Stage women, 1900-50

Female theatre workers and professional practice

Edited by Maggie B. Gale and Kate Dorney

Stage women, 1900-50

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0070-2
  • Pages: 328
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: April 2019
  • BIC Category: PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism, Theatre Studies, Theatre studies, Feminism & feminist theory, HISTORY / Women, Feminism & Feminist Theory, The arts / Theatre studies, Early 20th century c 1900 to c 1950
  • Series: Women, Theatre and Performance


This book presents a collection of cutting-edge historical and cultural essays in the field of women, theatre and performance. The chapters explore women's networks of professional practice in the theatre and performance industries between 1900 and 1950, with a focus on women's sense and experience of professional agency in an industry largely controlled by men. The book is divided into two sections: 'Female theatre workers in the social and theatrical realm' looks at the relationship between women's work - on and off stage - and autobiography, activism, technique, touring, education and the law. 'Women and popular performance' focuses on the careers of individual artists, once household names, including Lily Brayton, Ellen Terry, radio star Mabel Constanduros and Oscar-winning film star Margaret Rutherford.


Introduction - Maggie B. Gale and Kate Dorney
Part I: Female theatre workers in the social and theatrical realm
1 'Believe me or not': actresses, female performers, autobiography and the scripting of professional practice - Maggie B. Gale
2 Female networks: collecting contacts with Gabrielle Enthoven - Kate Dorney
3 Past the memoir: Winifred Dolan beyond the West End - Lucie Sutherland
4 Off-stage labour: actresses, charity work and the early twentieth-century theatre profession - Catherine Hindson
5 'Very much alive and kicking': the Actresses' Franchise League from 1914-28 - Naomi Paxton
6 Defending the body, defending the self: women performers and the law in the 'long' Edwardian period - Viv Gardner
Part II: Women and popular performance
7 Emotional and natural: the Australian and New Zealand repertoires and fortunes of north American performers Margaret Anglin, Katherine Grey and Muriel Starr - Veronica Kelly
8 Lily Brayton: a theatre maker in every sense - Brian Singleton
9 Aerial star: Lillian Leitzel's celebrity, agency and her performed femininity - Kate Holmes
10 Ellen Terry: the art of performance and her work in film - Katharine Cockin
11 Mabel Constanduros: different voices, voicing difference - Gilli Bush-Bailey
12 The odd woman: Margaret Rutherford - John Stokes


Maggie B. Gale is Professor and Chair of Drama at the University of Manchester

Kate Dorney is Senior Lecturer in Theatre and Performance at the University of Manchester

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