Tina Howe Analysis

Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Tina Howe is known primarily for her plays.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Tina Howe has earned distinction as one of the leading American dramatists of the commercial theater, and she has received some of the highest awards for playwriting. In 1983, largely in response to her most studied and successful play, Painting Churches, she captured an Obie Award for Distinguished Playwriting, the Rosamond Gilder Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Theatre, and a Rockefeller Playwright-in-Residence Fellowship. In addition to the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for Outstanding New American Playwright in 1984, she has received two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an American of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, a Tony nomination for Best Play (Coastal Disturbances), and an honorary degree from Bowdoin College. Pride’s Crossing was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama and in 1998 received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for best play.


(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

Backes, Nancy. “Body Art: Hunger and Satiation in the Plays of Tina Howe.” In Making a Spectacle, edited by Lynda Hart. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1989. Women writers’ use of food has become a major area of research, and this essay adds to that body of scholarship by incisively examining Howe’s abundant use of food imagery relative to cultural inscriptions about women’s bodies, self-image, self-control, and nurturing.

Barlow, Judith E. “The Art of Tina Howe.” In Feminine Focus, edited by Enoch Brater. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1989. Barlow discusses one of the central motifs in Howe’s plays, the importance of art in daily life. Barlow pays particular attention to Howe’s use of women as artists, and her insightful comments clarify Howe’s interest in celebrating the unique and powerful creativity of women artists.

Barlow, Judith E. “Tina Howe.” In Speaking on Stage: Interviews with Contemporary American Playwrights. Edited by Philip C. Kolin and Colby H. Kullman. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1996. Howe discusses writing comedic plays and the recurring themes in her work.

Betsko, Kathleen, and Rachel Koening. Interviews with Contemporary Women Playwrights. New York: Beech Tree Books, 1987. Howe’s interview contains a range of biographical...

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