This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to break down the binary between writing and performance by considering the impact of the dramatic discourse written by women for women to perform and, further, by looking anew at the performing woman's influence in the creation and realisation of the female characters written for her. Theatre histories represent writing and performing women as being tarred with the same ‘whorish’ brush, but the book looks beyond that branding to investigate other identities and to suggest a different set of connections between theatre women. The methodology employed is a historiographical approach that is necessarily self-conscious about the critical lens it uses. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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