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Bringing Sappho to South Florida

Virginia Woolf once said, “All women together, ought to let flowers fall upon the grave of Aphra Behn… for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.” Restoration humorist, Earl of Rochester enthusiast, and noted lady lover, Aphra Behn was one of the first professional female playwrights in England. Despite being quite popular during her lifetime – the age of the libertine, when her sexually charged, even bawdy humor was applauded – her works collected dust for about a century after being deemed indecent. It wasn't until 20th century scholars "rediscovered" her as an important literary figure that her work enjoyed a resurgence in cultural studies circles for its analysis of women's sexual desires and deconstruction of gender relations.

Fort Lauderdale's Women's Theatre Project will owe a lot to Behn when the company of professional female theater artists puts on Girl Play, the first annual lesbian play reading festival, Saturday and Sunday. Created to give lesbian playwrights a voice, the Project received scripts from all over the United States, Canada, and Australia and will feature readings of 16 selected short scripts focused on lesbian themes. Saturday's performances start at 8 p.m. and Sunday's at 2 p.m. Both will take place at the GLCC building located at 2040 N. Dixie Hwy. in Wilton Manors. Admission costs $10. For more information, call 954-462-2334, or visit
Sat., June 27, 8 p.m.; Sun., June 28, 2 p.m., 2009

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Erica K. Landau

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