Memories of the Revolution

The First Ten Years of the WOW Café Theater
Holly Hughes, Carmelita Tropicana, and Jill Dolan, Editors
Scripts, interviews, photos, and critical commentary documenting the riotous beginnings of this long-lived experimental theater space for women 


The women’s experimental theater space called the WOW Café (Women’s One World) has been a vital part of New York’s downtown theater scene since 1980. Since that time, WOW has provided a place for feminist and particularly lesbian theater artists to create, perform, and witness a cultural revolution. Its renowned alumnae include playwright and actor Lisa Kron, performance artists Holly Hughes and Carmelita Tropicana, the theater troupe the Five Lesbian Brothers, and actors/playwrights Peggy Shaw, Lois Weaver, and Deb Margolin, among others.

Memories of the Revolution collects scripts, interviews, and commentary to trace the riotous first decade of WOW. While the histories of other experimental theater collectives have been well documented, WOW’s history has only begun to be told. The anthology also includes photographs of and reminiscences by Café veterans, capturing the history and artistic flowering of the first ten years of this countercultural haven.

“Powerfully captures those early years when the founding members of the WOW Café were figuring out new ways of making performances that enabled them to reimagine the world . . . The story of how these women navigated such circumstances, with all the intertwining of public and private lives, the necessity of working through conflicts, and the intensity of artistic passion infused with the struggle for identity is riveting, inspiring, and instructive.”
—Kim Marra, University of Iowa

“Reflects the anarchic spirit and cacophonous laughter of the WOW Café as it documents the origins, operations, and creative output of one of the most important, innovative, yet critically neglected artistic experiments in the United States.”  
—Sara Warner, Cornell University

Writer and performer Holly Hughes is Professor in the Stamps School of Art and Design, the Department of Theatre and Drama, and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan.

Carmelita Tropicana (Alina Troyano) is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and performer.

Jill Dolan is Dean of the College and the Annan Professor of English and Professor of Theatre at Princeton University.

Praise / Awards

  • "Every lesbian who cares about culture should care about WOW."
    --Merryn Johns, Curve Magazine
  • "Memories amplifies artists' voices within and outside of the performance space. Even though multiple voices speak on the same influences...each opinion feels enlightening rather than repetitive."
    --The Drama Review

Look Inside

News, Reviews, Interviews

Watch: Holly Hughes speaks during the University of Michigan Zell Visiting Writers Series (Link) | 11/29/2016

Read: Holly Hughes on Huffington Post (Link) | 1/07/2016
Read/Listen: Holly Hughes on WMUK Between the Lines (Link) | 5/13/2016
Read: Holly Hughes on HowlRound (Link) | 5/25/2016

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 242pp.
  • 29 illustrations.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2015
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-09863-7

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.

  • Paper
  • 2015
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-06863-0

Add to Cart
  • $35.95 U.S.

Related Products