WHO ARE WE?

We promote the study and production of women's plays of the past in schools and theaters. We believe it starts with students and professors.

WHY DO WE DO IT?

BECAUSE IT SHOULD BE COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT THERE HAVE BEEN AWARD-WINNING WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS THROUGHOUT HISTORY AND THEY DESERVE TO BE REMEMBERED AND CELEBRATED.

Search our library of historic female playwrights

 
 

BE PART OF IT

 We would LOVE for ALL to join the cause.

 

AN HISTORIC WOMEN PLAYWRIGHTS INITIATIVE

We are inviting professors across the nation to dedicate one class period per semester to a historic play by a woman playwright. Students in a participating class are eligible to apply for the Judith Barlow prize.

EDUCATORS WILL RECEIVE

• Lesson plan for a 50-minute class

• List of suggested women's plays & detailed dramaturgical information

• Lesson plan enrichment ideas

SIGN UP FOR THE INITIATIVE

To sign up for the Initiative please fill out and submit our Commitment Form. You do not need to know your exact curricula yet, but by filling out the form, we'll know to follow up with you if any more information is needed. If you have questions or want further information you can email us at HistoryMattersBacktotheFuture@gmail.com

 

STUDENT INTEREST

Are you a student? Consider recommending this list to your educators!
Please email HistoryMattersBacktotheFuture@gmail.com for a sample lesson plan.

 

A New Prize for Student Playwrights in Honor of Judith E. Barlow

Professor Judith E. Barlow

Professor Judith E. Barlow

THE PRIZE

The first place student winner will receive a $2500 award plus a $500 prize to their professor for introducing the material.

The second place student winner will receive a $1000 award. 

ABOUT JUDITH E. BARLOW

Judith E. Barlow is a Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at the University of Albany, SUNY; received her B.A. from Cornell University and her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania; editor of Plays By American Women 1900-1930Plays By American Women 1930-1960, and Women Writers of the Provincetown Playhouse; author of Final Acts: The Creation of Three Late O’Neill Plays, as well as numerous essays on American Drama. 

 

Eligibility

In order to apply, undergraduate students must be currently enrolled in (or have completed in the past 12 months) a class that is participating in History Matters/Back to the Future’s One Play At A Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative. 

Graduate and PhD students may apply without having taken a class enrolled in the One Play At A Time: Historic Women Playwrights Initiative provided that they commit to reading SIX of the historic women's plays listed in our Play Library and submit notification from an advising professor confirming which plays were read.  

Supplemental Materials

In addition to the completed Application Form, you will need to attach a copy of your one-act play and request a brief recommendation letter from your participating professor.

APPLY

Submissions will be accepted between May 1, 2016 and December  31,  2016. Winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony in April 2016.  In order to apply, please simply download the Word or PDF version of the application and submit according to the instructions in the application. 

 
 

Browse our library of historic female playwrights:

 

YEARS: 1000-1910

 Dulcitius (late 10th century)    
Paphnutius (late 10th century)  
by Hrotsvitha
 
Ordo Virtutum (c. 1151)
by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen
 
Tragedy of Mariam (published 1613)
by Elizabeth Cary
 
Bell in Campo (1662)  
Convent of Pleasure (1668)
by Margaret Cavendish
 
The Rover, Parts One & Two (1677 & 1681) 
The Lucky Chance (1686) 
by Aphra Behn

The Spanish Wives (1696)
by Mary Pix
 
The Belle's Strategem (1780)
by Hannah Cowley
 
I'll Tell You What (1785)
 by Elizabeth Inchbald
 
The Witlings (1798) 
by Frances Burney
 
De Monfort (1789)
by Joanna Baillie
 
Fashion (1845)
by Anna Cora Mowatt

The Christian Slave (1855)
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
 
The House of Mirth (1906) 
by Edith Wharton (Adapted from the novel by Edith Wharton and Clyde Fitch)
 
Votes for Women (1907)
by Elizabeth Robins
 
Diana of Dobson's (1907)
by Cicely Hamilton
 

 

YEARS: 1911-1930

Grania (1912)
by Lady Augusta Gregory
 
Rutherford and Son (1912)   
by Githa Sowerby

A Man’s World (1909)
A Little Journey (1919)
The Importance of Being A Woman (1923)
by Rachel Crothers
 
Rachel (1916)    
by Angelina W. Grimke

Trifles (1916)
The Inheritors (1921)
The Verge (1921)
by Susan Glaspell
 
Miss Lulu Bett (1920)
by Zona Gale
 
Aria da Capo (1920)
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

A Sunday Morning in the South (1925)
Blue Blood (1926)
Plumes (1927)
Safe (1929)
by Georgia Douglas Johnson
  
