Carolyn Gage (born 1952) is an American playwright, actor and theatrical director. She is also an activist on lesbian and feminist issues. Gage was a Guest Lecturer at Bates College in 1998–99. The author of nine books on lesbian theatre and sixty-five plays, musicals, and one-woman shows, she specializes in non-traditional roles for women, especially those reclaiming famous lesbians whose stories have been distorted or erased from history. The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays (Outskirts Press, 2008) was named the national winner of the 2008 Lambda Literary Award in Drama.
Gage tours internationally in her one-woman play, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc, a play which has been featured on National Public Radio. In 2008, her collection of one-acts, Nine Short Plays was published, along with a collection of her historical plays, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays. In 2009, she premiered her new musical, Babe: An Olympic Musical in Phoenix and also workshopped it in Minneapolis.
Gage's play, Ugly Ducklings, was nominated by the American Theatre Critics Association for the prestigious ATCA/ Steinberg New Play Award, an award with given annually for the best new play produced outside New York. It won a 2004 Lesbian Theatre Award from Curve magazine, and a $150,000 documentary on the play premiered in 2005 at the Frameline International Film Festival in San Francisco. In 2004, The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women was named national finalist for the Jane Chambers Award given by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
The Second Coming of Joan of Arc has been translated into Portuguese, French, Italian, Bulgarian, and Mandarin. It achieved first-class production in Brazil, starring Christiane Torloni, and has been widely produced.
Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist was presented at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the Juneteenth Festival of African American plays. It was a national winner of the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, and is included in Random House's anthology Under 30: Plays for a New Generation. Gage's musical, The Amazon All-Stars is the first lesbian full book musical ever published by a mainstream play publisher. Published by Applause Books, it is the title work of an anthology of lesbian plays that was a national finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Her manual on lesbian theatre production, Take Stage! How to Direct and Produce a Lesbian Play, was published by Scarecrow Press. Gage also wrote Monologues and Scenes for Lesbian Actors, the first collection of its kind in the world. The University of Oregon has acquired her personal papers for their Special Collections Archive.
Gage's work has been endorsed by Andrea Dworkin, Mary Daly, Phyllis Chesler, Diana E.H. Russell, Jewelle Gomez and John Stoltenberg. Gage was named contributing editor to the national feminist quarterly On The Issues. Gage has also been published in the Dramatists Guild Quarterly, Trivia, Sinister Wisdom, Lesbian Ethics, The Lesbian Review of Books, The Gay and Lesbian Review, The Michigan Quarterly Review and Lambda Book Report. Gage has written the first meditation book for feminist activists, Like There's No Tomorrow: Meditations for Women Leaving Patriarchy.
- The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays (2008), a collection of Gage's historical plays that was the national winner of the 2008 Lambda Literary Award in Drama.
- Nine Short Plays, a collection of nine of Gage's best short plays.
- Starting From Zero: One-Act Plays About Lesbians In Love."
- The Spindle and Other Lesbian Fairy Tales, a collection of four short stories and one full-length play.
- Take Stage! How to Direct and Produce a Lesbian Play, a manual on lesbian theatre production.
- Sermons for a Lesbian Tent Revival, thirteen sermons on evangelical radical feminism.
- Supplemental Sermons for A Lesbian Tent Revival
- Monologues and Scenes for Lesbian Actors: Revised and Expanded (2009)
- Like There's No Tomorrow: Meditations for Women Leaving Patriarchy, a book of meditations on feminist activism.
