Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


Here is my latest Page & Stage column from the Bucks County Women’s Journal (June/July).

On Her Shoulders in New York City

By Anne M. Hamilton, MFA

My respected colleague Susan Jonas, the founder/ director of The Legacy Projects, is also a co-founder of 50/50 in 2020. In recent years she has made pursuing gender parity in theatre her life’s work, and her success continues to grow.

Her newest endeavor is On Her Shoulders, a series of staged readings of plays by women which will occur in Manhattan monthly through December, 2013. It’s a terrific new program which seeks to educate theatre professionals and the public about women’s plays which have been written over the course of ten centuries. The historical scope of the material, as well as the involvement of leading theatre specialists, is unprecedented.

On Monday, May 20th, the project will present Rachel Crothers’ controversial 1909 play, A MAN’S WORLD, directed by Melissa Crespo, and introduced by Jane Ann Crum. Other plays in the season include: Anna Cora Mowatt’s FASHION, Cicely Hamilton’s DIANA OF DOBSON’S, Shelagh Delaney’s A TASTE OF HONEY, Lorraine Hansberry’s LES BLANCS, Daphne Du Maurier’s THE YEARS BETWEEN, and Susanna Centlivre’s A BOLD STROKE FOR A WIFE.

Founded in 2012 by Andrea Lepcio (Playwright), Lillian Rodriguez (Performer), and Susan Jonas (Dramaturg/Scholar), the reading series is dedicated to, “‘re-loading the canon’ by familiarizing potential producers and audiences with a neglected legacy of plays– not by women playwrights– but by great playwrights.”

On Her Shoulders intends to restore their contribution to theatre history, the canon and the living repertory,” the founders assert on their website, which includes a curated list of significant plays by women.

The initiative encourages teachers to include plays by women on their syllabi, introduces students to monologues and scenes for acting and directing exercises, and invites literary managers and artistic directors to produce these plays on their stages. Its practical, multifaceted approach is unique because it provides the incentive to look at the plays as living works of art rather than just relegating them to history books.

The series will culminate in the publication of an anthology of the scripts staged for production with introductions by major scholars and theatre artists.

Admission is free, and seating is first come, first served, with RSVPs required. More information is available at

Anne Hamilton has 22 years of experience as an dramaturg. She is available for script consultations and career advising through Season Three of Hamilton Dramaturgy’s TheatreNow! launched with an interview with Kate Valk, a leading actress with The Wooster Group.

You may download the article here: BCWJ Article on ON HER SHOULDERS by Anne Hamilton



BCWJ Article on 50/50 in 2020

Many thanks to Susan Jonas, who sat for an interview for my last Page & Stage column for the Bucks County Women’s Journal. Susan eloquently explained the 50/50 in 2020 movement that she co-founded to help achieve gender parity in the American theatre.

Read the article here: BCWJ Article on 50 50 in 2020 Aug Sept 2012

Excerpt: This month, I am continuing my coverage of gender parity efforts in
the professional theatre. I spoke recently with my valued colleague Susan
Jonas about 50/50 in 2020, the grassroots movement she cofounded. Susan
is a scholar, dramaturg, adaptor/playwright, and producer who holds a
Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama.

“Founded in August 2010 to advocate for women in theatre,” she says, “50/50
in 2020 is dedicated to achieving parity by the hundredth anniversary
of suffrage. For too long, women have been extremely under-represented on the main stages of American theatre. Fewer than 20% of plays produced in America are by written by women or directed by women. In some years, it’s far less. And our presence is inversely proportionate to the resources of the theatres.”

She explains: “That means that the theatres with the highest budgets—and those that receive the largest share of public funding from taxpayers dollars—are the least likely to produce plays by women or to hire them as directors.” This also means that women’s work is most present in the places with the least resources and remuneration…”