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Heidi Chronicles


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A: Wendy Wasserstein Pf: 1988, Seattle (workshop production); 1988, New York Pb: 1990 G: Com. in 2 acts S: New York, 1977–89; Chicago, 1965, 1974; Manchester, New Hampshire, 1968; Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1970 C: 7m, 12f1989: Heidi Holland lectures on neglected women painters at Columbia University, New York. 1965: Heidi meets clever and charming Peter Padrone at a high-school dance. 1968: Heidi comes to New Hampshire to canvass on behalf of Eugene McCarthy and is seduced by charismatic but arrogant Scoop Rosenbaum. 1970: Heidi attends a feminist group in Ann Arbor and admits that she is in the thrall of Scoop while recognizing that Peter can offer her more. 1974: Heidi pickets the Chicago Art Institute for exhibiting so few women artists. Peter, now an intern at a Chicago hospital, reveals that he is gay. 1977: Scoop, a lawyer about to start a magazine, marries Lisa, an ugly, boring, but devoted girl, and admits that he could not marry Heidi, because she wants ‘Self-fulfillment. Self-determination. Self-exaggeration’. 1980: Reagan has been elected president, John Lennon has been shot, and the women gather for a baby-shower for Lisa, whose husband Scoop is having an affair. 1982: Heidi, Peter, and Scoop are interviewed on television, and Heidi is hardly allowed to speak. 1984: Heidi and her old schoolfriend Susan compare notes about being a modern woman. Heidi is asked to write a sitcom about single women, ‘unhappy, unfulfilled, frightened of growing old alone’. Heidi refuses. 1986: Heidi recognizes that she feels no solidarity with other women: ‘I feel stranded.’ 1987: Heidi says goodbye to Peter before moving to Minnesota. 1989: Heidi adopts a Panamanian baby and returns to New York.

A: Wendy Wasserstein Pf: 1988, Seattle (workshop production); 1988, New York Pb: 1990 G: Com. in 2 acts S: New York, 1977–89; Chicago, 1965, 1974; Manchester, New Hampshire, 1968; Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1970 C: 7m, 12f

Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award, The Heidi Chronicles offers an amusing and episodic account of the development of feminist beliefs in one woman's life. It honestly acknowledges setbacks and disillusionment, but finally shows Heidi able to ‘fulfil her potential’ by adopting an unwanted child and by successfully promoting the work of women artists.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights) — Theatre.


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