Guardian piece on female playwrights

17 Jul

Finally–from Max Stafford-Clark, writing in the Guardian– an intelligent and thoughtful piece about gender and playwriting. 
Looking for the next bright young female playwright? | Max Stafford-Clark | Stage | guardian.co.uk.
Notable in this piece and absent from recent American articles is a sense of history–he points out the many excellent female writers (in the UK) who have been breathlessly sensationalized as “the next hot young thing” and then discarded and forgotten.

I’m so glad to read this. The breathy American valorization of the “hot new thing” which infects every level of the theatre, not just the media, is another obstacle on the formidably difficult path of building a body of work and a career in the theatre. It’s product oriented, not art-oriented, and certainly not artist-oriented. If everyone constantly demands world premieres from 22 year olds (for “workshops” or perhaps one world premiere, then the scrap heap) the theatre will look like, well— what it does. Callow, shallow and undercooked in the “development” fringes, and hoary, old and conservative in the regional dinosaurs.

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