American playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton visited Elon University March 3-4 for a weekend of workshops leading up to a public staged reading of her brand new script, The Inferior Sex, a funny and poignant look at 1970s feminism.

Student actors perform THE INFERIOR SEX 4 March, 2018. Photo by Tony Spielberg.

In a whirlwind 24-hour¬†period, students in the Acting and Music Theatre BFA programs read and rehearsed The Inferior Sex in two short rehearsals before bringing the script to life in front of an audience of students, faculty, and community members. The Inferior Sex is the behind-the-scenes look at a woman’s magazine that gets political and breaks new ground in an ever-changing world. Assistant Professor of Theatre History Susanne Shawyer acted as dramaturg and Assistant Professor of Acting Kim Shively served as director for the staged reading. Lawton re-worked the script during the rehearsal process, and noted audience responses to The Inferior Sex. As a playwright, Lawton often uses script readings to learn about the strengths of her writing, generate ideas, and make edits as she works on her second draft of the play. Continue reading THE INFERIOR SEX Staged Reading


Theatre History Podcast by Susanne Shawyer

Demonstrators gathering for the 21 October 1967 March on the Pentagon. Some of these activists used Modern theatre theory, such as Antonin Artaud’s notion of Theatre of Cruelty or R. G. Davis’s concept of Guerrilla Theatre, to shape their street demonstrations for television audiences. Photo courtesy of the LBJ Library.

Dr. Susanne Shawyer, coordinator of Elon’s Drama and Theatre Studies program, visits the HowlRound Theatre History podcast to discuss her research on Theatre of Cruelty by anti-war activists at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Her research investigates audience reactions to street theatre at the convention, in particular responses to activists using Antonin Artaud’s theory of Theatre of Cruelty as a way to engage Americans watching the convention on television. You can read more about her research in Performance in a Militarized Culture (Routledge 2017), or listen to the podcast here:¬†