Author Archives: Martha Carpentier

Susan Glaspell’s Poetics and Politics of Rebellion (University of Iowa Press, 2017)

“In Susan Glaspell’s Poetics and Politics of Rebellion, Emeline Jouve has cleared away what Lawrence Langer once called Glaspell’s ‘old lace’ to reveal the ‘steel lining beneath the tender surface’—the politics and, really, outrage at injustice and belief in democratic idealism that are at the center of Glaspell’s dramaturgy—and her raison d’être as a writer.” — Drew Eisenhauer, Coventry University

A pioneer of American modern drama and founding member of the Provincetown Players, Susan Glaspell (1876–1948) wrote plays of a kind that Robert Brustein defines as a “drama of revolt,” an expression of the dramatists’ discontent with the prevailing social, political, and artistic order. Her works display her determination to put an end to the alienating norms that, in her eyes and those of her bohemian peers, were stifling American society. This determination both to denounce infringements on individual rights and to reform American life through the theatre shapes the political dimension of her drama of revolt.

Analyzing plays from the early Trifles (1916) through Springs Eternal (1943) and the undated, incomplete Wings, author Emeline Jouve illustrates the way that Glaspell’s dramas addressed issues of sexism, the impact of World War I on American values, and the relationship between individuals and their communities, among other concerns. Jouve argues that Glaspell turns the playhouse into a courthouse, putting the hypocrisy of American democracy on trial. In staging rebels fighting for their rights in fictional worlds that reflect her audience’s extradiegetic reality, she explores the strategies available to individuals to free themselves from oppression. Her works envisage a better future for both her fictive insurgents and her spectators, whom she encourages to consider which modes of revolt are appropriate and effective for improving the society they live in. The playwright defines social reform in terms of collaboration, which she views as an alternative to the dominant, alienating social and political structures. Not simply accusing but proposing solutions in her plays, she wrote dramas that enacted a positive revolt.

A must for students of Glaspell and her contemporaries, as well as scholars of American theatre and literature of the first half of the twentieth century.

$65 or Sale Price $48 with promo code jouv17

“Trifles at 100” at the Metropolitan Playhouse, October 2016

(l. to r.) J. Ellen Gainor, Barbara Ozieblo, Noelia Hernando-Real, Cheryl Black, Emeline Jouve and Sharon Friedman answer audience questions at the Metropolitan “Trifles at 100” concert reading.

A professional concert reading of Trifles was presented on October 4, 2016, at the Metropolitan Playhouse, 220 East 4th St., New York City, organized by AD Alex Roe and ISGS members Sharon Friedman and J. Ellen Gainor, to celebrate the centennial of Trifles.  ISGS members participated in a post-reading discussion at this moving tribute to Glaspell’s most iconic play.

2016 Business Meeting Minutes

Gallatin School, NYU, New York City, 4 October 2017, 4.30 pm

 In attendance: Cheryl Black, Martha Carpentier, Marla Del Collins, J. Ellen Gainor, Noelia Hernando-Real (President), Ling Jiane, Emeline Jouve (Vice-President), Barbara Ozieblo

Noelia Hernando-Real thanked Sharon Friedman for getting the Society a room in which to hold the meeting. She then thanked Sharon and J. Ellen Gainor for organizing the post-reading panel at the Metropolitan Playhouse; she thanked Judith Barlow for supervising the election process and Doug Powers for his work as Membership and Treasure officer over the past six years; and she thanked Martha Carpentier for her work as vice-president and president over the past twelve years.  Noelia offered Martha a gift in recognition of her contributions on behalf of the society.

Conferences and post-show panels/discussions:  Noelia listed all the events in which the Society has been involved since the last Business meeting:

