The Heidi Chronicles Essay Research Paper The

The Heidi Chronicles Essay, Research Paper The Heidi Chronicles Research Questions April 8, 2000 Jimmy Abbuhl Scripts and Performance Women?s Fashions in the 1965, 1975, and 1989

The Heidi Chronicles Essay, Research Paper

The Heidi Chronicles

Research Questions

April 8, 2000

Jimmy Abbuhl

Scripts and Performance

Women?s Fashions in the 1965, 1975, and 1989

The reason I researched this is because I felt it important to know what Heidi would look like. If you had not done background on this topic, then there might be arguments about what each decade looked like. Since I wasn?t around for two of the three eras, people who had been around would instantly be taken out of the play?s world. Also, Heidi was a very happenin? women. In each and every era, she is going to be wearing whatever is in style. I feel this because all through the play she is constantly try to fit in with her friends and “group”.

World Book “Fashion (1965, 1975, 1989)”

W.B. Multimedia Encyclopedia Chicago c. 1999

1965 say the change in women?s fashion from the 1950?s tight blouse, even tighter waist and poof, knee length dress into slacks and sweaters. Women all over the world was running out to buy labels from Britain, the birthplace of vinyl knee boots and geometric fashion.

There were no major trend changes from 1975 compared to the earlier ?70?s. Layering was a major theme, neutral colors with contrasting bright colors layered over it was the evening scene. Fatigues, olive drab, khakis, and corduroys were banging at the king of loungewear?s door, the jeans. The oriental designs in silk, and cottons also made a very brief appearance in the summer.

Jackets. Jackets in silk, wool, linen, wines, plums, gold, waist-long, and thigh-long. Women felt empowered to wear jackets of all sorts. Since they could be worn with anything, they were workday and weekday accessories. (So that is where Matt Young gets it.) Most of the fashions in 1989 came from such companies as Polo and Calvin Klein. European based Christian Lacriox?s bubble skirts, made famous by Madonna and Cyndi Lauper a few years earlier, proved England was no match for the soon-to-be 1990?s market.

How does this apply to the play?

This applies to the play because they have to wear clothes. If you put Heidi in an ankle length dress, vinyl boots, and a hot pink tweed jacket, your production is going to be a hoax. The fashion also helps keep the audience in the play?s world longer.

Boucher , Francois “A History of British Costume”

By 1964 the teenage influence caused the hemlines to creep up, and most teenagers were wearing mid-thigh length shifts as daywear. The sweater-dress was also very popular with young people from 1961 onwards, until the mid-60s when other innovative designs were introduced. 1965 saw the premiere of culotte dresses in pop-art or vibrant colored patters, which were most popular as evening or party wear – the freedom of trousers but with the look of a full skirt. 1966?s dress was the tent, or baby doll, dress in transparent chiffon, worn over a contrasting slip, often sewn-in. And in the fall 1967 collections, the paper dress made its debut. Made of paper blended with Nylon or other cellulose material, it was intended for everyday wear but was only ever widely used as holiday or lounge wear, due to its tendency to crease and also its flammability.

1960 onwards the turtleneck, or polo neck, sweater was common, especially under a collarless jacket, and in 1966 Aran sweaters, with their thick knit, became trendy. Sleeveless tops did not become truly popular until the mid 1960s.

1964 brought the reversible coat, usually in tweed and plaid, paired with a matching dress or suit. 1965 saw the mini-coat, perfectly straight and virtually shapeless, and also the pop-inspired dyed furs and PVC designs. By 1967 capes were popular, and were often made with matching deerstalker hats (no, thank you, not for me…)

How does this apply to the play?

This is another version of the history of the different parts of women?s dress. This is useful because of the fact that Britain was the start of most of the fashions in the 1960?s. Very little happened anywhere else.

Young, Clara ” Christian Lacriox”

Around 1986, Christian Lacroix established his couture house in Paris, the first designer to do so since Yves Saint Laurent set up his 25 years before. Lacroix’s first collection, shown on July 26, 1987, startled the fashion world out of its somnolence. The frothy crinolines, towering Louis XIV powdered wigs and color-infused gowns were greeted with wild applause as well as some clamorous dissension.

