Wendy Wasserstein 1950–
Wasserstein wrote her first off-Broadway play, Uncommon Women and Others (1977), while a student at Yale Drama School. Critics enjoyed this affectionate satire of a reunion of six Mt. Holyoke graduates; several commented that Wasserstein's wit and perceptiveness demonstrated a potential for future success in the theater. However, most agreed that she had not yet realized that potential with her second play, Isn't It Romantic (1981). Wasserstein based this play on a friendship between two women: Janie, a Jewish writer, and Harriet, a WASP business executive. In the course of the play, Janie questions her own personal and professional goals.
Although Isn't It Romantic wrestles with some serious contemporary issues, many critics thought that Wasserstein's heavy reliance on wisecracks and one-liners, while providing some genuinely humorous moments, detracted from these issues, and that the play as a whole was too episodic to allow for clear development of characters or ideas. Most agreed that Wasserstein remedied many of these problems in a later version of Isn't It Romantic produced in 1983. Critics found the second version of the play clearer than the first in its depiction of character motivation and growth, especially in the character of Janie. Wasserstein also presented a one-act play, Tender Offer, that same year.