  • August 2013 (ATHE). Session: “Playing with Feminism: Susan Glaspell’s Woman’s Honor as Social Satire of the Sexual Double Standard” (Reading of Woman’s Honor too). Introduction by Barbara Ozieblo, J. Ellen Gainor and Heidi Schmidt. Reading (Cheryl Black, Basia Ozieblo, Ellen Gainor);
  • October 2013: World premiere of Springs Eternal at the Orange Tree. Seminar on the Provincetown Players, Glaspell and the theme of war, organized by Noelia Hernando Real. Speakers: Linda Ben-Zvi, J. Ellen Gainor, Barbara Ozieblo, Cheryl Black, Emeline Jouve, Drew Eisenhauer, Sherry Engle, and Noelia Hernando-Real;
  • April 2014: First International Conference of the French Modernist Society with ISGS sponsored panel featuring Emeline Jouve, Eisenhauer, Jeff Kennedy, Beth Wynstra, Noelia Hernando-Real;
  • October 2014: Susan Glaspell at her alma mater, Drake University, in Davenport Iowa: ISGS members read “Performing Bohemia” and conducted a post-show discussion featuring Jeff Kennedy, Cheryl Black, Martha Carpentier, Barbara Ozieblo, and Noelia Hernando-Real. ISGS members and Drake University faculty met and dined with Dean Schroll, who had originally contacted Martha to organize the event. Drake University named their annual reading series, which Schroll sponsors, in honor of Glaspell: “The Susan Glaspell Writers and Critics Series”;
  • February 2015: “L’Acte Inqualifiable ou le Meurtre au Féminine” or “Unspeakable Acts: Murders by Women,” a conference co-organized by Emeline Jouve at l’Université Toulouse Jean-Juarès. Martha Carpentier was invited to present “Women’s Justice: Nemesis and Subversion in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles”;
  • March 2015: panel “Visions of Tragedy in American Theatre” at the 39th Comparative Drama Conference, held at Stevenson University in Baltimore, Maryland, chaired and organized by Sharon Friedman on behalf of ISGS);
  • July 2015: Provincetown centennial celebration co-organized by the ISGS (Martha Carpentier and Noelia Hernando-Real) and Jeffrey Kennedy from the Eugene O’Neill Society. Thirty people participated at the celebration, which consisted of panels (12 participants), historical tours and performances. The attendees came from the US and Europe. The ISGS and the IEOS organized the events in collaboration with the Provincetown Library, Provincetown Museum and Provincetown Theatre. Tony Kushner participated in a post-show discussion with Linda Ben-Zvi and Jeff Kennedy;
  • September 2015: “Hour by Hour Susan Glaspell” at the American Bard Theater Company with discussion by Linda Ben-Zvi;
  • November 2015, Alison’s House performed at the Metropolitan Playhouse followed by talk-back by Linda Ben-Zvi;
  • November 2015: The Verge performed at the Provincetown Theatre with a panel organized by Linda Ben-Zvi.

The society members stressed the profusion of events and the interconnection between the academic world and the world of culture (theatre venues, museums, etc.) at large. Events are taking place both in the US and in Europe, which shows the international nature of the society.


  • Martha C. Carpentier and Emeline Jouve (eds): On Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and “A Jury of her Peers”: Centennial Essays, Interviews and Adaptations (McFarland);
  • Martha Carpentier, Barbara Ozieblo, Noelia Hernando-Real, Michael Winetsky published chapters in the anthology derived from the 2008 Delphi conference organized by Stockton College: Americans and the Experience of Delphi (2013, eds. Paul Lorenz and David Roessel);
  • Noelia Hernando-Real: Voces Contra La Mediocridad: La Vanguardia Teatral De Los Provincetown Players, 1915-1922, the first history of the Provincetown Players written in Spanish, and which also includes the translation into Spanish of eight plays, including Inheritors and The Verge;
  • Emeline Jouve, Aurélie Guillain, Laurence Talairach-Vielmas (eds.), Unspeakable Acts : Murders by Women (McFarland); includes essay by Martha Carpentier, “Women’s Justice: Nemesis and Subversion in Susan Glaspell’s Trifles”;
  • Other works featuring chapters on Susan Glaspell’s work include: Nina Tessler, Flowers and Towers: Politics of Identity in the Art of the American “New Woman”;Kirsten Shepherd-Barr, Theatre and Evolution from Ibsen to Beckett; Emeline Jouve: “Du presque-rien au presque-tout : le dévoilement de l’invisible dans Trifles (1916) de Susan Glaspell.”
  • Recent entries for the Literary Encyclopedia include:
    • Campagna, Vanessa Marie. “Bernice: A Play in Three Acts”. The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 July 2015;
    • Winetsky, Michael. “Judd Rankin’s Daughter”. The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 August 2014;
    • Engle, Sherry. “The Comic Artist: A Play in Three Acts”. The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 September 2013;
    • Burch, Milbre Elizabeth. “Author Chronology for Susan Keating Glaspell”. The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 April 2013.

