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International Women Playwrights Conference records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MS 136
This collection represents the papers of former University at Buffalo professor Anna Kay France as related to her involvement in the organization of the 1st International Women Playwrights Conference (IWPC). It documents the organization and convening of the first conference including biographical information, scripts, and correspondence with select national and international women playwrights of the 1980s. In addition, the collection contains administrative papers including correspondence, meeting minutes and agendas, transcripts of audio recording of conference sessions, and manuscript drafts of France's book, International Women Playwrights: Voices of Identity and Transformation (Proceedings of the First IWPC).

The collection also documents the organization and activities of the International Center for Women Playwrights (ICWP). It includes meeting agendas and minutes, event flyers and programs, and correspondence. In addition, it documents the ICWP's involvement in the planning of the 2nd-4th IWPCs, as well as its relationship with the International Advisory Committee.


  • 1984-2006
  • Majority of material found within 1987-1989


Language of Materials

Collection material primarily in English. Also contains one French periodical.

Terms of Access and Use

International Women Playwrights Conference records, 1984-2006 (bulk 1987-1989) are open for research.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the University Archives before publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.


15 Linear Feet (2 record cartons, 25 manuscript boxes, 2 VHS tape boxes, 2 audio cassette boxes, 1 roll storage tube)


Records held by former University at Buffalo professor, Anna Kay France, as related to her involvement in the 1st International Women Playwrights Conference (IWPC) held at the University at Buffalo, October 14-23, 1988. Includes correspondence with national and international playwrights, session transcripts, and papers from the International Center for Women Playwrights.

Historical Note

International Women Playwrights Conferences

The 1st International Women Playwrights Conference (IWPC) was held October 14-23, 1988 in Buffalo, New York under the sponsorship of the University at Buffalo. Directed by Anna Kay France and an internationally represented planning committee, the goal of the conference was to bring together major international women playwrights, directors, and scholars to share and discuss their work and field. The conference brought together more than 200 women playwrights from over 30 countries around the world. Conference organizers reached local and national communities by arranging the production of plays by participating women playwrights at several Buffalo theatres, creating a video production for public broadcast, and through various publications.

Soon after the completion of the 1st IWPC, the International Center for Women Playwrights (ICWP) was established in Buffalo, New York. Considered the logical sequence to the 1st IWPC, its mission was to support and advance the work of women playwrights by encouraging the international production and distribution of their work. The ICWP also assumed partial responsibility for planning future conferences. Before closing its offices in 1997, the ICWP organized the 2nd IWPC (Toronto, Canada, 1991). They also supported the International Advisory Committee (IAC), a committee organized in 1991 to plan subsequent conferences including the 3rd IWPC (Adelaide, Australia, 1994), and the 4th IWPC (Galway, Ireland, 1997). In 1998 the IAC drafted a charter for a new international women playwrights organization, Women Playwrights International (WPI). WPI assumed complete responsibility for planning and convening future IWPCs and is active to date.

Biographical Note

Anna Kay France

Anna Kay France, a former faculty member of the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University at Buffalo, was Director of the First International Women Playwrights Conference (Buffalo, New York, 1988). She later served as liaison and advisor for the International Center for Women Playwrights, and as Secretary of the International Advisory Committee for the 3rd IWPC (Adelaide, Australia, 1994). Her publications include International Women Playwrights: Voices of Identity and Transformation (Proceedings of the First IWPC), Scarecrow Press, 1993. Also a published playwright, France's Penumbra received the Artie award for outstanding new play, Buffalo, 2002.


The collection is organized into two series: I. 1st International Women Playwrights Conference, and II. International Center for Women Playwrights.

Acquisition Information

The University Archives received the collection from Anna Kay France in October 2005. Dr. France donated additional materials in August 2007.

Accruals and Additions

Additional accruals are expected.

Separated Materials

Thirty-six monographs of plays, including collections of plays, and poetry written by participants in the International Women Playwrights Conferences or International Center for Women Playwrights were removed for possible inclusion in Lockwood Memorial Library.

Twenty-seven unpublished typewritten scripts written by playwrights not involved in the conferences were removed. See archivist for further information.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Amanda Kuhnel, June 2008. Finding aid encoded by Danielle White, March 2015. Additional materials donated to Archives by Anna Kay France, 2009. Additional materials added and processed by Jessica Hollister, April 2018. Finding Aid updated by Jessica Hollister and Sarah Pinard, April 2018.
Finding Aid for the International Women Playwrights Conference records
Finding aid prepared by Amanda Kuhnel.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
716-645-3714 (Fax)