Two stage productions that spotlight inspiring women—Ann, about Texas governor Ann Richards, and Gloria: A Life, which spotlights feminist movement leader Gloria Steinem—will be broadcast on PBS stations around the country in June 2020 as part of the Great Performances series.
Written and performed by Emmy winner Holland Taylor (Two and a Half Men), Ann will make its PBS premiere June 19 at 9 PM ET; check local listings.
Directed for the stage by Benjamin Endsley Klein, the production was recorded at the Zach Theater in Austin, Texas, following a national tour and Broadway run at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater in 2013, which earned Taylor a Tony nomination for Best Lead Actress in a Play.
Gloria: A Life will premiere June 26 at 9 PM ET starring Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award winner Christine Lahti (Evil, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) as the leading champion of equal rights for women. The play, which features an all-women cast playing both male and female roles, also has a “talking circle” in the second act, where audience members discuss the play’s themes, moderated, for the filmed version, by Steinem herself.
Gloria: A Life was written by Tony nominee Emily Mann, directed for the stage by Tony winner Diane Paulus, and produced by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning producer Daryl Roth. Gloria: A Life originally ran October 1, 2018–March 31, 2019, at the Daryl Roth Theater in New York City.
In a statement, Taylor said, “Through my whole adult life, PBS’ Great Performances has been the source and standard of the greatest classical and most elevated entertainment to be had. And now I’m uniquely honored and thrilled, as the stage performance of my own play—surely the accomplishment of my life—is not only beautifully captured in live performance, but given an exalted presentation by Great Performances itself… Ann Richards is beloved by countless people who say she lifted their lives, simply by being who she was. Given today’s world, my play about her hopes to impart ‘a little touch of Ann in the night.’”
Lahti added, “Gloria Steinem saved my life in the early ’70s. She helped give me feminism, which became a life jacket for me to navigate through a world that didn’t like or respect women very much. It was one of the greatest honors of my life to play her in Gloria: A Life. I feel it’s illuminating, for young people especially, to see how someone like Gloria who was ‘unwoke’ until she was 35—and survived a difficult childhood with a mother who she felt didn’t matter—could become a world leader who has dedicated herself to making sure all women matter.”