How much do YOU know about these groundbreaking women of the American theatre?
Throughout our country's theatre history, there have been fabulous and amazing women who've made enormous contributions to the craft, popularity and excellence of live theatre around the world. Take this quiz to find out what you know—and where to learn more—about just ten of these incredible women.
(Correct answers and info links at the bottom!)
1. What regional theatre was founded by Zelda Fichandler?
a. Arena Stage, Washington, DC
b. Hartford Stage Company
c. The Cleveland Playhouse
d. The Podunk Playhouse
Famous quote: “Starting a theater company is as whimsical as falling in love. You think all obstacles are mythological and that you’re going to have this thing you love, this idea, at whatever cost. Your life is made in those moments.
It’s a moment of self-donation: ‘I give myself to this.’”
2. What Tennessee Williams play was directed by Margo Jones in her Broadway directing debut?
a. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
b. Summer and Smoke
c. Camino Real
d. The Glass Menagerie
Famous quote: “The answer is simple: if you want something very badly, you can achieve it. It may take patience, very hard work, a real struggle, and a long time; but it can be done. That much faith is a prerequisite of any undertaking.”
3. What "first" did Vinnette Carroll accomplish?
a. She was Marlon Brando's first acting teacher.
b. She was the first Black woman to direct on
c. She invented footlights.
d. She founded the first children's theatre.
Famous quote: ”I have had a great deal of hurt in the theater both as a Negro and as a woman, but I don’t get immobilized by it. I tell myself that no one individual is going to make it impossible for me.”
4. In 1931, with what future fellow director did Cheryl Crawford leave the Theater Guild in order to co-found The Group Theatre?
a. Dennis O'Day
b. Babe Ruth
c. Harold Clurman
d. Elia Kazan
Famous quote: “There are doors to the inevitable everywhere.”
5. What triumphs has playwright Suzan-Lori Parks achieved (so far)?
a. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from
b. She has won Obie, Tony, Whiting & Drama Desk Awards.
c. She was the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
d. All of the above.
Famous quote: “The writer has two kinds of faith: actual writing and sitting openly. Have faith in your personal effort or sweat. And faith in God, or whatever you want to call it. Then the voices will come. Faith is the big deal.”
6. What political drama written by Mercy Otis Warren in 1772 famously skewered the policies of British governor Thomas Hutchinson?
a. The Adulterer
b. The Alchemist
c. The Adjustor
d. The Adulator
Famous quote: "The study of the human character opens at once a beautiful and a deformed picture of the soul."
7. What intrepid woman pioneer of twentieth century American theatre was appointed the Director of the Federal Theatre Project, which provided employment to thousands of professional theater artists during the Great Depression, but was disbanded in 1939 because "its plays were racially integrated and explored social and economic issues" ?
a. Eva Le Gallienne
b. Katharine Hepburn
c. Hallie Flanagan
d. Zelda Fitzgerald
Famous quote (to actors on opening night): "You have had good equipment to work with. You've had a theatre with everything you needed, and you are involved with the play; but all the way through you have been handicapped. One essential has been denied you. Tonight the audience is there; now they are sitting out front; you have everything you need."
8. What equally intrepid woman pioneer of twentieth century American theatre founded the Civic Repertory Theatre (1926-36), consciously devoting herself to the "art of the theatre" as opposed to the "show business of Broadway" and essentially enabling the Off Broadway movement?
a. Audrey Hepburn
b. Eva Le Gallienne
c. Hallie Flanagan
d. Eva Marie Saint
Famous quote: "What does so-called success or failure matter if only you have succeeded in doing the thing you set out to do? The DOING is all that really counts."
9. What prolific woman actor, singer and dancer has been influencing the entertainment industry for 70 years, was honored in 2004 with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her many contributions to the arts, and is the first Latina woman to have earned an EGOT?
a. Rita Moreno
b. Halley S. Comet
c. Juliet Capulet
d. Rosie the Riveter
Famous Quote: "I live in the moment. The moment is the most important thing. That's my entire philosophy: Make the best of the good moments."
10. Who was the first Black woman to have a play produced on Broadway?
a. Butterfly McQueen
b. Quinta Brunson
c. Angela Davis
d. Lorraine Hansberry
Famous quote: “Though it be a thrilling and marvelous thing to be merely young and gifted in such times, it is doubly so, doubly dynamic, to be young, gifted and Black.”