Category Archives: Conferences

ISGS 20th Anniversary Conference

 From left to right: Noelia Hernando-Real, Milbre Burch, Marcia Noe, Nora Grimes, Alex Rohe, María Nieves Alberola Crespo, Drew Eisenhauer, Alessandra Calanchi,Amanda Nelson, Emeline Jouve, J. Ellen Gainor, Thierry Dubost, Sophie Maruejouls-Koch, Anouk Bottero, Deborah Prudhon, Marianne Drugeon

The International Susan Glaspell Society was founded in 2003. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the Society paired up with the research group ACT (Anglophone Contemporary Theatre) to organize a conference in Toulouse (France) at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès on December 7-8, 2023. The two-day conference looked back on Glaspell’s career as a fiction writer, playwright, journalist, co-founder of the Provincetown Players, and director of the Midwest bureau for the Federal Theatre Project, as well as her great oeuvre of novels, plays, and stories, and her influence upon American fiction and drama. Welcoming those new to the field as well as those who have been involved with the ISGS since its inception, the anniversary gathered scholars, teachers, writers, stage directors, film-makers, and others to present their research on Glaspell, discuss their adaptations of her writings, or recall the activities of the Society over the years. The heterogeneity in both form and content of the presentations mirrored the plurality of Glaspell’s career, and the conference paid tribute to the Society’s endeavors over 20 years to promote Glaspell’s work and advance our understanding and knowledge of the “mother of American theatre.”

Program for the ISGS 20th anniversary conference

Papers and Presentations
Jeudi décembre 7 (Bâtiment ERASME, CRL)

14h30-17h15 Présentation d’ouvrages

Ellen Gainor (Cornell Univ.), Susan Glaspell in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2023) Discutante : E. Jouve, Univ. Toulouse – Jean Jaurès

Aurélie Delevalée (trad. Indépendante), Julie Vatain-Corfdir (Sorbonne Univ.), Sophie Maruejouls-Koch, Emeline Jouve (Univ. Toulouse Jean Jaurès), Trifles/Peccadilles, The Outside/De l’Autre côté, Woman’s Honor/L’Honneur d’une femme de Susan Glaspell (Presses Universitaires du Midi, 2023) Discutante : Nathalie Rivère de Carles, Univ. Toulouse – Jean Jaurès

Noelia Hernando-Real (Univ. Autónoma de Madrid), Rosas en la arena. Los relatos de Susan Glaspell (Publicaciones Universidad de Valencia, 2022) Discutante : N. Alberola Crespo, Univ. Jaume I


Nieves Alberola Crespo (Univ. Jaume I), Susan Glaspell: teatro, vanguardia y humor (1917-1918) (Publicaciones Universidad de Valencia, 2022) Discutante : N. Hernando-Real, Univ. Autónoma de Madrid

Marcia Noe (Univ. of Tennessee), Three Midwestern Playwrights: How Floyd Dell, George Cram Cook, and Susan Glaspell Transformed American Theatre (Indiana University Press, 2022) Discutant : D. Eisenhauer, Univ. Le Havre Normandie

17h15-18h Cocktail

17h18-18h30 Lecture bilingue de Trifles, S. Glaspell par la Cie Les Sœurs Fatales

Lectriceurs : Marina Dirar, Maryam Dos Anjos, Jeremy Eckerling, Théo Lasaygues ; Mise en voix : Anne Cameron

Vendredi décembre 8 (Maison de la Recherche, salle E412)

9h-9h45 Conférence plénière Modération : E. Jouve, Univ. Toulouse – Jean Jaurès

Ellen Gainor (Cornell Univ.), Susan Glaspell, Actor

9h45-10h45 Atelier 1 Modération : M. Drugeon, Univ. Paul-Valéry

Thierry Dubost (Univ. de Caen), Trifles: Cherry Preserves to Alleviate the Bitter Taste of Loneliness

Amanda J. Nelson (Virginia Tech Univ.), A Jury of Her Peers: Reflections and Remembrances of Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown Players


11h-12h Atelier 2 Modération : S. Maruejouls-Koch, Univ. Toulouse – Jean Jaurès

Noelia Hernando-Real (Univ. Autónoma de Madrid), Susan Glaspell and the Medical Humanities

Alessandra Calanchi (Univ. of Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy), Landscapes Matter: Environmental Epiphanies in Lifted Masks

13h30-14h15 Entretien Modération : J. Ellen Gainor, (Cornell Univ.)

Martha C. Carpentier (Seton Hall Univ.), Barbara Ozieblo (Univ. de Málaga) and Noelia Hernando-Real (Univ. Autónoma de Madrid) : On the International Susan Glaspell Society

14h15-15h15Atelier 3 Modération : D. Prudhon, Univ. Aix-Marseille

Nieves Alberola Crespo (Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain), The Challenge of Performing Woman´s Honor in the 21st century

Nora Grimes (Trinity College), The Outside Looking In: Transnational Depictions of Women and the Natural World in Plays by Susan Glaspell, Lady Gregory, and Dorothy Macardle


15h30-16h30 Atelier 4 Modération : N. Hernando-Real, Univ. Autónoma de Madrid

Alex Roe (directeur artistique du Metropolitan Playhouse, NY), Writing for «Living Beings»: Lessons Learned Producing Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown Players in a Plague Year

Milbre Burch (playwright and independent scholar), Art as Activism: Utilizing an Adaptation of Susan Glaspell’s Trifles for Community Outreach with Domestic Violence Survivors, Shelters and Service Providers


16h45-17h15 Lecture de Close the Book, S. Glaspell Mise en voix : Alex Roe

11th International Conference on Eugene O’Neill at Suffolk University, Boston, MA USA, 6 – 9 July 2022

“Glaspell in Context” Roundtable, featuring from left to right: Drew Eisenhauer, Stuart Hecht, Ellen Gainor, Marcia Noe, Jeffery Kennedy

Once again the International Susan Glaspell Society and the Eugene O’Neill Society linked arms to celebrate the achievements of the mother and father of modern American drama, Susan Glaspell and Eugene O’Neill, in the context of the Provincetown Players. The topic of the 2022 11th International Conference on Eugene O’Neill was “Longing and Belonging.”

The ISGS Panel was entitled “The Provincetown Players — Longing and Belonging in the Beloved Community,” chaired by  J. Ellen Gainor and featuring the following papers:

  • Marcia Noe (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), “Three Midwestern Playwrights: How Floyd Dell, George Cram Cook, and Susan Glaspell Transformed American Theatre”
  • Drew Eisenhauer (University of Le Havre, Normandy), “Longing for Democracy – Beyond the Other Players: Alfred Kreymborg and the Commonplace”
  • Jeffery Kennedy (Arizona State University), “’As Bright a Wit and as Fertile a Fancy’: New Discoveries and Thoughts on Susan Glaspell”

The ISGS also presented a Roundtable: Glaspell in Context, Chaired by J. Ellen Gainor and featuring the following discussants:  Drew Eisenhauer, University of Le Havre, Normandy; Stuart
Hecht, Boston College; J. Ellen Gainor, Cornell University; Jeffery Kennedy, Arizona State University. This was followed by a reception co-sponsored by the Eugene O’Neill Society,
the Susan Glaspell Society, and Penn State University Press.

Stuart Hecht and Ellen Gainor

Marcia Noe and Jeffery Kennedy









Finally, the ISGS presented a staged reading of Glaspell’s recently discovered short allegorical play, Free Laughter, published for the first time in Susan Glaspell the Complete Plays, edited by Linda Ben-Zvi and J. Ellen Gainor (McFarland, 2010). Written in 1919 about the same time as Glaspell’s three-act masterpiece, Inheritors, Free Laughter represents Glaspell’s parody of the repressive political and social climate that became known as the Red Scare; both plays critique the era’s suppression of free speech, xenophobia, and jingoism embodied by the popular rubric of the time, “100 percent American.” The reading was directed by Stuart Hecht (Boston College) and featured the following cast:

Emily Ranii as “Native Born” with Anne Fletcher as “Executor”

Drew Eisenhauer as “Foreign Born”
Anne Fletcher as “Executor”
Ellen Gainor as “Spirit of Laughter”
Jeff Kennedy as “Trend of the Times”
Marcia Noe as “Patriot”
Emily Ranii as “Native Born”



Marcia Noe as “Patriot”


Drew Eisenhauer as “Foreign Born”

6th International Conference on American Drama and Theatre, Madrid, 1-3 June 2022

The 6th International Conference on American Drama and Theatre was hosted by the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and co-sponsored by the Spanish universities of Cádiz and Sevilla and the University of Lorraine in France, working in partnership with the American Theater and Drama Society (ATDS), the International Susan Glaspell Society, the Arthur Miller Society, the Eugene O’Neill Society, and RADAC (Recherches sur les arts dramatiques anglophones contemporains). The Conference topic was “‘Game Over!’: U.S. Drama and Theater and the End(s) of an American Idea(l)” and was dedicated to the study of ends and new beginnings, games and gaming, players and playing, especially during, but not limited to, the coronavirus pandemic.

ISGS member Linda Ben-Zvi (Professor Emeritae, Colorado State University and Tel-Aviv University) was included as one of five eminent keynote speakers. The ISGS held its biannual Society Business Meeting at this conference.  In attendance in Madrid were Noelia Hernando-Real, Nieves Alberola Crespo, Linda Ben-Zvi, Basia Ozieblo, Alex Roe, Drew Eisenhauer, and Emeline Jouve. In attendance online were Ellen Gainor, Jeff Kennedy, and Martha Carpentier. See the  minutes in post below

Four papers were presented by ISGS members:
Emeline Jouve (University of Toulouse), “Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown Players: From Ideas to Ideals”
Nieves Alberola Crespo (Universitat Jaume I), “The Poetics of Loss and Grief in Susan Glaspell’s The Outside
Drew Eisenhauer (University of Le Havre, Normadie), “Glaspell: Bending (Breaking?) Genres on the Air and in Hollywood)
Alex Roe (Artistic Director, Metropolitan Playhouse), “Virtual Players: The Metropolitan Players Response to the 2020-21 Pandemic”

Current President Emeline Jouve gives outgoing President Noelia Hernando-Real a gift showing the gratitude and appreciation of the members for her wonderful years of service.










The ISGS presented a staged reading of Glaspell’s moving one-act play, “The Outside,” directed by Alex Roe, ISGS member and Artistic Director of the Metropolitan Playhouse in New York City.

ISGS members Barbara Ozieblo, Drew Eisenhauer, Dorothy Chansky, Noelia Hernando-Real and Alfonso Ceballos Muñoz read Glaspell’s The Outside, directed by Alex Roe (standing)

Drew Eisenhauer and son Louis en route to the conference.












Drew and Louis enjoying the conference

2019 Federal Theatre Project (1935-1939): context & enjeux, Toulouse Jean-Jaurès University

ISGS VP Emeline Jouve (front center) with conference co-organizer Geraldine Prévôt (Paris-Nanterre Université); ISGS President Noelia Hernando-Real and members Linda Ben-Zvi (second row), Jeffery Kennedy and Drew Eisenhauer (third row)

In October 2019, the ISGS co-sponsored, along with the American Theatre and Drama Society, a Conference on the Federal Theatre Project in France at Toulouse Université Jean Jaurès.

The International Susan Glaspell Society was excited to sponsor a panel on the role Susan Glaspell and her fellow members of the Provincetown Players had in the development of the Federal Theatre Project. While the Federal Theatre Project stands as an original adventure in the history of American theatre and drama, it is also true that former theatrical experiments led the way to its creation. The achievements of the Provincetown Players, created with the main goal of finding – and encouraging – new American plays, reverberated in Hallie Flanagan’s theatrical plan for the Federal Theatre project in the 1930s. Indeed, this is why, as Glaspell biographers have noted, Susan Glaspell accepted the role of Chair of the Midwestern Bureau from September 1936 to April 1938. She saw in the Federal Theatre Project the chance to continue, renew, and improve what she felt was Jig Cook’s, and her own, theatrical dream and legacy.

The ISGS Panel featured papers by

  • Noelia Hernando-Real (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid): “The Provincetown Players and the Federal Theatre: The Essay Susan Glaspell Never Wrote”
  • Linda Ben-Zvi (Professor Emerita Tel Aviv University): “A Pioneering Playwright for a Pioneering  Job: Susan Glaspell, Spirochete, and the Midwest Bureau of the Federal Theatre Project”
  • Drew Eisenhauer (Université de Strasbourg): “Alfred Kreymborg: Federal Troubador”

Following the panel, the ISGS hosted a convivial cocktail hour.

Exhibit on Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown Players at the Humanities Library, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, “Susan Glaspell, pionera del teatro experimental.”

On the occasion of the centenary of her key work, Trifles, in 2016, this exhibition, curated by Noelia Hernando-Real, celebrates the figure of Susan Glaspell (1876-1948), “a little known jewel of American literature”. Winner of a Pulitzer Theater Award, author of fifteen plays, eleven novels, a biography, more than fifty stories, a children’s book, reporter and actress as well as dramatist and fiction writer, Susan Glaspell was a pioneer of experimental theater in the United States. Together with her husband, George Cram (Jig) Cook, she founded the Provincetown Players, the small amateur theater company that changed the direction of the performing arts in the United States towards the avant-garde.

The first part of the exhibition provides visitors with an overview of the articles Glaspell wrote for the Des Moines Daily News about the murder of John Hossack and the trial of his wife, a crime that inspired Trifles. The showcases of this exhibit invite visitors to glimpse the life and works of Susan Glaspell, to understand the emergence of the Provincetown Players within the social, political and cultural movements of New York in the first decades of the twentieth century, as well as enjoy the exciting history of the Provincetown Players. To view the exhibit online, go to Links page for URL.

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

Tenth International Conference on Eugene O’Neill, Galway Ireland, July 2017

ISGS Panel: The Women of the Provincetown Players and the Abbey Theatre

Chaired by Drew Eisenhauer, Paris College of Art

9:45-11:00 Session 3a:

· Linda Ben-Zvi, Tel Aviv University, “‘A Different Kind of the Same Thing’: Echoes of Synge and the Abbey Theatre Style in Glaspell’s Early One-Act Provincetown Plays”

· Marla Del Collins, Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, “The Verge: To Grow or Die; Irishness and the Forces Unleashed”

· Drew Eisenhauer, Paris College of Art,”An Irish Triangle: Transatlantic Comedies of Manners in Djuna Barnes’s An Irish Triangle, Louise Bryant’s From Paris to Main Street, and Susan Glaspell’s Woman’s Honor”

ISGS at SSAWW in Bordeaux, France, 2017

The International Susan Glaspell Society joined the Society for the Study of American Women Writers at Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France, 5-8 July 2017, for their conference, “Border Crossings: Translation, Migration, & Gender in the Americas, the Transatlantic, & the Transpacific,” directed by Stéphanie Durrans. The ISGS panel was chaired by ISGS VP Emeline Jouve and entitled “Beyond Borders: Susan Glaspell and her Sisters from the Provincetown Players” featuring:

• “From Page to Stage and Stage to Page: the Trans-literary Career of Susan Glaspell,” Cheryl Black, University of Missouri
• “Recruits in the ‘Army of Women’: Mary Heaton Vorse and Susan Glaspell,” Sharon Friedman, NYU Gallatin School
• “Mud and the Water: Transcultural Explorations of Transgressive gender. Louise Bryant’s From Paris to Main Street and Djuna Barnes’s Three from the Earth,” Drew Eisenhauer, Paris College of Art
• “Paradigm of the ‘outside’ among the Provincetown Players, especially Susan Glaspell and Marguerite Zorach: from myth to history?” Géraldine Prévot, Université de Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France
• “Susan and Neith Abroad,” Carol DeBoer-Langworthy, Brown University, USA

On the evening of 5 July 2017, ISGS presented a concert reading of Susan Glaspell’s 1929 novel Fugitive’s Return, adapted and directed by Cheryl Black, 4:00-6:00 pm at the Maison des Etudiants, featuring Cheryl Black, University of Missouri; Dorothy Chansky, Texas Tech University; Jonathan Cohen, Stony Brook University; Drew Eisenhauer, Paris College of Art; Anne Fletcher, Southern Illinois University; Emeline Jouve, INU Champolion/Université Toulouse Jean Jaures; Valerie Joyce, Villanova University; and Ralph Poole, University of Salzburg.

“Trifles at 100” at the Metropolitan Playhouse and Modern Drama Seminars, 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.

On October 16, 2016, a Modern Drama Seminar on Susan Glaspell and the Provincetown Players was held at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid with keynote speakers Basia Ozieblo, Emeline Jouve and Linda Ben-Zvi. The Seminar included an exhibit at the Humanities Library: “Susan Glaspell, pionera del teatro experimental.” Another special Seminar was held in Toulouse, France on invisible violence in Trifles with keynote by guest of honor Noelia Hernando-Real. The Seminar was organized by Emeline Jouve & Céline Nogueira at Toulouse University (France).