Play Library

The play library was reviewed and edited by university professors with a focus in historic plays by women.

Filters

Genre
All
Tragicomedy
Tragedy
Satire
Opera
Melodrama
Literary Adaptation
Folk Play
Fantasy
Drama
Comedy
Backstage Comedy
Cast Size
All
Small 1-4
Medium 5-10
Large 11+
Length
All
One-Act
Full-length
Sort by
Title/Date/Playwright
Title A-Z
Title Z-A
Playwright A-Z
Playwright Z-A
Date (Newest first)
Date (Oldest first)

 
 

Browse

Using the suffrage movement as a focal point for political didacticism on stage and as an exploration of “the personal is political,” Votes for Women! begins at Lord John Wynnstay’s house in Hertfodshire. Vida Levering, a young suffragette, travels t…
 

About the Playwright

Elizabeth Robins
Elizabeth Robins
Elizabeth Robins (1862-1952) Known as “Lisa of the blue eyes,” American-born Elizabeth Robins lived over half of her life in England and was a member of the London intelligentsia; she was friends with George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Henry James, and—towards the end of her life—Virginia and Leonard Woolf. Influenced by her American roots, the English literary elite, and her many roles as Ibsen’s heroines, Robins had a very successful career as an actress (both in the United States and England)…
View Profile
Set in a New York house occupied by a number of artists – both successful and unsuccessful – A Man’s World centers on Frank Ware, a writer raising an adopted son. Frank’s books center on the social wrongs endured by women, a commitment intensified by…
 

About the Playwright

Rachel Crothers
Rachel Crothers
Rachel Crothers (1878-1958) had nearly 30 plays produced on Broadway between 1906 and 1937; and she directed most of them herself. “In the last 200 years, a respectable number of women have left their mark on American theater, but few of them have had as impressive a career as Rachel Crothers,” wrote the New York Times in 1980, adding “Although it is rare now to find anyone who has heard of her, Miss Crothers at the apex of her career was the symbol of success in the commercial theater.” Born i…
View Profile
1912
 
Despite having the title of the daughter of the King of Ireland, Grania has no power as a young woman in her country.  She is soon to be married off to Finn, a wealthy and respected warrior who is much older than she is, and she is content to do so. …
 

About the Playwright

Lady Augusta Gregory
Lady Augusta Gregory
Isabella Augusta Persse was born on March 15, 1852, the youngest of sixteen children in her Irish family.  When she was twenty-eight years of age, she married Sir William Henry Gregory, thirty-five years her senior and a landowner and politician, which perhaps influenced Lady Gregory’s own engagement in politics later in her life.  They had one son together, and after her husband died in 1892, Lady Gregory began writing.  Soon after, she met William Butler Yeats with whom she would collaborate f…
View Profile
Under the tyrannical rule of its patriarch, the Rutherford family must find a way to flourish and prevail. Clearly left wounded by the strain of The Great Unrest, John Rutherford is a mean, spiteful man who squelches the dreams of his children and as…
 

About the Playwright

Githa Sowerby
Githa Sowerby
(October 6th 1876 -June 30th 1970) Githa Sowerby is a feminist playwright only recently lauded for her accomplishments. She grew up in obscurity  and began writing children’s books under the penname K.G. Sowerby which were illustrated by her sister Millicent Sowerby.  Githa was thrust into stardom when she struck a chord with audiences with her 1912 hit Rutherford and Son. The play, loosely based on her life, describes  challenges the role and expectations of women in the male dominated, indust…
View Profile
Rachel Loving loves children and longs to be a mother, but after seeing the devastating effects of racism on the children she cares for, and learning that her father and brother were lynched (her mother kept the cause of their death secret), she reso…
 

About the Playwright

Angelina Weld Grimké
Angelina Weld Grimké
Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958) wrote poetry, short stories, and non-fiction as well as plays. She was named for her great-aunt, the abolitionist Angelina Grimké Weld. Angelina’s father, Archibald Grimké, was a Harvard-educated lawyer, author, editor, educator and Vice-President of the NAACP. Not much is known about her mother, Sarah Stanley Grimké, other than she scandalized her white family by marrying an African-American man. Sarah abandoned the family shortly after Angelina was born. Angel…
View Profile
1916
 
The county attorney, the sheriff, and a neighbor gather at the isolated Wright farmhouse on a freezing winter day to try to discover who murdered John Wright. His wife, Minnie, has been taken into custody, and the men are seeking evidence of a motive…
 

About the Playwright

Susan Glaspell
Susan Glaspell
Susan Keating Glaspell (1876-1948) Born July 1, 1876, in Davenport, Iowa, Susan Glaspell published news articles and short stories even before entering Drake University, from which she received a degree in philosophy. Over the course of her career, she wrote more than fifty short stories, nine novels, fourteen plays, and a biography of her husband, George Cram (Jig) Cook. It is difficult to imagine the Provincetown Players (1916-1922) without Glaspell, a founding member who acted as well as w…
View Profile
The play is set in a conference room in the sheriff’s home. Young Gordon Wallace stands accused of killing a man but, for fear of ruining her reputation, refuses to name the woman who can give him an alibi. A half dozen female characters appear claim…
 

About the Playwright

Susan Glaspell
Susan Glaspell
Susan Keating Glaspell (1876-1948) Born July 1, 1876, in Davenport, Iowa, Susan Glaspell published news articles and short stories even before entering Drake University, from which she received a degree in philosophy. Over the course of her career, she wrote more than fifty short stories, nine novels, fourteen plays, and a biography of her husband, George Cram (Jig) Cook. It is difficult to imagine the Provincetown Players (1916-1922) without Glaspell, a founding member who acted as well as w…
View Profile
The play opens with a harlequinade, with the commedia dell’arte characters Pierrot and Columbine on stage performing. Cothurnus, the fifth character, appears and begins to manipulate the action on stage. He clears Pierrot and Columbine off the stage …
 

About the Playwright

Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay
Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) remains one of the foremost poets of the modern era, and is considered to have crafted some of the finest sonnets ever written. Her poetry was so highly acclaimed that it earned Millay both the 1923 Pulitzer Prize and the Robert Frost Medal, two of the highest honors in the literary world, for her poem “The Harp-Weaver.” Born in Rockland, Maine in 1892, Millay, the eldest of three sisters, was born to a nurse and a schoolteacher. However, her father abandoned…
View Profile