|Women Behind Bars|
|Written by||Tom Eyen|
|Date premiered||May 1, 1975|
|Place premiered||Astor Place Theatre|
New York City
Set in the Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village, there is, among the range of women, an innocent young woman, a chain-smoking street-wise tough girl, and a delicate Southern belle reminiscent of Blanche DuBois. The innocent was framed by her husband on a charge of armed robbery, and is brutalized, betrayed and sexually assaulted throughout her eight-year sentence. She is ultimately broken by the system and leaves jail as a hard-edged, gum-chomping drug dealer. These women are overseen by the prison's sadistic matron and her henchman.
Original 1975 production
The original production at the off-Broadway Astor Place Theatre opened on May 1, 1975, featuring Pat Ast, Helen Hanft, Mary-Jennifer Mitchell and Sharon Barr. Alan Eichler was co-producer and press representative.
1977 London production
The play was revived once again in Los Angeles in 1983, directed by Ron Link and featuring Lu Leonard, Adrienne Barbeau and Sharon Barr. The LA production ran for almost a year, first at the Cast Theater and then moving to the Roxy Theatre. Sally Kellerman and Linda Blair later joined the cast.
2012 live reading
- Charles Busch as the matron
- Halley Feiffer as Mary-Eleanor
- Janeane Garofalo as Louise
- Nancy Giles as Jo-Jo
- Josh Hamilton as the men
- Natasha Lyonne as Cheri
- Cynthia Nixon as Blanche
- Rosie O'Donnell as Gloria
- Daphne Rubin-Vega as Guadalupe
- Rhea Perlman as Granny and The Warden
- Jennifer Tilly as Ada
A large-scale revival played the Montalbán Theatre in Los Angeles in January, 2020, presented by Winbrook Productions and "Just Pow" Productions. The production was conceived and directed by Scott Thompson. A new title song and background score was composed by Fred Barton.
- Kathy Griffin, Host
- Traci Lords as Gloria
- Eureka O'Hara as the Matron
- Mink Stole as Granny and The Warden
- Miss Coco Peru as Louise
- Ginger Minj as Ada
- Chi Chi DeVayne as Jo-Jo
- Suzie Kennedy as Cheri
- Poppy Fields as Blanche
- Wesley Woods as The Men
- Adrienne Couper Smith as Mary-Eleanor
- Tatiana Monteiro as Guadalupe
The subtle lesbianism apparent in the original B movies is emphasized comedically throughout. The New York Times described the play as "an extraordinarily interesting work from one of America's most innovative and versatile playwrights."
- Women Behind Bars at the Internet Off-Broadway Database.
- "Divine on stage and screen". www.dreamlandnews.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- ""Women Behind Bars" 1977 Whitehall Theatre program". www.picclick.co.uk/. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
- "Louder than Words: Ron Link, 1944-1999". Obituary in LA Weekly. June 9, 1999. Accessed December 5, 2013.
- "Broadway Buzz Announcement". www.broadway.com. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
- ""Women Behind Bars" Photo Gallery". www.broadway.com. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
- "Montálban Theatre Event Page". www.themontalban.com. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
- "Broadwayworld Reviews Women Behind Bars". www.broadwayworld.com. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
- "Scott Thompson IMDb". www.imdb.com. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
- "Talkin' Broadway Regional News & Reviews: San Francisco - "Women Behind Bars - 3/25/02". www.talkinbroadway.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- Frank, Leah D. "Theater Review; PRISON SATIRE WITH BITTER LAUGHS". Retrieved 2018-03-20.
- "'The Neon Woman' By Eyen Is Staged". Retrieved 2021-06-03.