5th International Conference on American Drama and Theater, Nancy, France, June 2018

ISGS Panels: Susan Glaspell and her Sisters from the Provincetown Players: Migrating beyond Forms and Places, I & II

Chaired by Emeline Jouve, INU Champollion/Université Toulouse Jean-Jaurès

Acclaimed by drama and theater scholars for their artistic and political significance, the Provincetown Players have been acknowledged as “one of the first theater companies in America in which women achieved prominence in every area of operation.” This amateur company brought together women who greatly participated in the shaping of a Bohemian culture: Mary Heaton Vorse, Ida Rauh, Susan Glaspell, Neith Boyce, Marguerite Zorach, Louise Bryant, Djuna Barnes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, to name only a few, were iconoclastic figures who pushed the frontiers of conventional American lifestyle and art. This panel presented papers on the mostly neglected “Sisters of the Provincetown Players” in accord with the conference topic, as migrants, highlighting the ability of these artists to physically and metaphorically cross borders. Travelling the world, the women from the Provincetown Players were inspired by their lives as expatriates. The sense of re-location and dis-location was infused into their writing which dealt thematically with the notion of migration or which played with this notion by incorporating formal displacements. Sharon Friedman and Jeffery Kennedy presented on geographical border-crossing in Susan Glaspell’s, Rita Wellman’s and Djuna Barnes’s plays by considering the “Europeanness” of some of their American plays. Special attention was given to the migration of forms with Marie-Pierre Maechling analyzing Susan Glaspell’s shift from drama to the short-story in her adaptation of Trifles, and Drew Eisenhauer examining how Zelda Fitzgerald and Djuna Barnes incorporated theatricality into their novels.

“Emotions on the Move in Susan Glaspell’s One-Act Plays (1915–1917),” Nieves Alberola Crespo, Universitat Jaume I de Castelló

“Who’s ‘100% American’? Staging Susan Glaspell’s Inheritors in the 21st Century as a Critique of Nativist Fervor in a Nation of (Im)migrants,” Milbre Burch, Independent Scholar

“Susan Glaspell’s Hybrid Theatre: European Modes and Motifs in The Verge,” Sharon Friedman, Gallatin School of New York University

“‘The delicate tracery of Paris and the high terraces of Lyon’: Zelda Fitzgerald, Djuna Barnes: les Flâneuses Américaines,” Drew Eisenhauer, Paris College of Art

“Journeying Past the Village: Provincetown Player Women Playwrights Whose Plays Extended Beyond American Borders,” Jeffery Kennedy, Arizona State University

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