Though a number of women in the United States and worldwide worked as architects in the 1800s, Julia Morgan was the first woman licensed to practice architecture in California and one of the most prominent and prolific architects of her time. Her best- known achievement was the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California.
I teach several classes for the Stephens College Low-Residency MFA in Screenwriting, including History of Screenwriting. In fact, I created the curriculum for that course from scratch and customized it to this particular MFA in that it covers ‘Screenwriting’ (not directors) and even more specifically, the class has a female-centric focus. As part History of Screenwriting I, the first course in the four-class series, we focus on the early women screenwriters of the silent film era who male historians have, for the most part, quietly forgotten in their books. In this series, I share with you some of the screenwriters and films that should be part of any screenwriters education. I believe that in order to become a great screenwriter, you need to understand the deep history of screenwriting and the amazing people who created the career. — Dr. Rosanne Welch
Luis Martinetti, Contortionist is an 1894 short film produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company. The film, which runs 12.5 seconds, consists of a contortionist act performed by Luis Martinetti of the Martinetti Brothers trapeze act. Martinetti wears tiger-striped tights and performs contortionist poses on a pair of trapeze rings.
As a member of the artist’s group known as the Impressionists, Mary Stevenson Cassatt was a preeminent painter and graphic artist who forged a new image of the “modern” woman and molded American appreciation of art. Cassatt’s iconic works were contemplative portraits, especially of women and children engaged in contemporary activities.
Thought I’d read Carrie Fisher’s “The Princess Diarist” for some frothy relaxing fun this weekend and found myself dazed by what a brilliant writer she was at 19. Her opening chapters are all from the recent past year (who knew it would be her last?) and sound like the distinct voice she became as a writer, but her journal entries from the filming of Star Wars are a distinct voice as well, capturing the thrill of obsessive first love better than many authors I’ve read (and I’ve read a LOT of them from Jane Austen to Judy Blume).
The quality of the poem she wrote about her infatuation with Harrison (how nice to know she was as human as the rest of us and couldn’t resist the smuggler in the Cantina – AND that she had the opportunity to live our ALL our fantasies, so she “Tried not, she DID) will sadly be ignored — both for being written by a celebrity (hey, wasn’t F. Scott a celebrity?) and for being written by a young girl (hey, wasn’t Mary Shelley 19 when she wrote Frankenstein?).
I’d teach this book in a high school literature class if I was still teaching one. For now I recommend it as: ‘can’t put down even though I have scripts to read and grade’.
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This book signing at Book Soup was wonderful – good people, good conversation (before and after the signing). Just another example of the kind of quality positive people who have been drawn to The Monkees across generations – I even met a former head of publicity for ScreenGems who had some fun stories to tell. — Rosanne
I started by writing an article for Written By Magazine which is the magazine of the Writers Guild and I’m on their board and I wanted a chance to meet some people so I recommended this idea and from that article, I then used that as the proposal for the book company and that’s what they chose to let me continue it. So that was what was fun. Here’s the beginning part. I was a fan from the beginning. At the age of 6 when the show debuted on NBC and caused what I often teased was the first great choice of a childhood lived without the benefit of DVR. Should I watch The Monkees or Gilligan’s Island? Both aired at the same non-Bat Time on the same non-Bat Channel. I used that question as the thesis to an essay when many years later I applied to film school and I’m amazed how it still resonates with others of my generation. For my students, that choice harkens back to an unimagined time before VCRs, DVRs or iPads. When one had to choose between two favorite programs and wait for summer reruns to see if the one they hadn’t chosen was going to re-run and you could finally see that story.
Annie Oakley was renowned for her skill as a sharp- shooter and is said to be America’s first female super- star. She toured the United States and Europe in the phenomenally successful Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. She was generous to charities, especially those assisting children, and despite several critical injuries continued as a record-setting exhibition shooter into her 60s.
A surgeon for the Union during the American Civil War and the only woman to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, Mary Edwards Walker was born on November 26, 1832, in Oswego Town, New York. Her parents, Vesta Whitcomb and Alvah Walker, held 25 acres of land on which they grew fruits and vegetables for market. The family also kept a library for all five of their daughters to use. As a youth, Walker was interested in Spiritualism and supported abolition, temperance, and women’s rights, including suffrage.
Writer Julia Ward Howe’s poem, set to music, became “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the anthem for the Union cause in the American Civil War. While that piece cemented Howe’s place in American history, her writing career extended well beyond the single work, and with her efforts as an antislavery and women’s rights activist, she became a woman of great historical significance.