TRIFLES @ 100
History Matters/Back to the Future had the pleasure of attending the International Susan Glaspell Society's celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Trifles on October 4th. With a staged reading of the play, followed by a fascinating discussion lead by an incredible panel of Glaspell experts, including:
Noelia Hernando Real, Ph.D.
Profesora Contratada Doctora
Departamento de Filología Inglesa
Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
President, International Susan Glaspell Society
J. Ellen Gainor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Professor, Department of Performing and Media Arts
Professor of Theatre and Director of Graduate Studies
University of Missouri, Columbia
Catherine Paine Middlebush Chair in Fine and Performing Arts
President, American Theatre and Drama Society
Champollion University/Toulouse Jean-Jaurès University, France
Vice-President, International Susan Glaspell Society
Professor Titular in the Department of English
University of Malaga, Spain.
CoFounder (with Martha C. Carpentier) and first President, International Susan Glaspell Society
Associate Professor of Modern Literature and Drama
The Gallatin School, New York University
Afterwards, I asked Professors Friedman to discuss the event, she wrote: "It was significant to perform the ground-breaking one-act play of one of America’s most inventive playwrights (as well as fiction writers) and to celebrate Glaspell’s co-founding of the Provincetown Players 100 years later. The centennial of an important cultural moment in the history of theater in the U.S., galvanized by the success of Trifles that had premiered at the Wharf Theatre in the summer of 1916 before the group moved their experimental theatre to New York’s Greenwich Village (MacDougal Street) and spawned work of so many writers of the period—Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Djuna Barnes to mention just three. As Judith Barlow and other theatre scholars have said, The Provincetown was “the most important of the little theaters that emerged just before America entered World War I,” and she cites Robert Sarlos’s assessment that “from the perspective of drama alone, it introduced more native playwrights, had a greater impact on audiences and critics, and a longer life than any similar group.”
There was an unprecedented numbers of women who participated in the Players as writers, directors, scenic designers, and actors. We have much to learn from Glaspell and the Players, and the performance of "Trifles @100", far more than an exercise in nostalgia, offered us the opportunity to actively explore the play and to make meaning of it in the present and in the stories that we continue to write."
The evening was a treat and History Matters/Back to the Future was so thrilled to celebrate this incredible 100 year milestone.