institution of women's suffrage in 1920. Their heralds were adventurers like Sophie Treadwell, critics like Dorothy Parker, poets like Gertrude Stein, and trail-blazers like Susan Glaspell, Eulalie Spence and Rita Wellman. "

The evening will be directed by American Century Theater's Associate Artistic Director Steven Scott Mazzola.

Mazzola's cast, all playing multiple parts, is led by TACT veteran Mary McGowan, last seen in The Autumn Garden. Joining her is William Aiken (The Autumn Garden, Tea and Sympathy), Colby Codding (MacBird), Steve Luebens (Call Me Mister), Jay Tilley (MacBird) and TACT newcomers Gabriela Fernandez Coffey, Tanera Hutz, Lauren Krizner, Kate McCann, Jennifer Robison and Ellen Young.

"Drama Under the Influence" will feature sets by Beth Baldwin, sound by Ian Armstrong, costumes by Jennifer Tardiff and lighting by Marc Wright. 
 
"'Drama Under the Influence' is the latest installment of TACT's 'Reflections' series, featuring new works that explore important figures, events or movements of the Twentieth Century. This collection of eight plays explores all three. Eye of the Beholder by Sophie Treadwell, whose masterpiece Machinal amazed TACT audiences three years ago. Susan Glaspell, one of the most successful female playwrights of the period, is represented by two plays, Trifles and Suppressed Desire. Eulalie Spence's Hot Stuff and Rita Wellman's For All Time are rarely seen gems, and Dorothy Parker's contribution to the evening is her by turns funny and cynical take on marriage, Here We Are. Finally, Gertrude Stein's inimitable experiments with language and form distinguish her short play, Photograph."
  
The theater is located at 2700 South Lang Street in Arlington, Virginia 22203. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and 2:30 matinees February 24, 25, March 4, 10, 11, 17 and 24.  Tickets are $23-$29 with special discounts for groups. As always, active duty military personnel with ID see the show for free. A child under 18 is admitted free with a paying adult. Call 703.553.8782 for information and reservations, or visit www.americancentury.org.


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