Author Archives: Martha Carpentier

Teaching SG

Well, friends and fellow Glaspellians, we finally have our teaching blog and I am officially a blogger! Please comment on your experiences teaching Glaspell’s plays and/or fiction. How do students react? How do you engage them with Glaspell’s texts? How do you contextualize her work? What versions of SG’s plays, print or online, are you using?   What’s working for you in the classroom or on the stage as a teacher of Susan Glaspell?

International Conference on American Drama 2010

Oct. 29-30, Kean University, Union NJ.

Panel: “The Significance of Susan Glaspell to American Drama and Performance.”
Chair: Linda Ben-Zvi, Professor Emeritus, Tel Aviv University.

Papers:  “Re-Visiting Bernice in the 21st Century,” Sharon Friedman, Gallatin School of New York University;

“Gender Identity in Susan Glaspell’s and Marsha Norman’s Plays”, Noelia Hernando-Real, Universidad Complutense de Madrid;

“Searching for the Voice of Minnie Wright in Trifles,” a dramatic monologue written and performed by Milbre Burch, University of Missouri.

In addition, a staged reading of Chains of Dew was presented by SGS members and professional actors, adapted and directed by Cheryl Black, University of Missouri.

Association of Theatre in Higher Education Conference 2010

Aug. 3-6, Los Angeles.
SGS/ATDS sponsored panel: “Surviving The Outside: Modernity and the Woman Artist.”
Chair: Monica Stufft, University of California at Berkeley.

This ATDS focus group panel involved Susan Glaspell Society members and featured a reading and discussion of Glaspell’s play, The Outside. A deeply symbolic one-act set at an abandoned life-saving station, the play focuses on two women who have virtually exiled themselves. In the play, male characters attempt and fail to resuscitate a drowning victim while the two women living at the life-saving station struggle with their decision to remain isolated from the rest of society. Allie Mayo “has not spoken an unnecessary word for twenty years” after the death of her husband while Mrs. Patrick has elected to be emotionally and physically distanced from others after the infidelity of her husband. Our reading (with a run-time of approximately 30 minutes) and discussion explored the significance of what Veronica Makowsky has called “two aspiring, but temporarily stymied, female modernist artists-in-life.” We considered the implications of Glaspell’s presentation of a highly gendered view of modernism or modernisms in The Outside. In particular, we addressed Glaspell’s suggestion that the woman artist cannot survive if she disconnects herself from society or from her past in order to consider the play’s implications for theatre today.

San Francisco Cabaret Opera Trifles 2010

The San Francisco Cabaret Opera presented the WORLD PREMIERE of Trifles, the opera, with music by John G. Bilotta and libretto by John F. McGrew at the 10th Annual Fresh Voices Festival, June 17 & 19, 2010, Live Oak Theater, Berkeley, along with four other operatic and vocal works by American composers presented by Goat Hall Productions, directed by Harriet March Page with a chamber ensemble conducted by Martha Stoddard.

21st Annual American Literature Association Conference 2010

May 27-30, San Francisco.
Panel: “Intertextual Exchanges: Susan Glaspell.”
Chair: Drew Eisenhauer, University of Maryland.

Following our successful collaboration in 2009, once again the Susan Glaspell Society joined forces with the American Theatre and Drama Society, the Eugene O’Neill Society, the Arthur Miller Society, and the Thornton Wilder Society to collaborate on a series of panels and roundtables on the theme of “Intertextual Exchanges” conceived in the broadest sense. Topics included direct intertextual references to authors such as Emerson or Charlotte Perkins Gilman, as well as comparisons or interrelationships between Glaspell and her fellow Provincetowners, other playwrights of her era, or textual connections with European dramatists such as Shaw, Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekov. The panel was not limited to dramatic works: Glaspell’s novels and short fiction also offered an opportunity to explore intertextuality as she adapted themes and characters to different genres and challenged American traditions in fiction. Another avenue of exploration considered was Glaspell’s interaction with textual sources from areas of intellectual inquiry such as evolution, psychoanalysis, metaphysics, political philosophy, and contemporary events causing social and political debate during the time of her writing.