Christian Lacroix was born in Arles in 1951. After studying art history in Montpellier he went to Paris to study museum curating at the Ecole du Louvre. Through his future wife, Fran?oise, he met and showed his portfolio of clothing and opera costume designs to Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent’s partner, Pierre Berg?. Building on these connections, he went to work for Herm?s in 1978 and then the Patou fashion house in 1981, where he began to develop his signature Baroque style. With financial backing from the Agache group, he opened his own house on Rue Faubourg St. Honor?.

He is most widely known for his d?butante poof dresses, flamboyant Andulusian-inspired capes and bullfighter jackets, Lacroix keeps his house afloat through a plethora of products and lines. But his true passion remains high fashion. Unlike most of his colleagues, who seem to have trimmed their sails, Lacroix will continue to hoist his pirate colors and send bevy after bevy of gloriously overdressed and often hilariously ostentatious beauties down the Haute Couture gangplanks every season.

How does this apply to the play?

Christian Lacroix was the one in the 1980?s who brought back the poof skirts made famous by Madonna. I felt it could help if the actors who will not remember them would have a name and a brief bio about him so that they could research him and find out what they were like.

Women?s Liberation Movement

The reason I researched this is because I felt it important to know what Heidi would be thinking. It is evident that she is a feminist from the opening of the play. She is very much the “I am women, hear me roar” type. It starts with her not wanting to go to the high school dance, then when she demands the same rights as Scoop in his eyes. It comes up again in the restaurant in the 80?s when she says that?.”I feel we didn?t make any mistakes.” Through out the play, it pops up.

For the general population of stage actresses who will play this part in the next fifty years, they will have never known the women?s movement, first hand. And in schools today, then don?t dredge on it. It happened, let?s move on. So this would be helpful to all the future Heidi?s out there.

Encyclopedia Britannica “Women’s Liberation Movement”,5716,79446+1,00.html

Meanwhile, the economic conditions underlying women’s inferior (or at least dependent) status were changing as women had fewer children. The growth of the service sector in the Western world’s economies in the decades following World War II also helped create new types of jobs that could be done as well by women as by men. All these factors made growing numbers of women aware that society’s traditional notions of them had failed to change as rapidly as women’s actual living conditions had. In addition, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the 1960s inspired women to try to obtain better conditions for themselves through similar campaigns of mass agitation and social criticism.

A milestone in the rise of modern feminism was Simone de Beauvoir’s book Le Deuxi?me Sexe (The Second Sex), which became a worldwide best-seller and raised feminist consciousness by appealing to the idea that liberation for women was liberation for men too. Another major work was The Feminine Mystique, published in 1963 by Betty Friedan, an American. In 1966 Friedan and other feminists founded the National Organization for Women. These organizations sought to overturn laws and practices that enforced the inferior status of women by discrimination in such matters as contract and property rights, employment and pay issues, and management of earnings and in matters related to sex and.

More broadly, the growing feminist movement sought to change society’s prevailing stereotypes of women as relatively weak, passive, and dependent individuals who are less rational and more emotional than men. Feminism sought to achieve greater freedom for women to work and to remain economically and psychologically independent of men if they chose. Feminists criticized society’s prevailing emphasis on women as objects of sexual desire and sought to broaden both women’s self-awareness and their opportunities to the point of equality with men

How does this apply to the play?

The play is about Heidi Holland and her life in the 1960-70-80. She was a raging woman?s activist, a caring woman, and someone who didn?t want to be bogged done by a relationship. She was the women?s movement embodied. The line I like the best in the play is Peter talking to Heidi and he says she can separate love and sexual needs. I like that. That is a lot of what these women wanted, was to be human beings with minds rather than sex objects.

Margaret “Peg” Strobel and Sue Davenport “The Chicago Women’s Liberation Union: An Introduction”

The Chicago Women’s Liberation Union (CWLU, 1969-1977), an early women’s liberation group, organized around women’s health and reproductive rights, education, economic rights, visual arts and music, sports, lesbian liberation and opposition to the war in Southeast Asia.

