“Subject To Punishment: Julie Bovasso’s Angelo’s Wedding and the Politics of the Unproduced,” my article on Bensonhurst-born playwright/actor/director Julie Bovasso (1930-1991), was published in the May 2017 edition of Theatre Survey (58:2).
“Her adamant insistence that she was not fired also helps temper the burn of what was forfeited: a production in which she was to be a theatrical insider, working at one of the premiere arts institutions of New York for one of the most prominent producers in the city. As a woman within a profession that was still unequivocally dominated by men, Bovasso would have been the first female director at Lincoln Center, taking on Rabe’s follow-up to his Tony Award–winning Sticks and Bones. All accounts of the In the Boom Boom Room process suggest that Papp and Bovasso’s disagreements were wholly artistic, pertaining to script edits, casting, set, and costumes, and never a question of Bovasso’s professionalism. Yet her very position of authority was nonetheless subject to punishment, and she was deprived of another stage opportunity as a penalty for her supposed wrongdoing. This had profound implications. Bovasso was forty-four when Papp hired her for Rabe’s play. A successful stint directing uptown could have drastically altered her path as a director for decades to come.”
[Photo credit: Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library. “Julie Bovasso.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1950 – 1963.]