The Yuh Prosthodontics Lecture
Few playwrights have ignited controversy as Lillian Hellman (1905-1984) during a decades-long trailblazing literary career that was unprecedented for women of her time. At once both provocateur and observer, Hellman’s unapologetic approach to life became fodder for her writing, tinder for volatile relationships, and the momentum behind her political activism.
The author of plays (The Children’s Hour, The Little Foxes, Another Part of the Forest, Watch on the Rhine, The Autumn Garden, Toys in the Attic), screenplays (The Dark Angel, The Searching Wind, The North Star, The Chase), an operetta (Candide), and a series of memoirs (An Unfinished Woman: A Memoir, Pentimento: A Book of Portraits, Scoundrel Time) that teeter on the shifting sands of truth, Hellman’s life of contradictions defied easy labels. A southerner, an activist, a divorcée, a Communist, a Stalinist, an anti-fascist, a skeptical feminist, and a Jew—Hellman reveled in the paradox of her complex self. But it was Hellman’s steadfast refusal to name names before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (that led to her being blacklisted by the film industry) that bent the public imagination and hastened the end of a career that left an indelible mark on the American theatre.
For further reading on Lillian Hellman, see an op-ed by Gregg Stull, published in the Free Lance-Star.
Speaker: Gregg Stull
Gregg Stull is professor of theatre and chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Mary Washington. Stull has served as the managing director of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., as a panelist for the Ohio Arts Council, an evaluator for the National Endowment for the Arts, and on the arts and humanities transition team prior to the inauguration of Bill Clinton. Stull provided leadership for the national displays of the AIDS Memorial Quilt on the National Mall in the nation’s capital and is an expert on social justice and the arts. A director and arts administrator, Stull maintains an active consulting practice in the areas of audience engagement, planning, and resource cultivation with arts organizations throughout the country.