Sex (1926)
by Mae West
 
The Royal Family (1927)
Dinner at Eight (1932)
 by Edna Ferber with George S. Kaufman
 
Undertow (1927)
by Eulalie Spencer
 
The Purple Flower (1928)
by Marita Bonner
 
Machinal (1928)
by Sophie Treadwell
 
Stragglers in the Dust (1930)
by May Miller

Chicago (1926)
So Help Me God (1936)
by Maurine Dallas Watkins
 

 

YEARS: 1931-1960

Walking Down Broadway (1931)
by Dawn Powell

Can You Hear Their Voices? (1931)
by Hallie Flanigan and Margaret Ellen Clifford

The Old Maid (1934)
by Zoe Akins (Adapted from Edith Wharton)
  
Katie Roche (1936)
by Teresa Deevy
 
The Children's Hour (1934)
 The Little Foxes (1939)
by Lillian Hellman
 
The Women (1937)    
by Clare Boothe

It’s Morning (1940)    
by Shirley Graham
 
Harvey (1944)    
by Mary Chase

Three Sisters Who Are Not Sisters (1943)  
The Mother of Us All (1947)     
by Gertrude Stein
 
Soldier's Wife (1945)
by Rose Franken
 
The Years Between (1946)
by Daphne de Maurier
 
Love Goes to Press (1946)
by Martha Gelhorn and Virginia Cowles
 
Goodbye My Fancy (1948)
by Fay Kanin
 
Members of the Wedding (1950)
by Carson McCullers
 
In The Summer House (1953)
by Jane Bowles
 
Trouble In Mind (1955)
Wedding Band (1962)
by Alice Childress
 
Raisin In The Sun (1959)
by Lorraine Hansberry

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO ATTENDED!

Missed seeing it, watch it on demand at Howlround anytime!

2016 JUDITH BARLOW PRIZE READING

Friday, April 29th at 7:00 PM

WP THEATEr at the McGinn/Cazale (2162 Broadway at 76th Street)  

 
 

Join HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE for the staged reading of the 2016 Judith Barlow Prize winning one-act play Her Own Devices by Catholic University of America student Lindsay Adams.

Her Own Devices  

By Lindsay Adams

Directed by Jade King Carroll

Inspired by Mary Chase's Pulitzer Prize winning HarveyHer Own Devices shares the story of Madeleine, a young girl with a rare autoimmune disorder that forces her to spend her life in a lab, as doctors run endless tests. She copes with the help of her imaginary friend Robot, and ultimately must decide whether or not to leave the only home she’s known.

The evening will be hosted by Kathleen Chalfant.

 

 
 

Judith Barlow Prize

AWARD PRESENTATION & PLAY READING
Sunday, May 3rd at 3:00 PM

Helen Mills Theater
139 West 26th Street, NYC
 
HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE presented the staged reading of the inaugural Judith Barlow Prize winning one-act play Three Landings and a Fire Escape by Northwestern University student Selina Fillinger.

Selina Fillinger  

Selina Fillinger  

Sophie Treadwell 

Sophie Treadwell 

Kathleen Chalfant

Kathleen Chalfant

Three Landings and a Fire Escape

Inspired by Sophie Treadwell's Machinal, this award winning one-act takes place in a Chicago apartment building near the rumbling L train. Three very different women become unlikely friends as they see each other through difficult times and one finds the strength to take matters into her own hands.
 
Directed by award-winning actor and women's advocate Kathleen Chalfant. 
Staring Jennifer Lim, Beth Dixon and Maria-Christina Oliveras.

HOT OFF THE PRESSES

WE’RE AN EDITOR’S PICK IN THE WASHINGTON POST

“It is a peculiar distinction in the world of playwrights: Works written by men are often called plays. But works written by women are often categorized as ‘women’s plays.’”

The feature article was written by  DeNeen L. Brown with photos taken by Becky Mezzanotte at our August 1st, 2012 event "Scenes from Historic Women Playwrights: Read by Luminaries of the Stage" at the Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University

OUR MISSION

History Matters/Back to the Future promotes the study and production of women’s plays of the past in colleges and universities and theatres throughout the country and encourages responses to those plays from contemporary women playwrights.

STEERING COMMITTEE

Sallie Bingham
Jill Dolan
Jann Leeming
Helen Mills
Joan Vail Thorne
Ludovica Villar-Hauser


“Celebrating women’s plays of the past to teach and inspire.”

HISTORY MATTERS/BACK TO THE FUTURE WILL BE STARTING A DISCUSSION PAGE IN 2016

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