We’ve Come a Long Way Baby!
Some people might be of the opinion, ‘we’ve come a long way baby!’, when it comes to the subject of women's place with responsible roles in theater. And although women are still an underrepresented group as playwrights and directors, there have been great strides made in the last three centuries. There are theaters across the US that has dedicated themselves to producing plays written by women. It's an exciting time for new and upcoming women playwrights. Yes, the overwhelming majority of plays are still produced by men, and women are the majority of the theater going public, but I was still surprised find out that there were so many plays written and produced by women.
The theater has been a way out for women; it was a way to work up the social ladder, earn equal pay, and find independence. Women have reached the latest achievements as actresses than in any other art form and this remains so today. Acting is closely related to role-playing and ceremonies in society, the roles women way our reflection of the different ways that women function in society. Today theatrical performance is mainly used for fun and profit it makes no attempt at social bonding, after year and the spectrum of the "ritual/theater continuum" (Chinoy/Jenkins, 10), we find few women and more men. On the other hand, when we consider family and public performing events were social and religious bonding take place, we find women.
They are decorating parade floats, church interiors, schools, and homes; women manage decent perforations, sing in choirs, light candles and play the organ, guard order and dignity… these performance roles are the rights of women. This is helpful in understanding why there are so few women direct on Broadway. If We Look at the Theater of American and see what's expected and not allowed, we see that women have not been encouraged to create for fun, but rather to create for others, for the community, for social and religious good, and the maintenance of order.
Women were often seen this too good, too sweet, tender, shy… So protected that they could never have been seen the side of life, that someone should know and see – – to be a great dramatists. Although male writers share many of the same difficulties and find theater an uninviting place, women run into put downs from male producers and directors, the ridicule of her family and associates for even trying to make it, and their own guilt and frustration at sacrificing themselves and their children for a career in theater.
One of the earliest playwrights at the 18th century was Susana Centlivre. As a success on the stage Centlivre is second only to Shakespeare. Although critics criticize her theatrical contributions "as lacking wit" (Gale and Gardner, 9), the performers of her time supported her and found her comedies to be quite appealing. Their strengths and needs along with music and dancing with the audience's suited the audience of the time. They were...