Literary Encyclopedia entries on Glaspell’s works that remain to be written:

Noelia stressed the importance to go on with the entries and asked for volunteers to write the remaining entries. List of the entries that are left: Her America, Lifted Masks, The Road to the Temple, Cherished and Shared of All, Free Laughter. Novels: Ambrose Holt, Norma Ashe, Morning is Near Us, The Visioning. Ellen suggested asking Linda Ben-Zvi to do The Road to the Temple; Cheryl agreed to do Ambrose Holt; Martha volunteered to do Norma Ashe and Morning is Near Us, while Drew offered to do Lifted Masks. Noelia suggested involving graduate students in the writing of entries.

Ariel’s Corner:  Emeline Jouve introduced Ariel’s Corner, which is a specific section of the ejournal Miranda, hosted by l’Université Toulouse Jean-Juarès. Emeline is the editor of the theatre articles published in Ariel’s Corner. The aim is not to publish “conventional scholarly articles” but rather interviews, reviews, essays on theatre.  Emeline explained that she tries to promote Glaspell’s work; for this reason she sent a call for contributions through the list last year. Thus far Ariel’s Corner features two contributions on Glaspell and Emeline called for new contributions on Glaspell or the Provincetown Players:

  • Denise Doherty Pappas who attended the production of The Verge of the Provincetown Theatre wrote a review which was published in April;
  • Noelia Hernando-Real’s interview of the founders of the ISGS, Barbara Ozieblo and Martha Carpentier.

Theses:  Congratulations to Rasha Gazzaz who finished her thesis,  “Suppressed Voices: Women and Class in the Fiction of Susan Glaspell” at the University of Leicester (not a live link, copy and paste into your browser):

Awards:  Noelia announced that no one submitted articles for the biannual best published paper, best conference paper, or best translation awards. One of the reasons may be that the members actively publishing are involved in Society governance and there is a conflict of interest.  Solutions to solve the problem were considered: Martha Carpentier suggested reaching out to the contributors to publications related to Glaspell or the Provincetown Players, also encouraging graduate students. Barbara Ozieblo believed that more publicity should be made, but Noelia reminded the members that the awards were advertised through ATDS and on Facebook. Sharon Friedman suggested carrying the awards over, which was seconded and approved.

 Membership:  Noelia listed 56 current members (4 honorary); however, of these 37 have renewed membership and paid dues, and 15 have not paid although she sent personal mails to those who forgot to renew. Martha noted that a core of 40 members has been fairly consistent over the years and is a good number. Members discussed dropping out the people who did not pay their renewals, but eventually decided to keep them on the list.

Facebook/Blog:  Emeline introduced the FB page, launched in January 2015, for which she is the webmaster. Most of the people reached are in the USA (156 in Oct, 2016) and in France (108 – which may be explained by the fact that Emeline is the webmaster). Emeline posts all the news from the Society and encourages members to send her information to post. She invited the members who have not “friended” the page to do so and Martha urged the members to reach out to their friends. Ling Jian suggested reaching out to her students. FB is a means to reach younger people. Martha is still in charge of the blog, which is hosted by Seton Hall University. She explained that FB is a good supplement to the blog to get the latest news.

Discussion on how to foster research on Glaspell and the involvement of young scholars:  Noelia pinpointed the difficulties of getting new or young scholars into the field of Glaspell studies. Ellen Gainor reminded us that MLA has a public series called “Approaches to Teaching,” which she believes would welcome a volume on Glaspell’s works.  Although the process of proposing and editing these volumes is a difficult one, Ellen thinks that it is a good idea to go through with it as it would be a good way of getting new people.  Martha also suggested that we become a sub-group of the MLA—once you are affiliated, you automatically get a panel at every annual MLA conference, which would gives us high visibility and attract new members.

Treasurer’s report:  Noelia reminded us that the ISGS membership and bank balances are healthy, but there have been some delays in transferring control over the funds and membership list to Drew Eisenhauer, the new membership and finances officer, particularly since he lives in France. Drew Eisenhauer and Doug Powers sent the President their report and she read it:  The Paypal account has a balance of $1840-less expenses for the Trifles Celebration (including gift); the bank account balance is $3739.44; there are 55 members listed on the roster, with 14 listed as unpaid and in need of renewal.

