This spring, their conspicuous absence comes to an end. “Sweat,” Ms. Nottage’s timely exploration of stressed relationships among a group of friends in a working-class city battered by industrial layoffs, opens Sunday, March 26, at Studio 54; “Indecent,” Ms. Vogel’s retrospective dramatization of the rise and fall of a play deemed scandalous during an ill-fated journey from the Yiddish theater to Broadway, opens April 18 at the Cort Theater. . . .
The fact that these two writers are just now making their Broadway debuts raises uncomfortable questions for the theater industry, which season after season sees plays by men vastly outnumber plays by women in the all-important commercial spaces where money can be made, reputations burnished and Tony Awards won.
Monday News: Women writing for Broadway, orc romance, and choosing stories to read and write
Two Female Playwrights Arrive on Broadway. What Took So Long? – A lovely and sometimes understandably plaintive profile of Lynn Nottage and Paula Vogel (their careers and their work), both of whom have plays on Broadway this season, their first, despite Pulitzer prizes, Ivy League teaching jobs, international fame and recognition, and decades of work behind them. We talk a lot about creative arenas where women are poorly represented, and Broadway may be one of the worst offenders.
“Indecent” and “Sweat” are the only new plays by women this Broadway season; by contrast, there are eight new plays by men (none of whom has credentials comparable to those of Ms. Vogel and Ms. Nottage). The disparity is sometimes worse; in 2013-14 there were no new plays by women. Such imbalance remains a striking incongruity for Broadway, where an estimated 67 percent of the audience is women. – New York Times
A Very Serious Conversation About Orc Romance In Shadow Of War – A discussion with Vice President Michael de Plater of Monolith, which produced Middle Earth: Shadow of Modor, along with the new game, Shadow of War. The conversation reminded me of a discussion with friends a couple of weeks ago about the lack of romance storylines in gaming. While this is clearly not the same thing, it may be a reflection of how romantic narratives are diversifying through the proliferation of alternative storytelling vehicles.
“There’s a whole genre of [orc romance] on Amazon, as we discovered the other day,” he said. “There’s absolutely people that love that! We don’t have anything like that in our game at the moment, but in an indirect way, you can make them your companions.”
“I think [Shadow of War‘s] orcs live in this very weird, hyper-masculine society,” he explained. “Violence is the sort of manifestation of their sensual side, their pleasure. That’s how they live their lives. Because they are these big exaggerations of hate and fear and violence, they do kind of love it and revel in it. I think it is kind of romantic for them.” – Kotaku Australia
How pregnancy made this publisher a seeker of gooey romance novels – Another article for which the title is not a great representative of the content. While its author does talk about how her reading tastes changed when she was pregnant and then caring for her newborn baby, I think she speaks to the way certain genres can appeal to us at different times in our lives or in the midst of specific experiences – and about how powerful it can be to read about love within the confines of the romance narrative. Ultimately she turned to Heyer, then back to Austen, with whom she began (through Curtis Sittenfeld, admittedly):
The wonderful thing about romance writers is that they’re usually very productive. Heyer had written over 30 romances and I’d buy one as I went to bed and then end up reading it all night, waking up groggily to get to work in the morning. On weekends, I’d read two or three. It was like a fever. I couldn’t get enough. Returning to an old passion can be revelatory. Primarily because it forces you to see how much you’ve changed. The Heyer novels I had liked as an adolescent I no longer found appealing. Earlier, the more flamboyant the hero, the more I would like the story—after all, those were the men I longed for as a teenager. Now, two decades on, having found a different kind of Prince Charming, I liked stories where there was more of a sexual and romantic tension between the couple, where the emotions were more realised. I discarded old favourites (These Old Shades) and discovered new ones (The Grand Sophy).
The fever lasted through the summer. And as the days slowly cooled, the Heyer obsession came to an end—I found one day that I had run through them all. It was time to move on. There have been other wonderful readings since, though none that took over my life as much. Then the real tidal wave hit. In November, I gave birth to Ashok, who came into the world a month prematurely. Like all early-term babies, he was stuck in the ICU, far away from me. The hormones that ruled my world went on overdrive at this separation. I longed to be with him but I couldn’t. It made me feel helpless and desperately sad. All I could do to show him my love was make sure he was getting my milk, which was fed to him through a drip. As I pumped my milk late at night, beside my sleeping husband, I found myself returning once more to Jane Austen to keep me company. This time I read her final novel, Persuasion, the only truly emotional, truly interior, truly romantic novel she wrote. – Vogue India
The ‘Tear Gun’ works by catching tears under the wearer’s eye with a silicon pocket. They are then funnelled into a steampunk-like brass system. A small bottle filled with dry ice fixed to the back of the pistol freezes the teardrops into solid bullets, ready to be fired into the face of authority. – Electric Literature and Design Taxi