Credit: The Interval/Vimeo
Hollywood isn’t the only industry with a woman problem. A new video from women’s theater website The Interval reminds us of this as it spotlights Lynn Nottage
and Paula Vogel, the only women with new plays on Broadway this season. The two accomplished theater veterans are only just making their Broadway debuts in 2017.
The animated infographic summarizes both women’s impressive resumes: Nottage attended Brown and Yale, her plays have been staged around the country, and she’s received a laundry list of awards, and Vogel is an American Theater Hall of Fame inductee, the recipient of multiple playwriting prizes, and has run Mfa programs at Brown and Yale. Both women have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The video then highlights the theater world’s blatant gender disparity. “Lynn and Paula are only just making it to Broadway,” the video informs us. And here’s the real heartbreaker: “None of the eight men with new plays on Broadway have won a Pulitzer.”
“Sweat,” Nottage’s Broadway debut, is about dissatisfaction, anger, and resentment among the working class, specifically among factory workers facing layoffs in Reading, Pennsylvania. Vogel’s debut, “Indecent,” examines the controversial 1923 play “God of Vengeance,” which was closed by police due to its depiction of lesbianism. As The Interval’s video emphasizes, “Both plays are super relevant to what’s happening in the world today,” a fact which makes the playwrights’ longtime exclusion from the Great White Way feel even more baffling.
Nottage is the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice. She won this year for “Sweat” and in 2009 for “Ruined
,” which focuses on “ruined” women — rape survivors and sex workers — in civil war-torn Congo. Her other plays include “Crumbs from the Table of Joy,” “Fabulation,” “Intimate Apparel,” and “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark.” “Sweat” previously won the Blackburn Prize in 2016.
“Winning the second Pulitzer firmly places me in conversation with this culture,” Nottage said of her recent win. She emphasized the importance of “representing for women” “representing for playwrights of color.”
Vogel won the Pulitzer in 1998 for “How I Learned to Drive,” a portrait of a woman in a sexually abusive relationship with her uncle. She and her “How I Learned to Drive” and “Indecent” producer Daryl Roth
will be honored by the New Dramatists in May. Vogel’s previous plays include“Don Juan
Comes Home From Iraq,” “The Mineola Twins,” “The Baltimore Waltz,” “Hot ‘N Throbbing,” “Desdemona,” and “The Oldest Profession.”
Check out the video below. It’s animated by Desiree Nasim and written by
Danielle Feder and Victoria Myers. You can watch The Interval’s other projects on Vimeo.
Watch: Why Are Playwrights Lynn Nottage
& Paula Vogel Only Just Making It
to Broadway? was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.