Why a Month? Theresa Rebeck, Lynn Nottage, Lee Daniels, and World Theatre Day

Today is World Theatre Day. Each year, a theatre maker is selected to write a quote for the community, a sort of suggestion for the rest of us. Lynn Nottage, the most recent Pulitzer Prize Winner in Drama for Ruined, wrote this:

I challenge all of us to sustain the complexity of our world; to invite a
multitude of diverse voices onto the stage. We must open the doors and
windows of our theatres to let the world in. It is our responsibility; it is
our burden and our gift.

I find this a really pressing quote, especially when Theresa Rebeck just gave this speech on the 16th. In it, Rebeck describes the rather strange account of a New York Times review that dismissed her play The Butterfly Collection as a man-hating feminist diatribe, commending Tony-Award winning director Bartlett Sher on his impressive work “done with the playwright so ready to resent him.” She is too classy to name the reviewer. (He now seems to be focusing on writing obituaries as far as I can tell.) The production sunk, offers to publish in American Theater and transfers disappeared. Tina Howe complained to Dramatists and apologies were made, but not to Rebeck herself.

People suggested she write under a male pseudonym for a while, but Rebeck didn’t see the point. There are lots of women playwrights, aren’t there? Continue reading