Papers:  “Intertextuality on the Frontier in Susan Glaspell’s Inheritors,” Sarah Whithers, Indiana University;

“Looking for Herland: Embodying the Search for Utopia in Susan Glaspell’s The Verge,” Frank Lasik, University of Missouri-Columbia;

“‘Trailing Clouds of Glory’: Politics, History, and Material Culture in Glaspell’s Echoes of Romantic Literature,” Michael Winetsky, The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Susan Glaspell: The Complete Plays (MacFarland 2010)

Edited by Linda Ben-Zvi, Professor Emerita in Theatre and English at Tel Aviv University and Colorado State University, and by  J. Ellen Gainor, Professor of Theatre and Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Cornell University.

The first complete collection of American Pulitzer Prize winner Susan Glaspell’s dramatic works, this book includes the one-acts Suppressed Desires, Trifles, The People, The Outside, Woman’s Honor, Close the Book, Tickless Time, and Free Laughter and the full-length plays Bernice, Inheritors, The Verge, Alison’s House, The Comic Artist, Chains of Dew, and Springs Eternal, the last two of which are published here for the first time. Each play includes an introductory essay along with extended biographical and critical analyses. Two appendices give details on both the first runs and select recent productions of the plays.

ISBN: 978-0-7864-3432-9

To order: http://www.mcfarlandpub.com/book-2.php?id=978-0-7864-3432-9

Her America: “A Jury of Her Peers” and Other Stories by Susan Glaspell (Iowa 2010)

Edited and with an introduction by Patricia L. Bryan and Martha C. Carpentier, this collection includes “A Jury of Her Peers” and 11 other Glaspell short stories never reprinted since their original publication, most in Harper’s Magazine, the preeminent arbiter of American literary tastes for over fifty years.  Bryan and Carpentier’s introduction places Glaspell’s short fiction in the traditions of Twain’s humor and Poe’s grotesque, and provides startling new data about the publication history of “Jury” — now for the first time, readers have access to the original ending of Glaspell’s most famous work.  Very affordable, this anthology would be a great addition to any course in American fiction.

To order go to Amazon, or:
http://www.uiowapress.org/

To listen to Patricia Bryan’s interview on WUNC, click on July 21.

Trifles at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater 2010

Another group reviving Susan Glaspell’s drama is Richard Foreman’s Ontological-Hysteric Theater Incubator program for emerging artists at St. Mark’s Church, 131 E. 10th Street and 2nd Avenue, New York City, which sponsored the recent production of Trifles by The Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf on Jan. 28 – Feb. 14, 2010. Glaspell Society members J. Ellen Gainor, Sharon Friedman and Sally Heckel facilitated post-performance discussion on Saturday evening, Jan. 30. The Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf is noted for its intrepid adaptations . . . For Trifles, director Brooke O’Harra and Composer Brendan Connelly teamed up with the new music ensemble Yarn/Wire to approach Glaspell’s text as part concert, part play, and part sculpture. For New York Times review:

The Verge at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater 2009

In November 2009 the Ontological-Hysteric Theater’s Incubator program for emerging artists produced The Verge directed by Alice Reagan and Performance Lab 115. New York Times critic Claudia La Rocco wrote, “It would be easy to reduce The Verge, Susan Glaspell’s 1921 play, to a feminist tract. Society forces Claire Archer into the boxes it deems acceptable; in attempting to escape those boxes, Claire goes mad. But that summary ignores the work’s wild heart, which, like its fragile, monstrous heroine, is somehow irreducible.”

Rebecca Lingafelter plays Claire in Alice Reagan's Ontological-Hysteric production of The Verge. Other performers included Sara Buffamanti as Anthony, B. Brian Argotsinger as Harry, Tuomas Hiltunen as Dick, and Todd d'Amour as Tom. Photo by Sue Kessler.

SGS members were in attendance and, while La Rocco thought that Reagan’s use of video interludes (by Jeff Clarke) of voluptuously flowering plans was “heavy-handed,” SGS member Michael Winetsky felt that the video as well as Claire’s dance performed by Rebecca Lingafelter “were effective and were in the spirit of Glaspell’s expressionism.” For full text of La Rocca’s Nov. 10 2009 review: