Contemporary Theatre 1950-Present (Women/LGBTQ)

  • Tony Kuschner

    Tony Kuschner
    Tony Kuschner is a playwright that inspires the LGBTQ community. Often, Kuschner addresses homophobia in one way or another. One of his most famous works, Angels in America, sheds light on homophobia and normalizes being homosexual. “Angels in America proved to be extremely popular for a work of its imposing length (the two parts run seven hours in total)” (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica). Kuschner’s involvement in writing plays has helped the involvement of LGBTQ actors.
  • Gay Theatre Companies Were Formed

    Gay Theatre Companies Were Formed
    Gay theatre companies started forming in the 1970s. "These theatres played an important role in promoting a sense of identity and addressing the concerns and interests of those within the gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities" (Brockett 254). These companies helped to promote the involvement of the LGBTQ community within theatre. Later on, these companies formed an alliance. The overall title was the Gay Theatre Alliance and was formed in 1978. This was important for promoting LGBTQ theatre.
  • La Cage Aux Folles

    La Cage Aux Folles
    In this musical, two gay men must act straight because of a visitation from their son's ultra-conservative fiancee. What makes this musical so important is the normalization of homosexual couples it provides. A writer for The Guardian says "The show’s popularity confirms my belief that theatre has the capacity not just to reflect social attitudes but maybe even to shift them" (Billington). This musical is important because it is the first hit Broadway musical centered on a gay couple.
  • The Start of Marsha Norman's Career

    The Start of Marsha Norman's Career
    Marsha Norman was born in 1947 in Louisville, Kentucky and is famous for her achievements in women's theater: “She has won Grammy and Emmy nominations…” (Marsha Norman). Her works generally feature women as lead roles and hint towards problems in society. Her first play, Getting Out, features a woman who was released from prison and shows the troubles she faced coming back home. Marsha Norman is important for women in theater because of the lead roles she gives to women in her plays.
  • The WP Theatre

    The WP Theatre
    Located in New York, the WP Theater is the oldest and largest theater in the nation for women. Historically, the theater was built to show off the underrepresented talent women have and was under the name of Women's Project Theater. Nowadays, the theater just uses the name WP Theater. “WP Theater was founded in 1978 by Julia Miles to address the conspicuous underrepresentation of women artists working in the American theater” (WP History). The WP Theater continues to promote women in theater.
  • Diversionary Theatre

    Diversionary Theatre
    Located in San Diego, the Diversionary Theatre is the third oldest LGBTQ theater in the nation. The Diversionary Theatre strives to shed light on important social issues that impact LGBTQ members. “Founded in 1986, Diversionary Theatre is recognized as one of San Diego’s best theatres, and proudly showcases the most vibrant and diverse group of talent the city has to offer” (About). The Diversionary Theatre continues to show the talent of LGBTQ actors.
  • 9 to 5

    9 to 5
    Although based on a movie, the 9 to 5 musical is still important for the representation of women in theatre. The movie and musical features three overworked women who deal with a sexist boss. With the popularity of the movie and musical, ideas of the importance of women are spread. "9 to 5 offers women the strong leading roles and keeps the men insignificant" (THEFEMINISTSPECTATOR). The lead roles of women and the message that 9 to 5 provides makes it an important musical for women empowerment.
  • eMBer Women's Theatre

    eMBer Women's Theatre
    eMBer Women's Theatre was created by two women who had a mutual love for Steel Magnolias. They enjoyed the empowerment of women, and were working with companies in the Columbus area to produce works for women. "In theatre, there are many women characters, but not many plays are produced that focus on their relationships, triumphs, and tragedies. Melissa and Michelle decided to change that" (Our Mission). Helping with the influence for women in theatre, eMBer shows off the talent that women have.
  • Waitress

    Waitress is a musical about a pregnant diner waitress who is married to an abusive husband. The story follows the ambitions of the waitress and her dreams of being with the new doctor. In terms of awards, "Waitress was nominated for 4 awards, including Best Musical and Best Original Score" (Mione). Waitress is important for women in contemporary theatre because all of the production team were women.
  • Angelica Ross On Broadway

    Angelica Ross On Broadway
    Angelica Ross is a transgender American actress and businesswoman. In 2022, Ross made an important debut in the Broadway play, Chicago. "She became the first openly transgender person to play a leading role on Broadway'' (Hernandez). Her appearance in a lead Broadway role will help other people in the LGBTQ community to feel empowered to make themselves known and feel important. Her role will also help other transgender men and women to take part in theatre.