Wendy Wasserstein '71 with Staged Reading
Levis, (left) Wasserstein's sister, and President Joanne
V. Creighton speak after the reading
of Uncommon Women and Others.
Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, students, faculty, staff,
and community members packed Rooke Theatre to capacity as Mount
Holyoke paid tribute to distinguished alumna and famous playwright
Wendy Wasserstein '71 with a staged reading of her play Uncommon
Women and Others.
performance, President Joanne V. Creighton presented a resolution
passed by the College's
Board of Trustees in honor of Wasserstein as the "original
and our beloved 'Uncommon
Woman' " to Wasserstein’s sister, Georgette Levis.
Holyoke College is proud to count among its alumnae Wendy Wasserstein--trailblazer,
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and unflaggingly generous
human being,” said Creighton, reading
from the resolution. "Wendy’s thought-provoking plays
gave voice to a generation of women and offered women, and men,
a way to see themselves with humor, dignity, and forgiveness."
who was in attendance with her husband, Albert, thanked President
Creighton and the performers, saying how she could
imagine Wendy "somewhere at the back of the theatre giggling
directed by Paula Alekson '90,
visiting instructor in theatre arts, featured current MHC
students in the roles of
alumnae who gather several years after graduating and are
struggling to find their place in the world as educated women.
flashes back to their days at MHC as graduation approaches.
The cast also
featured Edwina Cruise, Professor of Russian on the Alumnae
Foundation, as housemother Mrs. Plumm.
|Wendy Wasserstein '71
Women and Others, written in 1977, was Wasserstein’s
first major success as a playwright. The off-Broadway
performance featured Glenn Close, Swoosie Kurtz, and Jill
and was later adapted for public television, with Meryl Streep
The two readings
were prefaced by an introduction written by Sarah Binns '08
and read by Ariel Franklin-Hudson '07
on Friday and Emily Giglierano '06 on Saturday,
which said, in part:
Mount Holyoke students who read Uncommon Women and Others will
find aspects of their daily lives reflected in Wasserstein's
pages: a propensity for donuts hand-in-hand with
weight worries, the familiar community of evening milk and
cookies, and, most importantly,
an unanticipated love for their surrounding women.
students will also see their own promise shining in Wasserstein's
characters. As a college senior, Rita repeatedly claims that
if she and the other
women 'hold out' until
they are 30 years old, they will be incredible.
In one of the closing scenes of the play, her friend
Holly responds, 'Rita, I think
you're already amazing.' Holly’s
statement is the heartbeat of Uncommon Women. We
are not only becoming incredible
women, we are already incredible women sitting
in the chairs of the incredible women who have
us in this esteemed institution.
We are incredible women living and loving to capacity,
just as Wasserstein would have wanted for her characters
and her fellow
Mount Holyoke students. We are incredible women,
uncommon women, and today we celebrate Wendy Wasserstein’s
'08 as Muffet
Whittemore Hall '06 as Holly
Meg Sullivan '06 as Kate
Marty Seeger '06 as Samantha
Janelle Matrow 'FP as Rita
Edwina Cruise, Professor of Russian on the Alumnae Foundation,
as Mrs. Plumm
Peg Duffy '07 as Susie Friend
Biz Wells '06 as Carter
Julia Isenberg '07 as Leilah
Janice Acevedo '09, stage directions reader
Wendy Wasserstein ’71 Dies at Age 55
Honors Wendy Wasserstein '71 in New York Times