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Dramaturgy Notes for The Inferior Sex

Jacqueline E. Lawton is a playwright, dramaturg, teaching artist, and racial equity facilitator. She’s a multi-award-winning artist whose work has brought national recognition, including being recognized as a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwright Conference and Playwright’s Center PlayLab. Her work stunningly displays the beauty of the human experience and complexities of feminism as it spans through the richness of history and explores the power of social justice. Her brilliance and masterful storytelling radiates in The Inferior Sex.

Set in 1972 in Manhattan, NY, we journey with the women of Caposhi Rev exhausting all they have left to keep their small feminist magazine alive and relevant while still honoring their own truths and values. Through comedy and gut-wrenching honesty, we witness the women navigate the depth of friendship, the personal impacts of politics, the influence of fashion, and the nuance of feminism.

While navigating the quick changes of the season and the tumultuous political climate, each woman strives to put aside their differences to do what’s best for Caposhi Rev but can they come face to face with their decisions and the life-altering impacts it will have on each other, the survival of the magazine, and tangible justice?

While exploring The Inferior Sex, I found myself flowing to the impactful rhythm of the words of Ancestor Audre Lorde’s The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle The Master’s House. Though this speech comes seven years after our play’s setting, I believe it breathes life into the desired need to usher the awareness of intersectionality before there was a word to verbalize it.

Difference is that raw and powerful connection from which our personal power is forged. As women, we have been taught either to ignore our differences or to view them as causes for separation or suspicion rather than forces for change. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths.”

This profound play holds up a timely mirror to our society, our political awareness, and ourselves. It allows us to see where we were, where we are, and where we can be. It offers an opportunity to examine the impact of our proximity to feminism and how we show up for one another, women and girls, and for our country – while keeping style in mind.

I welcome you to enjoy this powerful production of The Inferior Sex presented by Elon University. My deepest wish as your experience flows through the vibrant world of this play is that you are awakened by the grace and love in your own power to hold space for the women and girls in your life.

Breana C. Venablé, MFA

Production Dramaturg