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Notable and Rediscovered Women Playwrights Throughout the Centuries (A Work in Progress)

Although there has been a lot of progress in recognizing women playwrights of the past, there are hundreds more that have yet to be rediscovered or reclaimed. The work of reclamation is a large part of the ON HER SHOULDERS mission.

 

10th - 11th Century

  • Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) Ordo Virtutum

  • Hrotsvitha (930-1002) the first known European playwright since Antiquity. Dulcitus (ca 955) Paphnutius, Gallicanus

16th & 17th Century 

  • Aphra Behn (1640-1689) The Rover (1677), Sir Patient Fancy, The Dutch Lover

  • Elizabeth Cary (1585-1639) Tragedy of Mariam (1602-4)

  • Margaret Cavendish (1661-1717) The Convent of Pleasure (1668), Bell in Campo (1662)

  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648-1695) The House of Desires (1683)

  • Mary Pix (1666 -1709) The Beau Defeated (1700)

18th Century

  • Joanna Baillie (1762 –1851) De Monfort (1798)

  • Frances Burney (1776–1828) The Woman Hater (1800)

  • Susanna Centlivre (1667-1723) Bold Stroke for a Wife (1718)

  • Frances Chamberlaine Sheridan (1724-1766) The Discovery (1763)

  • Hannah Cowley (1743–1809) The Belle’s Stratagem (1780)

  • Eliza Haywood (1693?-1756) A Wife to be Let (1723)

  • Elizabeth Inchbald (1753-1821) I’ll Tell You What (1785)

  • Susanna Rowson, née Haswell (1762-1824) Slaves of Algiers (1794)

  • Mercy Otis Warren (1728-1814) The Group (1775), The Ladies of Castille (1790)

19th Century

  • Beatrice Harraden (1864-1936) Lady Geraldine’s Speech (1909)

  • Pauline Hopkins (1859-1930) Peculiar Sam, or, The Underground Railroad (1879)

  • Martha Morton (1865-1925) The Merchant (1880), A Fool of Fortune (1896),
    Bachelor's Romance (1897)

  • Harriet Louisa Childe-Pemberton (1852-1922) Shattered Nerves (1899)

  • Rachilde (1860-1953) Madame La Mort (1891), Pleasure (1893), Voice of Blood (1890)

  • Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie (1819–1870) Fashion (1845)

  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) The Christian Slave (1855)

20th Century

  • Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) A Passion Play (1918), Kurzy of the Sea (1920), Little Drops of Rain (1922), The Dove (1926)

  • Marita Bonner (1899–1971) The Purple Flower- A Play (1928)

  • Alice Childress (1920–1994) Trouble in Mind (1955), Wine in the Wilderness (1969)

  • Rachel Crothers (1878–1958) A Man’s World (1909)

  • Teresa Deevy (1894-1963), Reapers (1930), Temporal Powers (1932), Katie Roche (1936), Light Falling (1947), Within a Marble City (1948), Going Beyond Alma’s Glory (1949)

  • Shelagh Delaney (1939- ) A Taste of Honey (1958)

  • Edith Ellis (1876-1960) Mary Jane's Pa (1912)

  • Edna Ferber (1885-1968), (with G. S. Kaufman) Royal Family (1927) & Dinner at Eight (1932)

  • Hallie Flanagan (1889-1969) Can You Hear Their Voices (1931)

  • Maria Irene Fornes (1930-2019) Fefu and her Friends (1977), Mud (1983), And What of the Night? (1964), The Office (1966)

  • Rose Franken (1895-1988) Outrageous Fortune (1944), Soldier’s Wife (1945)

  • Zona Gale (1874-1938) Miss Lulu Bett (1920)

  • Griselda Gambaro (1928- ) El Campo (1967)

  • Alice Erya Gerstenberg (1885-1972) Overtones (1913) and Fourteen (1920)

  • Susan Glaspell (1876–1948) Trifles (1916) The Inheritors (1921) & The Verge (1921)

  • Evelyn Glover (1874?-1941?) Miss Appleyard’s Awakening (1911)

  • Lady Augusta Gregory (1852–1932) Grania (1912)

  • Angelina Weld Grimke (1880-1958) Rachel (1916)

  • Cicely Hamilton (1872-1852) Diana of Dobson’s (1908)

  • Lorraine Hansberry (1930–1965), Raisin in the Sun (1959) & Les Blancs (written before her death in 1965, first produced in 1970)

  • Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) The Children's Hour (1934), The Little Foxes (1939), Another Part of the Forest (1946), Watch on the Rhine (1941) 

  • Marie Jenney Howe (1870-1934) An Anti-Suffrage Monologue (1913)

  • Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) The Mule Bone: a Comedy of Negro Life in Three Acts (1931), Spunk (1935)

  • Georgia Douglas Johnson (1880–1966) Plumes (1927), Safe (1929), Blue Eyed Black Boy (1930)

  • Clare Booth Luce (1903-1987) The Women (1936)

  • Daphne du Maurier (1907-1989) The Years Between (1946)

  • Carson McCullers (1917-1967) Member of the Wedding (1950)

  • May Miller (1899-1995) Stragglers in the Dust (1930), Nails and Thorns (1933)

  • Mrs. Harlow Phibbs Mother’s Meeting (1913)

  • Dawn Powell (1896-1965) Big Night (1928) & Walking Down Broadway (1931) & Jig Saw (1934)

  • Elizabeth Robins (1862–1952) Votes for Women (1907)

  • Alice L. Rostetter (1880-1961) The Widow's Veil (1919)

  • Rita Creighton Smith (1877-1962), The Rescue (1916)

  • Githa Sowerby (1876-1970) Rutherford and Son (1912)

  • Christopher St. John (1871-1960) How The Vote Was Won (1909), with Cicely Hamilton

  • Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) Aria da Capo (1919)

  • Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) Mother of Us All (1947)

  • Sophie Treadwell (1885–1970) Machinale (1928)

  • Maurine Dallas Watkins (1896-1969) Chicago (1926) So Help Me God (1929)

  • Mae West (1893-1980) Diamon Lil’ (1928) & SEX (1926)

  • Edith Wharton (1862-1937) House of Mirth (novel-1905) dramatization adapted by Wharton and Clyde Fitch (1906)

Works in bold have been showcased through the ON HER SHOULDERS program.