Drew would like to ask if core members would consider automatic renewal. The members present considered it a good option, although some pointed out that some people won’t like the idea. Drew will look into this option, as well as coming up with ways to transfer control of the funds to him, including the possibility of banking through Paypal.

National Women’s Hall of Fame:  Noelia announced that our nomination of Glaspell again did not make the cut for the National Women’s Hall of Fame, even though a lengthy application spearheaded by Ellen and prepared by Ellen, Martha, Cheryl, Barbara, and Noelia was again submitted. The application failed for the second time. Noelia will ask for some explanation. The members agreed that the Society should try to apply again.

Future ISGS plans:

  • Madrid (Autonoma University), Oct 2016, International theatre seminar: “The Politics of Theatre. Susan Glaspell and the Creation of US Modern Drama” (organizer: Noelia Hernando-Real);
  • Toulouse (Jean-Jaurès University), March 2016, American Theatre Project Lab: “(In)Visible Violence: Trifles by Susan Glaspell”;
  • Bordeaux (Bordeaux University), SSAWW conference: Roundtable and reading of Fugitive’s Return;
  • Galway, EONS Conference: Drew Eisenhauer’s panel on the women of the Provincetown Players.

Noelia asked members for their opinion on what should be done next, whether the Society should attend ALA in 2017 or wait until 2018. The members decided to check where the conferences will be next year (east or west coast) and then decide whether to apply. The question of the commitment with the “Five Drama Societies” at ALA was also raised and the members decided that continuance of this alliance should be investigated. Martha commented that since the governance is now in Europe, more events should be organized in Europe and American Glaspellians will find ways to attend.

Future publications include Emeline Jouve, Susan Glaspell’s Poetics and Politics of Rebellion (University of Iowa Press); Drew Eisenhauer and Jeff Kennedy’s anthology on the Provincetown Players; and Judith Barlow on women in O’Neill for the Eugene O’Neill Review.

Next Business Meeting:  Noelia proposed possible venues where the next ISGS business meeting could be held: Bordeaux in July 2017 seems a good option; Galway also in July 2017 was mentioned. No conclusions were drawn, so the Executive Council will decide where to meet again, depending on potential attendance.

On Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and “A Jury of Her Peers”: Centennial Essays, Interviews and Adaptations (McFarland, 2015)

Trifles Centennial McFarland On Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and “A Jury of Her Peers”: Centennial Essays, Interviews and Adaptations celebrates the 2016 centennial of Trifles and “A Jury of Her Peers” with a selection of all new essays featuring an international roster of contributors. Edited by Martha C. Carpentier and Emeline Jouve, the collection joins academic scholarship with theatre practitioner interviews and two original creative works inspired by Glaspell’s iconic works.

In the summer of 1915 on a wharf in Provincetown, Massachusetts, the summer gathering place of Greenwich Village artists and writers, Susan Glaspell was inspired by memories of the sensational Hossack murder trial she covered as a young reporter in Des Moines to write Trifles – her play about two women who discover and hide a Midwestern farm wife’s motive for murdering her abusive husband. Following successful productions of her plays by the innovative little theatre she helped to found, the Provincetown Players, Glaspell, already a well-received fiction writer, was transformed into the mother of American drama. In addition, her story version, “A Jury of Her Peers,” reached an unprecedented one million readers in 1917 through multiple publications. Since then, both have been repeatedly anthologized, taught in high school, college, and law school classrooms across America, and read around the world. Trifles is regularly revived on stages big and small from New York’s Public Theatre to London’s Orange Tree Theatre, to Ontario’s Shaw Festival, to China’s National Symposium on American Drama and Theatre.

