GAP: Gender and the Pulitzer Prize

Hosted by Thinking Cap Theatre at the Vanguard

Arguably the most prestigious award for recognizing excellence in journalism, literature, music, and photography, the Pulitzer Prize is currently enjoying its 100th birthday. To participate in the centenary festivities, Thinking Cap Theatre proudly presents GAP, a yearlong play reading series that spotlights and examines Pulitzer plays by women.

The Pulitzer Prize Board has awarded a prize in the category of drama 86 times in the past 100 years. There were 14 occasions when the play entries failed to meet the Board’s standards, and no award for drama was granted. Of the 86 award-winning plays, only 15 were penned in full or in part by a woman; Thinking Cap’s GAP Series will feature a staged reading of 11 of those 15 plays by women. The four plays not included in the series are Annie Baker’s The Flick (2014), which just received a stellar production in 2016 by Miami’s Mad Cat Theatre Company; Look Homeward, Angel (1958) by Ketti Frings; Harvey by Mary Chase (1945); and The Old Maid (1935) by Zoe Akins due to cast sizes of 12 or more.

The GAP Series will commence on Sunday, February 12 at 1pm with Miss Lulu Bett, the 1921 Prize winner by Zona Gale, a journalist, feminist, and activist. Each play reading in The GAP Series will include a discussion led by a dramaturg-moderator along with the director and cast.

The GAP Series has several aims: to chart a history of award-winning American plays by women and examine them in conversation with one another; to enliven interest in works by women; to raise awareness about gender inequity in the theatre profession specifically and in society generally; to employ and unite women directors, dramaturgs, and educators in our own community.

The 2016 presidential election has thrusted gender and sexual politics to the forefront of many Americans’ minds, sparking intense debate and inspiring feminist activism. With or without Hillary at the helm, 2017 looks to be the year of the woman in many ways. The GAP Series is an active and engaging way for Thinking Cap to continue to do its part in the struggle for gender equity. Since Thinking Cap Theatre’s inception in 2010, gender issues have remained a central focus of the company. One of Thinking Cap’s mission objectives in association with the “50/50 in 2020 Project” is to help achieve gender equity in the theatre profession by equally programming works by women and men and by employing women directors and designers year-round.

The Vanguard, Thinking Cap Theatre’s permanent residence, which officially opened its doors in March 2015, is currently remodeling its bar. Patrons will have a wider selection of refreshments to enjoy and a stylish new environment in which to enjoy them.

The GAP series will run February thru December 2017 at The Vanguard. A full schedule of readings and dates will be available here