Self and Space in the Theater of Susan Glaspell

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  1. "On the Edge" Is A History Lesson In Social Justice Theater
  2. Hernando Real, Noelia | Biblioteca Javier Coy d'Estudis Nord-americans
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"On the Edge" Is A History Lesson In Social Justice Theater

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The Patterson strike denounced the poor conditions of workers in the silk mill factories and demanded new legislations to control children labour and abusive working hours. After the brutal response of the police and in order to raise funds for the strike, John Reed a picture of him is displayed decided to organize a big pageant in which artists and workers would join forces.

Most of the soon-to-be Provincetown Players participated in the event, among which was Robert Edmund Jones, who designed the official poster also included in the glass cabinet.

Eventually, the strike failed, but the pageant demonstrated that modern art was a strong ally of the labour forces. Another event that was deeply influential for the New York artists was the Armory Show, which introduced European modernism in America. This was essential for the development of the Provincetown Players and their unique style, for their experimentation and reformulation of the American theatre had its roots in the principles of modernism.

In this section, this is skilfully connected with the Abbey Theatre and its American tour.

Although all the members of the group lived in New York, their starting point was this small, coastal village where artists went to escape from the suffocating heat of the New York summer. For that reason, they decided to explore their possibilities in an environment in which they felt free and comfortable to express their artistic convictions.

The pictures of the wharf, the simple but powerful sceneries and of the role of the members as playwrights, actors and stagehands showed the commitment of these young intellectuals and the strength of their beliefs. Their project evolved from a hobby to a serious artistic enterprise.

Apart from this, they gave the opportunity to several young artists to show their potential: until their dissolution in they were able to bring on stage 97 plays written by 46 different playwrights.

Hernando Real, Noelia | Biblioteca Javier Coy d'Estudis Nord-americans

In addition, there was a copy of the New York Times announcing the interim the group was taking in , which was really the end of it. Two books about the relevance of the Provincetown Players were displayed: The Provincetown Players and the Culture of Modernity by Brenda Murphy and Voces contra la mediocridad: la vanguardia teatral de los Provincetwon Players , by Noelia Hernando Real. With this section, the theme of the Provincetown Players came to an end in the exhibition. Consisting of three glass cabinets, the history of the most influential theatrical group that inevitably changed the scene of American theatre is explained in depth: the selection of the pictures and objects, together with the brief but precise descriptions reconstructed the timeline of the Provincetown Players without missing any of its key elements, every item and word created an unmissable panoramic of the group of young artists that led a revolution of the American art.

By this point of the exhibition the public was fully aware of the principles and motivations of the Provincetown Players, their innovative and independent spirit and its undeniable role in the creation of a modern, experimental American drama. There were also two pictures showing Glaspell later in her life and her commemorative tombstone in the Snow Cemetery.

The intention of this section was to demonstrate the relevance of the author outside the Provincetown circle and not only as a playwright, but also as a prose writer who easily competed with writers such as Hemmingway and who met the favour of the public and the critics. For decades, Glaspell and her work were forgotten by the male-dominated canon, relegated to oblivion. Nevertheless, thanks to the second feminist wave her importance in the history of American literature was rediscovered and acknowledged again.

The display exemplified this recovery through several publications, anthologies and studies that have focused on Glaspell's persona and career in the last few years.

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In addition, some pictures of contemporary representations of her plays Trifles , Chains of Dew and The Outside by the Orange Tree Theatre Richmond, England in evidenced the relevance of the plays, her style and themes, to our 21 st -century society. Among the publications, we could find Susan Glaspell. This final part of the exhibition confirmed the public the strong impact Glaspell still has in current literary and feminist studies.

Furthermore, it demonstrated that her plays convey powerful and solid ideas that our culture and society should reflect on.