Women Without Men @ The Mint


The Mint Theatre Company is currently producing Women Without Men by Hazel Ellis(1909 - 1986) Off Broadway. We sat down with The Mint's Artistic Director Jonathan Banks.

What drew you to the play? 
The title is what drew me to read the play, but when it comes to choosing what to produce, the only thing that matters to me is if I think it’s good –quite good—and of interest to a contemporary audience.

In your opinion, how does Hazel Ellis’s play compare to her male contemporaries. 
I can only evaluate a play’s quality through the lens of my taste, not in comparison to other writers of the time and certainly not according to the gender of its author.

Over the years, the Mint has produced many plays by historic women's playwright. Do you feel that audience reception is differs from when you produce play by male playwrights?
Maybe I’m blinded by my own prejudices, but I don’t think the audience approaches their play-going any differently than I approach my play-reading. Plays hold and reward an audience’s attention, or they don’t. It doesn’t matter who wrote them.

Do you have a favorite historic woman playwright? If so, who and why?
Teresa Deevy is my favorite, because she’s exceptionally talented, because she has a very compelling personal story—and because I’m so proud of what the Mint has been able to do in terms of creating fresh attention for her work over the last five years. By the way, Ellis was writing at the same time as Deevy, and in the same country—but their writing has less in common with each other than either may have with certain male writers.

Are you especially excited about any particular aspect of this production? 
Given that title and subject of the play, I thought it would be fun to have an all-female team, so as to give the rehearsal room a chance to really be “women without men.” I’m interested to see how that affects the work, if at all.

If you're in you are in NYC, Get your tickets to Women Without Men today!
WOMEN WITHOUT MEN explores the clash of conflicting natures and petty competitions that erupt amongst the cloistered teaching staff of an all-girls boarding school.

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