Selected Plays by Jane Chambers
A Late Snow (1974)
In this two-act comedy, college English professor finds herself trapped in a snowbound cabin with her current lover, her former lover, her very first lover, and her future partner, all of whom are women.
One of the first plays with positive lesbian characters to be professionally produced, by Playwrights Horizons at Clark Center for the Performing Arts, A Late Snow was a critical and commercial success, but its explicit lesbian content thwarted plans for a Broadway production and led to Chambers being fired from her job on the soap opera Search for Tomorrow.
Directed by Nyla Lyon, the play starred Carolyn Cope (Quincy), Susan Sullivan (Pat), Susanne Wasson (Ellie), Anita Keal (Margo), and Marilyn Hamlin (Peggy) Scenic Advisor Maxine Klein, Lighting Design Patrika Brown, Costume Supervisor Sally Blankfield, Production Stage Manager Sari Wesiman. A Late Snow was revived by Meridian Gay Theatre at the Urban Arts Theatre on September 15, 1983. Directed by Francine L. Trevens, the cast included Kathryn Shield (Quincey), Jere Jacob (Pat), Maggie Suter (Ellie), Pamela H. Osowski (Margo), and Hollace Colburn (Peggy).
Last Summer at Bluefish Cove (1980)
A group of women gather annually at an isolated seaside town in Long Island. Their lesbian enclave is disrupted when a straight woman, recently separated from her husband, stumbles unaware into their resort and falls for the rakish protagonist.
Originally produced by The Glines, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove opened at the Shandol Theatre, running for eight performances. Directed by Harriet Lieder, the cast featured Jean Smart (‘Lil), Madelyn Albert (Eva), Ellie Schadt (Kitty), Aphroditi Kolaitis (Annie), Madeline Welsing (Rae), Janet Morrison (Rita), Stephanie Rula (Sue), and Karen Senderholm (Donna). Last Summer at Bluefish Cove transferred, with the same cast, to the Westside Mainstage on June 3, 1980 as part of The First Gay American Arts Festival, produced by The Glines. In December 2, 1980, the play moved to Actors Playhouse on Seventh Avenue South. It closed March 1, 1981 after 80 performances.
Directed by Nyla Lyon, the cast included Diane Tarrleton (‘Lil), Susan Slavin (Eva), Janet Sarno (Kitty), Holly Barron (Annie), Lauren Craig (Rae), Dulcie Arnold (Rita), Robin Mary Paris (Donna), and Celia Howard (Sue). Set Design Reagan Cook, Lighting Design Jeffrey Schissler, Costume Design Giva R. Taylor. The most-produced Chambers’ play, Last Summer at Bluefish Cove enjoyed a West Coast run, many revivals, and was made into film, Liz in September (2013), by Venezuelan director Fina Torres.
My Blue Heaven (1981)
One of the first American plays featuring a same-sex marriage, this two-act comedy follows two women who leave Manhattan for country life in upstate New York after Molly, a writer, loses her job for writing an openly gay book. Hilarity ensures when her weekly column about country living, written under a pseudonym, attracts the interest of a Christian publishing firm.
Commissioned by The Glines as one of the headliner of the Second Gay American Arts Festival, My Blue Heaven opened at the Shandol Theatre on June 3, 1981. Jane Chambers directed the production, which starred Scott Sparks (Emcee/Ralph Miller/Dr. John), Maureen Kenny (Josie), and Barbara Sutter (Molly).
Four elderly people, two gay and two straight, face the realities of aging in this domestic comedy set in the rural South.
Kudzu was in rehearsals at Playwrights Horizons in fall of 1981 when Jane Chambers was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The proposed Broadway run was canceled when she was unable to make necessary rewrites.
Directed by Sloane Shelton, the production featured Margaret Barker, Robert Blossom, Leora Dana, and Polly Rowles. Scenic Design: Leon L. Muiner, Costume Design: William Ivey Long, Lighting Design: John Gisondi, and Production Stage Manager Carmen Albanese.
Quintessential Image (1982)
A one-act comedy, this multi-media play takes place at a television studio where host Margaret Foy interviews her idol, the elusive photographer Lacey Lanier, who comes out on the air, much to the dismay of the closeted reporter.
Produced posthumously at a Townhall benefit celebrating the sixth anniversary of The Glines production company, Quintessential Image was produced on a double-bill with In Her Own Words, a biographical portrait of Chambers drawn from her many autobiographical writings.