Founded by women active in the anti-war movement, the civil rights movement and Students for a Democratic Society, the CWLU was noted for both its theory and its practice. The CWLU pamphlet,” Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women’s Movement” (1972), circulated nationally in women’s liberation circles. Apparently, the pamphlet first uses the term “socialist feminism,” which came to identify a section of the feminist movement that drew upon Marxist and socialist ideas while criticizing them for inattention to gender.

The CWLU did not participate in electoral politics; instead work groups took on city government to advocate for women’s rights. Together with the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), DARE (Direct Action for Rights in Employment) sued the city and eventually won a major sex discrimination wage case on behalf of city janitresses.

How does this apply to the play?

There are two great scenes with Peter ad Heidi in front of the Chicago Art Institute. Debbie, a radical feminist, and her women are protesting the museum for things they feel are sexist. Chicago was a booming place for woman?s rights activists for the simple fact that it was one of the most progressive cities in the “west”. Since two main scenes happen in Chicago, I felt it important to find out what the scene was like. The playing Debbie and Heidi at the time would need to know the circumstances of what is going on at the time

Freeman, Jo” The Women’s Liberation Movement: Its Origin, Structures and Ideals”

In the early sixties feminism was still an unmentionable, but its ghost was slowly awakening from the dead. The first sign of new life came with the establishment of the Commission on the Status of Women by President Kennedy in 1961. Created at the urging of Esther Petersen of the Women’s Bureau, in its short life the Commission came out with several often-radical reports thoroughly documenting women’s second class status. It was followed by the formation of a citizen’s advisory council and fifty state commissions.

Many of the people involved in these commissions became the nucleus of women who, dissatisfied with the lack of progress made on commission recommendations, joined with Betty Friedan in 1966 to found the National Organization for Women.

NOW was the first new feminist organization in almost fifty years, but it was not the sole beginning of the organized expression of the movement. The movement actually has two origins with two different styles, orientations, values, and forms of organization.

In addition to NOW it contains such organizations as the PWC (Professional Women’s Caucus), FEW (Federally Employed Women) and the self-defined “right wing” of the movement, WEAL (Women’s Equity Action League).

At least five groups in five different cities (Chicago, Toronto, Detroit, Seattle and Gainesville, Fla.) formed spontaneously, independently of each other. They came at a very auspicious moment. 1967 was the year in which the blacks kicked the whites out of the civil rights movement, SDS had discredited student power and the New Left was on the wane. Only draft resistance activities were on the increase, and this movement more than any other exemplified the social inequities of the sexes. Men could resist the draft. Women could only council resistance.

There had been individual temporary caucuses and conferences of women as early as 1964 when Stokeley Carmichael made his infamous remark that “the only position for women in SNCC is prone.” But it was not until 1967 that the groups developed a determined, if cautious, continuity and began to consciously expand themselves. In 1968 they held their first, and so far only, national conference attended by over 200 women from around this country and Canada on less than a month’s notice. They have been expanding exponentially ever since.

How does this apply to the play?

This just gives some history on some of the groups that came to be in the 60?s. There are allot of references to NOW in the script, therefore I felt it important to discuss some of the history. This way, people of the future can have a basis to start their character work when doing any of the work.


Peter is gay. There are a lot of dealings with homosexual people through the 1980?s. Also, Peter talks about his rights and discrimination when he tells Heidi he is gay infront of the Chicago Art Institute. He feels that he should be given the same about of time and help in the race for non-discriminatory rights.

Then there is the whole Peter and Heidi are soulmates thing. They know that they are. Heidi falls for Peter in high school, no matter what anyone says.

I felt that this was worth while topic because it is one of the main characters and issues dealt with in the play. There are many references to homosexuality and/or the way it is looked upon in society. I feel an actor should have solid facts about the way life for a gay man was back in the 60?s, 70?s and 1989.

