Wendy Wasserstein

Dramatizing Women, Their Choices and Their Boundaries


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About the Book

Although Wasserstein calls herself a humanist, her works reflect a political rhetoric, if cloaked in humor, that she herself could not imagine to be anything but feminist. Shaped by literal, cultural, and materialistic feminist theory, Wasserstein illustrates the impact of the women’s movement on the lives of her female characters. The five major works, with their near-sequel effect, let us see her characters’ college years, mid-twenties, mid-thirties and middle age.
Through the use of a newly devised critical context called fem-en(act)ment, or textual or performance drama that is guided by feminist disposition thematically and stylistically, the author here allows for a fresh reading of the Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright.

About the Author(s)

Gail Ciociola is an adjunct instructor of drama and poetry at Villanova University in Philadelphia.

Bibliographic Details

Gail Ciociola
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 176
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2005 [1998]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2317-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0716-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      v

1. Wendy Wasserstein: Feminism, Feminist Drama, and Fem-en(act)ment      1

2. Wasserstein’s Uncommon Women      21

3. Having It All: A Woman Is (Not) Her Mother      40

4. “All in This Together”: Idealism, Sisterhood, and Other Dilemmas      56

5. Of Life and Men      81

6. What Price Glory?      100

7. Fem-en(act)ment Revisited      127

Appendix: New York City and Television Production History of the Major Plays of Wendy Wasserstein      139

Bibliography of Works by Wasserstein      143

Bibliography of Critical Works and Reviews      149

Bibliography of General Works      157

Index      165

Book Reviews & Awards

“a detailed picture…full index and extensive bibliographies. Recommended”—Choice.