Plays by French and Francophone Women

A Critical Anthology
Christiane P. Makward and Judith G. Miller, Editors
A rich collection of plays by French and francophone women writers in English translation


Plays by French and Francophone Women presents eight recent plays by contemporary French and francophone women writers. The plays vary in style and form from the satirical to the poetic, from the comedic one-woman show to the potential multi-media esoteric production, and have been written by French, Qué becois, Acadian, and Caribbean francophone writers. The editors have provided informative headnotes to introduce each play, then faithful translations rendered with an ear toward production in English. A general introduction to the volume situates each work within the broader context of contemporary French-language theater by women. The volume also includes an annotated bibliography by Cynthia Running-Johnson of thirty-one additional plays by women in French.

Featured plays and playwrights are The Scent of Sulphur by S. Corinna Bille; When Fairies Thirst by Denise Boucher; Island Memories by Ina Césaire; Warmth: A Bloodsong by Chantal Chawaf; The Goddess Lar or Centuries of Women by Andrée Chedid; The Name of Oedipus: Song of the Forbidden Body by Hélène Cixous; The Table: Womenspeak by Michèle Foucher; and The Rabble by Antonine Maillet.

Christiane P. Makward is Associate Professor of French and Women's Studies, Pennsylvania State University. 

Judith G. Miller is Professor of French, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Praise / Awards

  • "This collection sets English-speaking theater scholars and practitioners in compelling conversation with francophone plays and women playwrights, offering a rich diversity of contents, forms, and cultures. By specifying language, hybrids of gender, race, class, and culture are formed; the collective force of these texts blurs the boundaries of nation and language into complex, mutable territories of experience."
    —Jill Dolan, The City University of New York
  • "It is the great merit of this anthology to bring to light eight remarkable plays by contemporary French and francophone female playwrights. They illustrate the multicultural creativity of women and I am certain that such a text will contribute to a better understanding of women's literary discourse."
    —Maryse Condíé
  • ". . . a very useful book in the under-researched area of French-language women playwrights."
    Modern and Contemporary France
  • "Superb translations, an insightful introduction by Judith Miller, headnotes for each play, and an informative playwriting appendix by Cynthia Running-Johnson offer an all-encompassing picture of the diversity and importance of contemporary Francophone women's voices in the theater."
    Theater Magazine
  • "The plays in Makward's and Miller's anthology present the complexities of our postcolonial world through theatre that was molded in the cauldron of modern French relations and by the linguistic, political, economic, artistic, and indeed academic exigencies of French colonization and trade. . . . The mosaic of experience, fused by women's realities as constructed by women, creates an international canvas that objects to inequality by evoking the imprisonment of women by social, sexual, economic, domestic, and colonial and neo-colonial codes and practices. Furthermore it challenges the audience and reader to see the vitality and manifold personalities, tempers and natures of women."
    Theatre Journal

Look Inside

Plays by French and Francophone Women


Judith G. Miller - 1

Michele Foucher - 21
The Table: Womenspeak

Ina Cesaire - 45
Island Memories: Mama N. and Mama F.

Antonine Maillet - 75
The Rabble

Denise Boucher - 125
When Faeries Thirst 

Andree Chedid - 167
The Goddess Lar or Centuries of Women

S. Corinna Bille - 197
The Scent of Sulphur

Chantal Chawaf - 229
Warmth: A Bloodsong

Helene Cixous - 247
The Name of Oedipus: Song of the Forbidden Body

Cynthia Running-Johnson - 327
Selected Plays by Contemporary French and Francophone
Women Playwrights

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 360pp.
  • 8 B&W photographs.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Paper
  • 1995
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08258-2

Add to Cart
  • $48.95 U.S.