Martha C. Carpentier and Emeline Jouve, “Introduction: An Iconic Work at 100 Years”


Catherine Q. Forsa, “Forensic Science and the Aesthetics of Affect in ‘A Jury of Her Peers’”

Marie-Pierre Maechling-Mounié, “Seeing, Looking, Pointing: A Linguistic Reading of Trifles and ‘A Jury of her Peers’”

Ilka Saal and Mareike Dolata, “Susan Glaspell’s Radicalization of Women’s Crime Fiction: Female Reading Strategies from Anna Katharine Green to Sara Paretsky”

Linda Ben-Zvi, “Silent Partners: The ‘Trifling’ Nature of Language in the Theatre of Susan Glaspell and Samuel Beckett”

Noelia Hernando-Real, “Powerful Gazes: The Right to Look in Film Adaptations of Trifles and ‘A Jury of Her Peers’”

Drew Eisenhauer, “Susan Glaspell’s Gendered Detectives in Trifles and a ‘Jury of Her Peers’: Suspense and the Threat to Masculine Identity in Radio and Screen Adaptations from 1930 to 1961”


Sharon Friedman, “Trifles and ‘A Jury of Her Peers’ on Film: Interview with Filmmakers Sally Heckel and Pamela Gaye Walker”

Barbara Ozieblo, “Producing Susan Glaspell’s Plays: Interview with Founders of the Orange Tree Theatre, Sam Walters and Auriol Smith”

Barbara Ozieblo, “Trifles in Production at the Orange Tree Theatre, 2008: Interview with Director Helen Leblique

Adaptations / Creations
Milbre Burch, “Sometimes I Sing: Freeing the Voice of Minnie Wright in Trifles” and Sometimes I Sing

John G. Bilotta and John F. McGrew. “Creating an Opera Libretto from Trifles” and John F. McGrew, Trifles: Libretto

ISBN 978-1476662114
To order:

(Cover illustration by Emily Cooper)

Provincetown Players Centennial 2015

EONS6 July 9-12, 2015 in Provincetown, MA, a centennial conference sponsored jointly by the Eugene O’Neill Society and the International Susan Glaspell Society returned to the scene where Glaspell’s and O’Neill’s first plays were read on the wharf in Provincetown on July 15, 1915. This four-day celebration included walking tours, performances at the Provincetown Theatre, roundtables, a gala reception, fish-house punch, and more! Roundtables included: “Intertextualities in Works by Women Playwrights of the Provincetown Players,” chaired by Martha C. Carpentier; “Jig, Susan, and Gene: The Triumvirate that Shaped the Provincetown Players,” chaired by Linda Ben-Zvi, plus a wonderful guided walking tour hosted by O’Neill Society President, Jeffrey Kennedy.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, July 10 — AM: A walking tour of Provincetown and the east end P’town Players’ sites, followed by “Women Playwrights of the Provincetown” roundtable. PM: Celebration of the first night of Players’ readings, with fish-house punch, on the beach!

Saturday, July 11 — AM: Tour of P’town Museum, followed by “Jig, Susan, and Gene” roundtable at the P’town Library. PM: Performances of Supressed Desires, Constancy, Trifles, and The Sniper at the Provincetown Theatre (ticket costs included at great discount in conference fee!), followed by a panel with Robert M. Dowling, Linda Ben-Zvi, and Jeff Kennedy, moderated by Susan Rand Brown. Gala reception to conclude festivities!

Sunday, July 12 — AM: Conference ended with a brunch that honored our two societies and all that our members have accomplished, followed by a book talk by Robert M. Dowling, author of the new biography, O’Neill: A Life in Four Acts, recently chosen by the Los Angeles Times as Book Prize finalist.

It took us a long time including midnight rambling, but we finally found Susan.

It took a long time, but we finally found Susan.

Jeff at the Wharf site.

Jeff at the Wharf site.

From left to right: Rob Dowling, Martha Carpentier, Jeff Kennedy, Emeline Jouve, Drew Eisenhauer, and Carol DeBoer-Langworthy

From left to right: Rob Dowling, Martha Carpentier, Jeff Kennedy, Emeline Jouve, Drew Eisenhauer, and Carol DeBoer-Langworthy

French Society of Modernist Studies Inaugural Conference 2014

eiffeltower“‘My Beloved Community’: The Provincetown Players and Modernist Drama in the United States” is the title of the panel presented by ISGS members at the inaugural international conference of the French Society of Modernist Studies, entitled Modernist Communities, on April 25-26, 2014, at the University of the Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris, France. Emeline Jouve (Toulouse 2) chairs the panel which features the following papers:

