June 22, 2020
He and She is a wonderfully amusing play written by Rachel Crothers first in 1912 and then revised in 1920. She was tremendously popular, though now largely forgotten. She wrote a majority of her plays during amidst the first wave of feminism. It specifically tackles topics concerning masculinity and femininity, such as gender roles within a marriage and what it means to be a female artist in a patriarchal atmosphere. In accordance with the opinion of many dramaturgical scholars, it is “Crothers’ most complex and pessimistic exploration of feminism’s impact on society”. The play features a married couple, Anne and Tom Herford, who are both sculptors. In the beginning, both characters encompass the progressive ideals for which Crothers advocated. However, when Anne wins in a competition over Tom, she is met with hostility and negativity from almost every other character. Despite showing initial support, Tom becomes increasingly agitated and says to Ann that because she is a woman, “you’re not free in the same way that I am” and that if she refuses to stop and take responsibility of their home, Tom will command her to do so. Tom was never supportive of Ann’s art, only tolerant of it so long as it did not outshine his own. The argument is put to rest abruptly when their underage daughter announces that she is pregnant and Anne makes the choice, albeit reluctantly, to care for her. This play, way ahead of its time, explores themes we’re still wrestling with today!
Directed by Celine Rosenthal.
These script-in-hand all-star readings are always sold out.
Each month, Project Shaw brings you either one of Shaw’s scintillating plays or a play by those who shared his ‘art as activism’ view of life. This is the acclaimed staged reading series that has been playing to sold-out crowds for the last 15 years!
“Gingold Theatrical Group provides an invaluable — and unique — service to New Yorkers. Not only does it keep topnotch productions of great works of art before the public on a regular basis as no other theater company can, but it also does something less obvious. It keeps the tradition of intelligent argument, embodied in Shaw’s plays but otherwise much lacking from public discourse, alive for those who need it most: the thinking people of a great city.” — Jesse Green, New York Magazine.
For more information about Project Shaw, please visit the Gingold Theatrical Group website www.gingoldgroup.org