The Heidi Chronicles, which won the Pulitzer Prize in drama in 1989, focuses on the women’s movement of the late twentieth century from the point of view of Heidi Holland, feminist art historian. The two acts each open with a prologue about overlooked women painters. The action of the play begins at a dance in 1965 where Heidi meets Peter Patrone, who charms her with his wit. They promise to know each other all their lives.
Several years later during a Eugene McCarthy rally, Heidi encounters Scoop Rosenbaum. Scoop is obnoxious and extremely arrogant, and he has a tendency to grade everything, yet Heidi leaves the party to go to bed with him. At a consciousness-raising session a lesbian explains to Heidi that in feminism, “you either shave your legs or you don’t.” Heidi considers body hair in the range of the personal, but she participates in the group, detailing her pathetic attachment to Scoop. Distraught, she begs the women to tell her that all their daughters will feel more worthwhile than they do.
Next, Heidi attends a rally at the Chicago Art Institute, protesting the opening of a major retrospective containing no women artists. Peter arrives and confesses his homosexuality. Act 1 closes with Scoop’s wedding to another woman. Although he claims to love Heidi, Scoop does not promise her equality. At the wedding he knowingly marries a woman he considers his lesser. By act 2 Heidi has written her book, And the Light...
(The entire section is 491 words.)