Jeff Kennedy (Arizona State University): “George Cram Cook’s ‘Beloved Community of Life-Givers’: The Provincetown Players as Communal Experiment”

Drew Eisenhauer (Meaux): “Modernism, Expressionism, and the Avant-Garde: The Provincetown Players and the Birth of Formal Experimentation in the American Theatre”

Beth Wynstra (Babson College): “‘I Must Be a Mere Protective Animal’: The Modern Marriage in the Works of the Provincetown Players”

Noelia Hernando-Real (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid): “The First World War in Europe and in America: War Plays by Women Modernist Playwrights of the Provincetown Players”

The aim of this two-day conference is to foster discussion on communities in the modernist period as discursive constructs and historical practices. More than a decade after the landmark work of Jessica Berman (who is to deliver one of the keynote addresses) on “the politics of community” in modernist fiction, this conference explores the various ways in which communities were configured across genres and artistic media, while acknowledging the grounds of their historical and cultural specificity. By presenting far-ranging approaches to the concepts, forms, and historical practices of community, the goal of this conference is to map out the plurality of this phenomenon, while recording its persisting elusiveness. One of the premiere modernist communities, the Provincetown Players of course had to be represented and the joint members of the International Susan Glaspell and Eugene O’Neill Societies rose to the challenge.

With this conference the French Society of Modernist Studies — Société d’Etudes Modernistes — hopes to bring together scholars from all countries and strengthen collaborations between French and international researchers. We also hope this event marks the beginning of continuing collaboration between our groups. Congratulations to our panel presenters and chair for representing us so well.


Orange Tree Stages Springs Eternal 2013

Photo by Robert Day.

Photo by Robert Day.

Once again the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, U.K., is proving its commitment to reviving the works of America’s greatest female playwright, Susan Glaspell, with their world premiere of her final play, Springs Eternal, directed by Sam Waters. For those of you who are near or can make the trip to London, Springs Eternal runs until October 19th, and the ISGS will hold a seminar on October 12th featuring Barbara Ozieblo, Emeline Jouve, Linda Ben-Zvi, Sherry Engle, Drew Eisenhauer, Noelia Hernando-Real, and J. Ellen Gainor.

Once again, too, theatre critic Michael Billington in The Guardian has praise for Glaspell and for Walters’ “extremely adroit cast,” including David Antrobus as Stewie, Antony Eden as Bill, Miranda Foster as Harry, Stuart Fox as Owen, Julia Hills as Margaret, Lydia Larson as Dottie, Jeremy Lloyd as Jumbo, Auriol Smith as Mrs. Soames. The Theatre Guide London calls the play “a small gem well worth the rediscovery. As ever, Sam Walters directs with grace and fluidity on the in-the-round stage of which he is a master and … gets  first-rate performances from his entire cast.” To read more go to Links page on this site and click on Orange Tree.

Barbara Ozieblo, from the University of Malaga, will open the seminar at the Orange Tree on October 12 with a brief introduction to the origins of the Provincetown Players and the first two seasons. Emeline Jouve, from Champollion University and Toulouse II University, will continue with a short history of the Provincetown Players. Linda Ben-Zvi, Professor emeritae from Tel Aviv and Colorado State Universities, will focus on George Cram Cook, whose dream of a modern American theatre gave birth to the group. The seminar will then focus on two of the main highlights of the Provincetown Players: Sherry Engle, from Borough of Manhattan Community College will talk about the women of the group and Drew Eisenhauer, from Coventry University, about the father of American drama, Eugene O’Neill. The last part of the seminar will deal with Susan Glaspell and the theme of war. Noelia Hernando-Real, from the Instituto Franklin and the University Complutense of Madrid, will talk about the Provincetown Players and the theme of war and Glaspell’s treatment of war in her plays, a theme J. Ellen Gainor, from Cornell University, will develop as she explores Susan Glaspell’s Springs Eternal.


Shaw Festival in Ontario Produces Trifles 2013

Kaylee Harwood as Mrs. Peters and Julain Molnar as Mrs. Hale in Trifles. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Kaylee Harwood as Mrs. Peters and Julain Molnar as Mrs. Hale in Trifles. Photo by Michael Cooper.