- Black Eye and Other Short Plays
- Three Comedies
- The Triple Goddess: Three Plays
- The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Other Plays (Herbooks, Inc. 1994)
- The Gaia Papers: In Search of a Science of Gaia
- Second Coming of Joan of Arc, a one-woman show in which Joan of Arc speaks to contemporary audiences,
- Ugly Ducklings, about blossoming lesbian love and homophobia at a girls' summer camp,
- The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women, an audience participation courtroom drama presenting the trial of five women who betrayed the Anastasia Romanov of Russia,
- Thanatron, a dysfunctional family comedy
- The Amazon All-Stars is a musical, the first lesbian full-book musical published by a mainstream publisher
- The A-Mazing Yamashita and the Gold-diggers of 2008 (One-act play)
- The Amazon All-stars (Musical)
- Amy Lowell: in Her Own Words (One-woman show)
- The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women (Full-length play)
- Artemisia and Hildegarde (One-act play)
- Babe:An Olympian Musical (Musical)
- Battered on Broadway (One-act play)
- Bite My Thumb (One-act play)
- Blackeye (10-minute play)
- The Boundary Trial of John Proctor (One-act play)
- Calamity Jane Sends a Message to Her Daughter (One-act play)
- Coming About (Full-length play)
- Cookin' with Typhoid Mary (One-act play)
- The Countess and the Lesbians (One-act play)
- The Clarity of Pizza (5-Minute Play)
- The Drum Lesson (One-act play)
- Entr'acte (One-act play)
- Esther and Vashti (Full-length play)
- The Evil That Men Do: the Story of Thalidomide (One-act play)
- Extravagant Love: the Life of Violette LeDuc (One-woman show)
- The Goddess Tour (Full-length play)
- Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist (One-act play)
- Heterosexuals Anonymous (One-act play)
- Jane Addams and the Devil Baby (One-act play)
- A Labor Play (One-act play)
- The Ladies' Room (Five-minute play)
- The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman (One-woman show)
- Leading Ladies (Musical)
- Louisa May Incest (One-act play)
- Mason-dixon (One-act play)
- The Obligatory Scene (One-act play)
- The Parmachene Belle (One-act play)
- Patricide (One-act play)
- The P.E. Teacher (One-act play)
- The Pele Chant (One-act play)
- The Poorly-Written Play Festival (One-act play)
- Radicals (One-act play)
- The Rules of the Playground (One-act play)
- Sappho in Love (Full-length play)
- The Second Coming of Joan of Arc (One-woman show)
- Souvenirs of Eden (One-act play)
- The Spindle (Full-length play)
- Stigmata (Full-length play)
- Thanatron (Full-length play)
- Ugly Ducklings (Full-length play)
- Valerie Solanas At Matteawan (One-Act Play)
- Women on the Land (Musical)
- 2014 Featured Playwright, 53rd World Theater Day sponsored by UNESCO, Rome, Italy.
- 2014 Hewnoaks Residency, Maine.
- 2009 Residency, Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos, New Mexico
- 2009 National Winner, Lambda Literary Award in Drama, The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Selected Plays
- Janine C. Rae Cultural Award for the Advancement of Women's Culture (2002)
- National Finalist, Lambda Literary Award in Drama, for The Second Coming of Joan of Arc and Other Plays
- Winner, Maine Playwrights Award, Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance, for The Poorly-Written Play Festival (2007)
- Nominee, Michael MacLiammor Award (Best Female Performer), Dublin International Gay Theatre Festival (2007)
- Nominee, American Theatre Critics Association's annual ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, for Ugly Ducklings
- Winner, Curve Magazine's National Lesbian Theatre Award, for Ugly Ducklings
- National Finalist, Association for Theatre in Higher Education Jane Chambers Award, for The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women
- National winner, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, for Harriet Tubman Visits a Therapist
- Lynda Hart Memorial Grant, Astraea Lesbian Justice Foundation (2005)
- Thanatron named among "Best Productions of 2003" by the Portland Phoenix in Portland, Maine
- Finalist, Maine Playwrights Award for Parmachene Belle (2003)
- National winner, $3000 Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation Grant for best play, The Last Reading of Charlotte Cushman
- Acquisition of personal papers for University of Oregon Special Collections Archive
- Angus L. Bowmer Award for Drama from the Oregon Institute of Literary Arts for The Second Coming of Joan of Arc
- Walden Writer's Fellowship from Lewis & Clark College
- Oregon Literary Fellowship writer's grant from Oregon Institute of Literary Arts
- Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Grant
- National Winner, Nancy Dean Distinguished Playwriting Award
- Eleanor Humes Haney Fund Grant
- New York Open Meadows Foundation Grant
- Maine Arts Commission, Good Idea Grant
- Winner Best Stageplay, Moondance International Film Festival, Boulder, Colorado, for Sappho in Love
- National semi-finalist for the Eileen Heckart Senior Drama Competition, Ohio State University, for The Pele Chant
- National finalist, George P. Kernodle One-Act Play Competition, University of Arkansas, Poorly-Written Play Festival
- National finalist, John Gassner New Play Festival, Stony Brook University (NY) for The Spindle
- National semi-finalist, Association for Theatre in Higher Education One-Act Play Competition for The Pele Chant
- Goodenough, Elizabeth (September 2003). Secret spaces of childhood. University of Michigan Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-472-06845-6. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Day, Frances Ann (June 2000). Lesbian and gay voices: an annotated bibliography and guide to literature for children and young adults. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 71. ISBN 978-0-313-31162-8. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Goy-Blanquet, Dominique (2003). Joan of Arc, a saint for all reasons: studies in myth and politics. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. pp. 139â. ISBN 978-0-7546-3330-3. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Leavitt, Judith Walzer (1997-07-31). Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Health. Beacon Press. p. 225. ISBN 978-0-8070-2103-3. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Kear, Lynn (2010-10-14). Laurette Taylor, American Stage Legend. McFarland. pp. 227â. ISBN 978-0-7864-5922-3. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Madison, D. Soyini; Hamera, Judith (2006-02-02). The SAGE handbook of performance studies. SAGE. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-7619-2931-4. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Official Website
- Online Essays by Gage
- Online Interviews with Gage
- A site for the Ugly Ducklings Campaign, based on a play by Carolyn Gage