A Stage of Their Own

Feminist Playwrights of the Suffrage Era
Sheila Stowell


A stage of their own reclaims for a contemporary audience a formidable body of lost feminist drama. Its starting point is the cultural crisis of the Edwardian age, and the revitalisation of the suffrage cause.

The founding of the Actresses' Franchise League and the Women Writers' Suffrage League are seen as instrumental in providing committed feminists with access to the public forum of theatre.

The suffrage cause was directly enlisted in a wide variety of pageants, duologues, and one-act plays as well as in a series of critically acclaimed full-length dramas by such playwrights as Elizabeth Robins, Cicely Hamilton, and Elizabeth Baker. Taken together, the 'agit-prop' theatre of the suffrage cause and the era's more broadly based feminist drama represent an organised, coherent programme of women's playmaking that attempted to wrest from men the business of defining women. The result was a series of remarkable plays that asked audiences to think not only about the subjects of feminist debate, but the very aesthetic structures to which they had grown habituated.

Look Inside


Acknowledgments     vi
Introduction     1
I Elizabeth Robins     9
II Suffrage drama     40
III Cicely Hamilton     71
IV Elizabeth Baker     100
V Githa Sowerby     129

Works cited     157
Appendix     165
Index     167

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 176pp.
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  • Paper
  • 1994
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-08273-5

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  • $21.95 U.S.