Billed as “two gripping marital mysteries by two playwrights who helped bring modern drama to America,” the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lakes, Ontario, presents Glaspell’s Trifles on the same bill as Eugene O’Neill’s A Wife for a Life from May 29 to October 12 at the Court House Theatre as part of their “lunchtime one-acts” program.

Now in its 52nd season, with 10-12 productions each year performed in four theatres for an audience of more than 250,000, the Shaw Festival is a Canadian cultural icon, producing a diverse mix of plays from the past and present, performed by their talented Acting Ensemble. This production is directed by Meg Roe and designed by Camellia Koo, with lighting designed by Louise Guinand and music composed by Alessandro Juliani. It features Kaylee Harwood as Mrs. Peters, Julain Molnar as Mrs. Hale, Benedict Campbell as Mr. Hale, Jeff Irving as the attorney, and Graeme Somerville as Mr. Peters.

Comments from Daina Giesler, a theatre director who saw Trifles and A Wife for Life:
“At the Shaw, the set was the same for both plays (an artistically old, grey, dim cabin, very bare) with only small prop changes. It was in one of the smaller theatres with a 3/4 thrust so the audience could feel like they were inside. The plays worked quite well together — both with characters in isolated areas and with secrets, and because the main focus of both was ‘the wife’ that was spoken of and yet never seen, except by the description of others who seemed not to really know “her”… The actors were excellent and so was the response, but it seemed to me they were both shorter than I remembered them — with only 50 minutes for the two.”

To read more go to or to the Links page on this site and click on Shaw Festival link.


2013 Business Meeting Minutes

Friday, May 25, 2013, at the ALA Conference, Boston.

In attendance: Cheryl Black, Martha Carpentier, Sharon Friedman, Noelia Hernando-Real, Basia Ozieblo, Michael Winetsky.

1) Martha Carpentier, on behalf of the International Susan Glaspell Society, thanked Sharon Friedman for organizing the “Theatre of Engagement” panel and Cheryl Black for organizing the concert reading of “Performing Bohemia.” She awarded Noelia Hernando-Real with a travel grant unanimously approved by the Executive Council.

2) Winner of Best Published Paper prize:

Noelia Hernando Real, “Sane Enough to Kill: On Women, Madness, and the Theatricality of Violence in Susan Glaspell’s The Verge.” Violence in American Drama: Essays on Its Staging, Meanings and Effects. Eds. Alfonso Ceballos Muñoz, Ramón Espejo Romero and Bernardo Muñoz Martinez. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011.

3) President’s Report:

Martha summarized ISGS conference activities and publications since the last business meeting in 2011. The impressive list includes Drew Eisenhauer and Brenda Murphy’s Intertextuality in American Drama: Critical Essays on Eugene O’Neill, Susan Glaspell, Thornton Wilder, Arthur Miller and Other Playwrights (McFarland, 2013 which includes seven articles on Glaspell) and Noelia Hernando-Real’s Self and Space in the Theater of Susan Glaspell (MacFarland, 2011), dissertations (by Emeline Jouve, Ling Jian-e, and Michael Winetsky), performances, readings, and papers at the International Conference on Theatre and Drama (Seville 2012) and the Justice Served Symposia (MU, 2012). Cheryl Black announces that Milbre Burch won a prize for her piece “Sometimes I Sing” and that she got another prize for producing the Justice Served Symposia. Martha reminded us all  that the website is a blog, so that we can all share our accomplishments. We continue to accomplish the goals stated in the Society mission statement, increasing the visibility of Glaspell and her work in both academic and theatre communities. There is one issue that, however, worries us all and it is the diminishing number of members. There are 45 members now, after a high of 70 in 2010, and Martha reminded us all to keep recruiting in mind, particularly among graduate students. Martha announced that together with Noelia she will check if we are eligible and how to apply to MLA as a subgroup, since this would increase visibility, and hence numbers.

Martha informed the group about Chad Coffman, a college student and Davenport native who discovered a four page-story by “Susie Glaspell” hand-written in Feb 1893 titled “The Holy Grail: The Story of Sir Percival’s Sister” in the Davenport Public Schools archives. Martha showed copies of the original and her transcription. Martha added that Coffman believes he has discovered Glaspell’s birth house at 502 Cedar Street, which had been thought lost.

