Playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton debuts new play at Elon

Through a staged reading, Department of Performing Arts students participated in the creation of a new play.

American playwright Jacqueline E. Lawton visited Elon University March 3-4 for a weekend of workshops leading up to a public staged reading of her brand new script, “The Inferior Sex,” a funny and poignant look at 1970s feminism.

In a whirlwind 24-hour period, students in the Acting and Music Theatre BFA programs read and rehearsed “The Inferior Sex” in two short rehearsals before bringing the script to life in front of an audience of students, faculty, and community members. "The Inferior Sex" is the behind-the-scenes look at a woman's magazine that gets political and breaks new ground in an ever-changing world. Assistant Professor of Theatre History Susanne Shawyer acted as dramaturg and Assistant Professor of Acting Kim Shively served as director for the staged reading. Lawton re-worked the script during the rehearsal process, and noted audience responses to “The Inferior Sex.” As a playwright, Lawton often uses script readings to learn about the strengths of her writing, generate ideas, and make edits as she works on her second draft of the play.

At Elon, Lawton also gave a playwriting masterclass to students majoring in Elon’s Acting, Drama & Theatre Studies, English, and Music Theatre degree programs. In this workshop, students created verbal, textual, and movement-based monologues inspired by their favorite dessert. Student playwrights also had the opportunity to ask Lawton questions about her playwriting practice and career in the theatre.

Jacqueline E. Lawton is a playwright, dramaturg, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Dramatic Art at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her visit to Elon University was sponsored by the Fund for Excellence.