Introduction to Women’s Literature: Survey of Women Playwrights and Scriptwriters

Top Girls and Roving Women: Plays by Female-Identified Authors
Section 01
Trudy Lewis
Course Description

Cross listed with WGST 2180-01


How much of being a woman is merely a matter of performance? And how is that performance represented, exaggerated, troubled, undercut, and questioned on the stage?  This semester, we will consider the performance of womanhood in plays ranging from the proto-feminist Restoration comedy The Rover (1677) by Aphra Behn to The Wolf Play (Hansol Jung), a 2022 drama about a Korean boy adopted by a lesbian woman and her nonbinary partner. Other texts will include Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, Intimate Apparel by Lynne Nottage, Father Comes Home from the Wars by Suzan-Lori Parks, The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl, How I Learned to Drive by Paula Vogel, and selected works from Plays by American Women, 1930-1960 (Ed. Judith E. Barlow). We will also read The Radium Girls by D. W. Gregory in conjunction with the MU Theater’s spring performance. Our approach will be both theoretical and experiential, emphasizing performance, improvisation, playwriting, and reviews. You will produce four micro responses, several group exercises, two stay-at-home exams, a group report, and a final project of your own design.