Martha informed us that our nomination of Glaspell didn’t make the cut for the National Women’s Hall of Fame, a lengthy application that was spearheaded by Ellen and prepared by Ellen, Noelia, Cheryl, Basia, and Martha.  They automatically roll unsuccessful nominations over to the next cycle for re-consideration (every two years, hence 2015).  Martha suggested that we use excerpts from this piece to update Wikipedia, which has gaps that could use filling in by the ISGS. Noelia noted that since it will be re-considered again, we should wait to use this material rather than publishing it online. Michael Winetsky affirmed he has been working on the Wikipedia and he will continue to do so.

4) Vice-President’s Report:

Noelia focused on the status of the Literary Encyclopedia entries, pointing to all the entries that need to be written.

Entries published between 2011 and the present meeting include Emeline Jouve’s Springs Eternal and Chains of Dew, Milbre Burch’s Chronology, and Michael Winetsky’s The Glory of the Conquered. Linda Ben-Zvi is working on Free Laughter, Sherry Engle on The Comic Artist, Drew on Lifted Masks and Michael Winetsky on Judd Rankin’s Daughter.

Cheryl is going to ask a student of hers to write the entry on Bernice, and Martha will write the entries on Norma Ashe and Ambrose Holt and Family, and she will ask a student of hers to do The Morning is Near Us and Mary Papke to write on The Visioning. Martha will also ask Patricia Bryan about writing the entry on Her America.

Additional Notices:

5) Martha announced the world premier of Springs Eternal scheduled for this September/October at the Orange Tree Theatre in London. Director Sam Waters finds the play very moving, and he’s very excited about finally bringing this work to the stage. He’ll also do a reading of Bernice at some point during the run. Thanks to J. Ellen Gainor for this great news. Noelia suggested asking Sam whether he would be interested in letting us organize a seminar as we did last time. Everybody finds this a good idea and Basia will ask Sam personally next June.

6) Martha mentioned briefly the progress of Emeline Jouve’s and her plans for Susan Glaspell’s Trifles and “A Jury of Her Peers”: A Centennial Celebration. Martha informed us of contributors who have already been accepted and noted that the CFP is still open until the end of June.

 7) Plans for the P’town Players and Trifles Centennial Conference:

The group decided to work with the Eugene O’Neill Society and set the Trifles centennial in 2016, when Trifles was first produced and Eugene O’Neill became a member. Also we agreed to assist Jeff Kennedy, EONS incoming President, in planning an event in P’town in the summer of 1915 to celebrate the beginning of the PPs themselves.

We agreed to form an “Ad Hoc Centennial Conference Planning Committee” to aid the ISGS Executive Council in planning the conference: to include Cheryl Black, Linda Ben-Zvi, J. Ellen Gainor, and Michael Winetsky.

It is set that the ideal place for our centennial is NYC, as it worked out so beautifully last time. We will count on Sharon Friedman’s help with space in the Gallatin School, and Jeff Kennedy has affirmed that he will be able to get the Playhouse again. The date will be towards the end of June. Martha and Noelia presented some topics for panels and asked the members to keep thinking about topics and to volunteer to chair panels. Some of the topics discussed were:

– Panel on biography (to be chaired by Basia)

– Panel on Jury’s publication history (to be chaired by Martha)

– Panel on Trifles/Jury and law (possibly to be chaired by Patricia Bryan)

– Panel on adaptations (film, theater, etc; to be chaired by Sharon)

– Panel on Intertextualities: Susan Glaspell/Eugene O’Neill (to be co-chaired by Noelia and a member of the Eugene O’Neill Society)

– Panel on Heterodoxy (possibly to be chaired by Blanche Wiesen Cook)

– Roundtable on Trifles in performance (possibly to be chaired by Sherry Engle)

Cheryl agreed to work on a script. It was also suggested that we could entice a local NYC theater group (some suggestions were the Mint or Metropolitian theaters) to do Trifles and Bound East for Cardiff, and that Milbre Burch could do her piece “Sometimes I Sing”. Jeff Kennedy also may assemble “notables,” such as the Gelbs and Tony Kushner, for a reading of these two pieces.

We still have to think about keynote speakers and contact them. Martha reminded us that J. Ellen Gainor may try to get Elaine Showalter, and Sharon offered to contact Carol Gilligan.  Financial support for such an eminent speaker must be addressed.