HATTIESBURG – Carolyn
Gage, a lesbian-feminist playwright, performer, director and social
activist, will conduct a free workshop on historical impersonation
on Thursday, March 24, at 7 p.m. in the Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre
at The University of Southern Mississippi. She will also give a
free one-woman performance of her work while in Hattiesburg.
Sponsored by the Committee on Services and Resources
for Women, "Historical Impersonation" will combine a performance
of dramatic highlights from some of Gage's plays with hands-on exercises
in writing monologues and structuring the one-woman play for stage.
"Gage's workshop will be of interest to many
in the community, especially theatre students and faculty, writers,
historians, and lesbians and gays," said Southern Miss political
science professor Dr. Kate Greene, who is co-chair of the Committee
on Services and Resources for Women. "I hope that everyone
will want to come out to learn from a woman whose work has been
described as 'a combined dose of Karl Marx, Betty Friedan and triple
espresso.' It should be one exciting evening in Hattiesburg, Mississippi."
Gage, of Portland, Maine, is the author of four books
on lesbian theatre and 47 plays, musicals and one-woman shows. She
specializes in nontraditional roles for women, especially those
reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or
erased from history. She tours in a one-woman show about a feminist
Joan of Arc, and she has written plays about Calamity Jane, Harriet
Tubman, "Typhoid Mary," Louisa May Alcott, Jane Addams,
While in Hattiesburg, Gage will also perform her award-winning,
one-woman show, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, at Sister Camp,
the annual fund-raiser for the feminist educational retreat Camp
Sister Spirit on March 26.
Gage's visit to Hattiesburg is also a great opportunity
to promote the Southern Miss Women's Studies Program, Greene said.
"Jeanne Gillespie (director of Women's Studies at Southern
Miss) and I have discussed working with the Mississippi Humanities
Council on a second Women's Chautauqua, where scholars travel the
state educating citizens through historical impersonations of Mississippi
women," said Greene. "Learning about historical monologues
will be of great help to us in creating a second Women's Chautauqua."
Greene portrayed Judge Burnita Shelton Matthews in
the first Women's Chautauqua in 1996. She was joined in that endeavor
by Martha Swain of Mississippi State University, who portrayed Ellen
Woodward, along with Elizabeth Sarcone of Delta State University,
who played Nellie Nugent Somerville.
For more information about the workshop, contact Greene
at (601) 266-5834 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.