This study reveals in depth the lives and work of five little-known women dramatists: Martha Morton, 1865-1925, Madeleine Lucette Ryley, 1858-1934, Evelyn Greenleaf Sutherland, 1855-1908, Beulah Marie Dix, 1876-1970, and Rida Johnson Young, 1875-1926. Entering playwriting at a time when very few women wrote for the stage, these pioneers achieved thriving careers and entertained theatergoers throughout the United States and Great Britain with their wholesome, light comedies, farces and musicals. Their collective experience as professional dramatists reveals trends of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century theatre practices and their accomplishments in a male-dominated profession serve to underscore hitherto unacknowledged contributions to America's Progressive Era theatre.

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