Peggy McKowen (Editor)(Methuen)
3.75 out of 5
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This anthology represents the voices of women who range from two-time Obie Award-winning authors to emerging writers just beginning their careers.
It's a group of women who vary in age, race and sexual orientation, representing a selection of society that is inclusive.
One of the Festival's core values is "to tell diverse stories".
This play anthology represents the success of that value by identifying some of the most current work in the theater today - all of which have had subsequent productions since their premiere at the Contemporary American Theater Festival.
The Contemporary American Theater Festival, based at Shepard University, West Virginia, is nationally and internationally recognized as a home for playwrights and the development and production of new plays.
The Festival makes it a priority to celebrate and produce playwrights with diverse backgrounds and strong, distinct voices, including women.
Since 1991 the Festival has produced over 121 plays; 50% have been written by women across a canon of work that includes 47 world premieres and 10 commissions representing 85 playwrights.
The anthology provides plays that speak to one of the most compelling virtues of artists everywhere - freedom of speech.
By gathering these works together it becomes a necessary volume of women playwright's work and an invitation to artistic leaders, scholars and students to embrace gritty, thought-provoking new dramatic work.
Along with five powerful plays this anthology features an introduction to the works in conversation by Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage.
Each play is prefaced by an artists statement from the author and followed by an informative and discursive author interview conducted by Sharon J. Anderson that contextualizes and develops the plays themselves.
The plays include: Gidion's Knot by Johnna Adams The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess Dead and Breathing by Chisa Hutchinson 20th Century Blues by Susan Miller Memoirs of a Forgotten Man by D.W Gregory