Spectators, Actors and the American Dramatic Text
Edited By Barbara Ozieblo and María Dolores Narbona-Carrión
Sophie Treadwell, Jung, and the Mandala. Acting a Gendered Identity 123
Sophie Treadwell, Jung, and the Mandala Acting a Gendered Identity Miriam LÓPEZ-RODRÍGUEZ University of Málaga Although American playwright Sophie Treadwell (1885-1970) has gained some scholarly reputation and critical acclaim as the author of the expressionist drama Machinal (1921), the rest of her extensive theatrical production has not attracted much public or academic atten- tion except for Jerry Dickey’s very useful and long overdue Sophie Treadwell: A Research and Production Sourcebook.1 That her other thirty-nine plays – three-act plays and one-acts – have been usually neglected by critics and scholars alike is largely due to the fact that Treadwell never managed to achieve another major success on Broad- way. A second reason for this lack of scholarly attention, in close con- nection with the first one, is the fact that most of Treadwell’s plays were never published; therefore, scholars wishing to carry out research on her work are forced to resort to the manuscripts housed at the University of Arizona. Ironically enough, she did not attain any other box-office hit partly for the very same reasons that should secure her a place in the history of twentieth-century American drama: first, for her obstinacy in choosing “unpopular” topics – such as racism or psychological abuse – and thereby forcing her audience to face certain realities of American society that they would have preferred to ignore in order to preserve their notion of the American dream. Secondly, for her constant experimentation with new theatrical techniques and styles. Just to mention some of her inno-...
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