Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Notes from Justine: Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I’m so excited that our second space-grant productions are about to open. We have 3 great shows opening this month. I’ll let you read about them on our website

These shows get me excited about all the female-centric art being created around us. I recently read an article in Slate ( about how women still don’t get a fair shake in the literary world. No big surprise to us here at Looking Glass. We’ve been talking about and working to counteract the “canonization problem” for years now. Back when I first got interested in the forgotten classics it didn’t take long to figure out why the vast majority of the many works by women from the past have been forgotten. It’s not about quality but about who controls canonization. Now I’m not going to get myself in trouble by saying that Mary Pix is as “good” (whatever that means) as William Wycherley. But she certainly might be just as good as Oliver Goldsmith. Why aren’t any of Pix’s plays still produced as often as “She Stoops to Conquer”? Well, because no one’s ever heard of her plays. They were popular in their time, as were many of the plays by her many female peers, but they were all mostly forgotten. Why? Were ALL the plays by women just plain forgettable? Or was it that when it came time to collect, list, and basically REMEMBER the best works the process has been almost completely controlled by men.

I do think there is some change and growth happening. I’m not feeling doom and gloom even given the very slow trickle up that is happening on Broadway and Off- Broadway. There’s tons of great, great stuff happening here in the trenches with women at the helm in all the jobs. Eventually we will achieve true equal time. Not to mention pay, but, hey, little by little, it’s only been a few decades since we got the vote, ladies…maybe we should be more patient….LOL, just kidding, I’m not saying it’s OK, I’m just saying that slow and steady wins the race, and win we will.

Justine Lambert
Artistic Director
The Looking Glass Theatre

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