Uncommon Women and Others

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Uncommon Women and Others
Written byWendy Wasserstein
Rita Altabel
Kate Quin
Muffet DiNicola
Samantha Stewart
Holly Kaplan
Mrs. Plumm
Susie Friend
Narrator (voice)
SettingA restaurant in 1978 and Mount Holyoke College in 1972-1973

Uncommon Women and Others (1977), is the first play by noted 20th-century American playwright Wendy Wasserstein.

Production history[edit]

The play was initially produced at Yale University in 1975, as Wasserstein's master's thesis.[1]

The play premiered Off-Broadway in a production by the Phoenix Theatre on November 21, 1977 and closed on December 4, 1977 after 22 performances. It was directed by Steven Robman and performed at the Marymount Manhattan Theatre, New York.

The play was revived Off-Broadway by the Second Stage Theatre, in a production at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, running from October 26, 1994 to January 1, 1995. Directed by Carole Rothman, the cast featured Joan Buddenhagen (Leilah).[2]

Characters and stage cast (1977)[edit]

Source: Lortel[3]

Plot summary[edit]

Alumnae of Mount Holyoke College (Wasserstein's alma mater) meet for lunch one day in 1978 and talk about their time together in college. The play is thus a series of flashbacks to the 1972-1973 school year as seven seniors and one freshman try to "discover themselves" in the wake of second-wave feminism.[4]


A made-for-television film was broadcast on the PBS Great Performances series in 1978, with all of the stage cast reprising their roles, except that Meryl Streep played Leilah.[5] [6]

Critical response[edit]

In reviewing the 1994 revival, Jeremy Gerard wrote in Variety that the premiere of Uncommon Women and Others was "a happy matching of a new writer with a gifted director and an amazing cast, all for a play that seemed to distill the conflicts and uncertainties of its time into a memorable blend of raunchy wit and sober apprehension...a new voice in the theater had an extraordinary debut."[7]


  1. ^ Balakian, Jan. "Wendy Wasserstein" jwa.org, March 1, 2009
  2. ^ Listing, 1994 Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed February 4, 2015
  3. ^ Listing Internet Off-Broadway Database, accessed February 4, 2015
  4. ^ Overview samuelfrench.com, accessed February 4, 2015
  5. ^ Gans, Andrew. "PBS to Offer Rebroadcast of Wasserstein's "Uncommon Women" " playbill.com, February 27, 2006
  6. ^ TV Film Overview" New York Times, accessed February 4, 2015
  7. ^ Gerard, Jeremy. Uncommon Women and Others Review variety, October 18, 1994


  • Wasserstein, Wendy. The Heidi Chronicles, Uncommon Women and Others, & Isn't It Romantic. New York: Vintage, 1990. ISBN 0-679-73499-6
  • Wasserstein, Wendy.Uncommon Women and Others - google books

External links[edit]