Cover image for Notable women in the American theatre : a biographical dictionary
Title:
Notable women in the American theatre : a biographical dictionary
Author:
Robinson, Alice M., 1922-
Publication Information:
New York : Greenwood Press, [1989]

©1989
Physical Description:
xv, 993 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780313272172
Format :
Book

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PN2285 .N65 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
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Summary

Summary

This reference book has entries for some 300 women in American theater, ranging from actors, directors, choreographers, playwrights, and designers, to critics, agents, and managers, and should provide focus for future scholars of women's studies and theater. . . . . The volume will prove valuable to scholars and the curious. Library Journal

The current and thoughtful treatment of this book will be valuable for academic and large public libraries, especially those that support research in women's studies, theater, American studies, and biography. Booklist

From Mrs. Lewis Hallam, the first known professional actress in America to outstanding women of the present era, this biographical dictionary alphabetically examines some 300 notable women who had distinguished careers in the American theatre. Not simply a list of names and activities, the volume--to the extent possible--narrates and evaluates the women's lives and accomplishments providing not only relevant biographical information and bibliographical materials but also describing the women's professional contributions. In representing the careers of theatre artists from actors, directors, and designers, to choreographers, managers, playwrights, educators, critics, variety performers, and agents, this first reference of its kind devoted exclusively to women also serves as a unique survey of the history of American theatre. Notable Women in the American Theatre documents the widespread activities of women in the American theatre. As many of them functioned in more than one capacity, one of the two appendixes lists names in the various professional categories.

Each entry describes the pertinent facts of biography and contains a descriptive narrative relating to the individual's career with a special notation of her distinguished role in the American theatre. A bibliography of the featured woman, including sources to be found in books, magazines, and newspapers, is also part of the alphabetical entry. To aid readers and researchers, 2 separate appendixes contain listings by place of birth and by profession and collate the interrelatedness of the careers of many of the women. Compiled primarily as a reference for college and university libraries, the volume would be a useful supplement to courses in women's studies, American studies, drama courses taught in English and theatre departments, courses in the history of the theatre, American history, and biography.


Author Notes

ALICE M. ROBINSON is Associate Professor of Theatre and Speech at the University of Maryland. She has written articles published in Women in American Theatre , Players Magazine , and Educational Theatre Journal and is currently working on The American Theatre: A History in Slides .

VERA MOWRY ROBERTS is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at Hunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She has written numerous articles, chiefly in American theatre, for various encyclopedias and periodicals. She is the coeditor of the Journal of American Drama and Theatre , and has written two books, On Stage: A History of Theatre (1962, 1974 second ed.) and The Nature of Theatre (1972).

MILLY S. BARRANGER is Chairperson and Professor of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her more than fifty articles on drama and theatre have been published in Theatre Journal , Modern Drama , Southern Quarterly , Tennessee Williams Literary Journal , New Orleans Review , Quarterly Journal of Speech , and Scandanavian Studies , among others. She has previously published Theatre: A Way of Seeing (1980, 1986 second ed.), Theatre: Past and Present (1984) and Generations: An Introduction to Drama (1971).


Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

This reference book has entries for some 300 women in American theater, ranging from actors, directors, choreographers, playwrights, and designers, to critics, agents, and managers, and should provide focus for future scholars of women's studies and theater. Though written by many researchers, the entries have a formulaic structure, the final part of which, a bibliography, is the most useful. The book is crammed with information, both essential and interesting. Did you know that June Havoc and Gypsy Rose Lee were sisters? A couple of quibbles: A few of the entries do not seem to be particularly ``notable'' women of the theater. Also, the first index lists the entries by place of birth, which seems a silly rationale for arrangement of information in a work of this type. The volume will prove valuable to scholars and the curious.-- Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., Mass. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Choice Review

This work is particularly useful because it includes not only actresses, but women agents, critics, dancers, directors, managers, playwrights, designers, producers--professional women who have contributed to the growth and development of the American theater. The range includes Maude Adams, Lorraine Hansberry, and Gypsy Rose Lee. Some of the criteria for inclusion are that the biographee have been born in the US or have had major portions of her career in the US, that her achievements be significant, and that a pioneering or innovative quality have characterized her contributions. The entries (two to four pages) are signed (there are 181 contributors) and include brief bibliographies. There is a main index in addition to a listing by place of birth and a listing by profession. Many of the subjects also appear in volumes of Notable American Women (though the new work includes living as well as deceased women) and other biographical sources for either the theater or for women, but this is a convenient collection of women who are important in a variety of ways to the American theater. Recommended for theater collections and women's studies collections in both academic and public libraries. -M. McCormick, University of California, Los Angeles


Table of Contents

Introduction
Notable Women in the American Theatre
Appendix 1 Listing by Place of Birth
Appendix 2 Listing by Profession
Index