Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | June 2, 2013

May 27, 2013 ENCORE PRESENTATION Host Brenda Starr Speaks With Lesbian Playwrite Carolyn Gage

Carolyn GageCarolyn Gage is a lesbian feminist playwright, performer, director, and activist. The author of seven books on lesbian theatre and sixty-three plays, musicals, and one-woman shows, she specializes in non-traditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. Her collection of plays The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays won the 2008 Lambda Literary Award in Drama, the top LGBT book award in the US. In 2009, she was named one of the “Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine” by Portland Magazine, and was awarded a three-month residency at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. In 2010, she was named one of the “Most Influential People in Portland” by the Portland Phoenix.

Gage tours internationally in her award-winning, one-woman play, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, offering performances, workshops, and lectures on lesbian theatre. In 2008, her new musical about Babe Didrikson was given concert readings in both Phoenix and Minneapolis, and her play The Countess and the Lesbians premiered at the Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival, where it was reviewed by The Irish Times and sold out the run. In 2008, two collections of her plays were published: Nine Short Plays and The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays. In 2009, a revised and expanded version of her collection of Monologues and Scenes for Lesbian Actors was published, along with her anthology The Spindle and Other Lesbian Fairy Tales.

In 2004, her play Ugly Ducklings was nominated by the American Theatre Critics Association for the prestigious ATCA/ Steinberg New Play Award, an award with given annually for the best new play produced outside New York. It won the Lesbian Theatre Award from Curve Magazine, and a $150,000 documentary on the play premiered at the Frameline International Film Festival in San Francisco. The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women was named National Finalist for the Jane Chambers Award given by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. Receiving top reviews in Miami and in Washington, DC, it was the subject of a feature article in The Washington Post. Her one act, Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist, was presented at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the Juneteenth Festival of African American plays. It was a national winner of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, and is included in Random House’s anthology Under 30: Plays for a New Generation.

Gage’s musical, The Amazon All Stars is the first lesbian full book musical ever published by a mainstream play publisher. Published by Applause Books, it is the title work of an anthology of lesbian plays that was a national finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her manual on lesbian theatre production, Take Stage! How to Direct and Produce a Lesbian Play was published by Scarecrow Press. The University of Oregon has acquired her personal papers for their Special Collections Archive.

Gage’s work has been endorsed by feminist authors and activists, including Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly, Phyllis Chesler, Victoria A. Brownworth, Diana E.H. Russell, and John Stoltenberg. Gage was named contributing editor to the national feminist quarterly On the Issues. Her essays and short stories have been published in the Dramatists Guild Quarterly, Trivia, Sinister Wisdom, Lesbian Ethics, The Lesbian Review of Books, The Gay and Lesbian Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Lambda Book Report, and off our backs. Gage has written the first meditation book for feminist activists, Like There’s No Tomorrow: Meditations for Women Leaving Patriarchy.

In 2008, Gage lectured at Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and she has been a Guest Lecturer at Bates College in Maine. She has won the Oregon Playwrights Award from the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts as well as the Maine Playwrights Award from the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance. She has also been awarded grants from the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine Women Writers’ Collection at the University of New England, the Walden Writer’s Fellowship from Lewis and Clark College, the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts Writer’s Grant, and the Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant. In 2005, she won the national Lynda Hart Memorial Grant from the Astraea Foundation. Gage has also received the Janine C. Rae Award for the Advancement of Women’s Culture from the National Women’s Music Festival. Former recipients include Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Margarethe Cammermeyer, Nikki Giovanni, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.

One of the most prolific feminist playwrights in the world, Carolyn Gage is a dynamic speaker and a powerful role model.

Carolyn Gage website: http://www.carolyngage.weebly.com/

To listen to Brenda Starr’s conversation with playwrite Carolyn Cage click the following link:    

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