Professor to be Honored, Award-Winning Actors Give Reading
July 30, 2012 – English professor Gay Cima will receive a national award in recognition of her scholarly contributions Aug. 1 from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education’s Women and Theatre Program.
After the award ceremony, the Women and Theatre Program and Georgetown’s Davis Performing Arts Center is sponsoring a free reading, “History Matters/Back to the Future,” starring acclaimed New York-based actors Kathleen Chalfant, Maryann Plunkett and Tamara Tunie.
The reading takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the center’s Gonda Theatre.
Both the award and the reading are taking place as part of the Women and Theatre Program’s daylong conference, Staging Dissent, Performing Patriotism: Feminist Engagement in Social/Civic Dialogues.
Cima is the author of Early American Women Critics: Performance, Race and Religion (Cambridge 2006), which won the American Society for Theatre Research's Outstanding Book Award for 2006, and Performing Women: Female Characters, Male Playwrights and the Modern Stage (Cornell 1993).
“The award also recognizes her contributions to feminist performance, her initiation of the Women and Theatre Program's Activist-in-the-Community board position, and her direction of Georgetown’s Friday Afternoon Playreading Series,” says Maya Roth, chair of the university’s Department of Performing Arts. “The series introduced university and Washington audiences to a wide array of feminist, experimental and unpublished new plays.”
Roth also said “Clearly Gay’s inspired teaching, and her mentoring of students and younger colleagues testifies to the ways that she is shaping the field and its future research.”
Chalfant, Plunkett and Tunie will read scenes by such historic women playwrights as Jane Bowles, Alice Childress and Zoë Akins.
“We’re excited to give center stage to classic American women playwrights through this event, and to recognize exceptional new plays by contemporary women playwrights,” says Roth, also a member of the executive board for the Women and Theatre Program.
“In the context of such meager rates of production for plays by women in American theatre, including for classic works and for exceptional new plays by rising and established talents, we see buzz around women playwrights as part of our civic engagement as theater artists, scholars and audiences,” she adds.