Gingold Theatrical Group's Project Shaw: your monthly guide to reason.
This month: He and She by Rachel Crothers
He and She by Rachel Crothers, 1920. He and She is a play written by Rachel Crothers in 1920, who wrote a majority of her plays during amidst the first wave of feminism. It specifically tackles topics concerning masculinity and femininity, such as gender roles within a marriage and what it means to be a female artist in a patriarchal atmosphere. In accordance with the opinion of many dramaturgical scholars, it is “Crothers’ most complex and pessimistic exploration of feminism’s impact on society”. The play features a married couple, Anne and Tom Herford, who are both sculptors. In the beginning, both characters encompass the progressive ideals for which Crothers advocated. However, when Anne wins in a competition over Tom, she is met with hostility and negativity from almost every other character. Despite showing initial support, Tom becomes increasingly agitated and says to Ann that because she is a woman, “you’re not free in the same way that I am” and that if she refuses to stop and take responsibility of their home, Tom will command her to do so. Tom was never supportive of Ann’s art, only tolerant of it so long as it did not outshine his own. The argument is put to rest abruptly when their underage daughter announces that she is pregnant and Anne makes the choice, albeit reluctantly, to care for her. This play, way ahead of its time, explores themes we’re still wrestling with today!
Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre
Expected Run Time is 180 minutes