“Homosexuality,” Microsoft? Encarta? Online Encyclopedia 2000 ? 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

During the first half of the 20th century, attitudes toward homosexuality were overwhelmingly negative. Homosexual activities were hidden and spoken of only in whispers, and homosexual behavior, even among consenting adults, was a criminal offense in most of the United States. Homosexuals were subject to stereotypes and prejudice. Gay men were viewed as effeminate, lesbians were portrayed as mannish, and both were seen as being obsessed with sex, with little self-control or morality. Homosexuals frequently were thought to be potential child molesters. In the 1930s and during World War II (1939-1945), homosexuals were targets of persecution in Nazi Germany.

In recent years, people who support homosexual rights have worked and demonstrated to increase those rights. In the United States, the watershed event for homosexual activism was the Stonewall riot, which protested a police raid on a gay bar in New York City in 1969. It was the first public protest by homosexuals against harassment by police. Since then, homosexual communities in the United States have organized to work for gay rights. Such groups include the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, a civil rights organization that promotes equality and freedom from prejudice and discrimination for gays and lesbians. Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, which provides legal representation for gays and lesbians and the Human Rights Campaign Fund, which lobbies state and national legislators. Gay-rights activist groups are also involved in educational and political activities.

One of the greatest challenges to face the homosexual community was the outbreak of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in the early 1980s. In the United States, the disease first became prevalent among gay men and spread with devastating effect. When little was known about the disease and how it was spread AIDS patients and homosexuals experienced an increase in discrimination in housing and health insurance. Many people protested agencies of the U.S. government?including the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration?claiming they were slow to study the disease and search for treatment. More organizations were formed to help educate people about the disease and to help AIDS patients get proper care.

How does this apply to the play?

This is just a very basic background for what homosexuals have to live with. This is for any actors who play Peter. Peter, coming from the baby boom generation, was part of the people who brought this sexual preference “out of the closet.” Before them, they were always in the shadows and kept undercover. Because of these people, gays today do not have to be afraid of prosecution by he government.

Donn Teal “After Stonewall Documents”

The nights of Friday, June 27, 1969 and Saturday, June 28, 1969 will go down in history as the first time that thousands of Homosexual men and women went out into the streets to protest the intolerable situation which has existed in New York City for many years — namely, the Mafia (or syndicate) control of this of this city’s Gay bars in collusion with certain elements in the Police Dept. of the City of New York. A Police raid on the Stonewall Inn late Friday night, June 27th, triggered the demonstrations. The purported reason for the raid was the Stonewall’s lack of a liquor license. – Who’s ‘kidding whom here? Can anybody really-believe that an operation as big as the Stonewall could continue for almost three years just a few blocks from the 6th Precinct house without having a liquor license? No! The Police have known about the Stonewall operation all along. What’s happened is the presence of new “brass” in 6th Precinct, which has vowed to “drive the fags out of the Village.”

Many of you have noticed one of the signs that the “management” of the Stonewall has placed outside stating “Legalize Gay bars and lick the problem. Judge Kenneth Keating (a former US Senator) ruled in January, 1968 that even close dancing between Homosexuals is legal. Since that date there has been nothing legal, per se, about a Gay bar. What is illegal about New York City’s Gay bars today is the Mafia (or syndicate) stranglehold on them. Legitimate Gay businessmen are afraid to open decent Gay bars with a healthy social atmosphere (as opposed to the hell-hole atmosphere of places typified by the Stonewall) because of fear of pressure from the unholy alliance of the Mafia and elements in the Police Dept. who accept payoffs and protect the Mafia monopoly.

We at the Homophile Youth Movement (HYMN) believe that the only way this monopoly can be broken is through the action of Homosexual men and women themselves. We obviously cannot rely on the various agencies of government who for years have known about this situation but who have refused to do anything about it.

How does this apply to the play?

Stonewall Inn was in 1969 in New York City. Peter and Heidi are in Chicago around the same time. Coincidence? I think not.

The homosexuals before this insolence had to put up with laws banning their choice of lie style in most of the fifty states. This was the last straw. This occurrence was simple because the police thought that the gays were freaks or not willing to put up a fight. A lot of the gays around the country starting demanding equal time and consideration after this. This is were most, men mainly, found the courage to speak up and say that they were homosexual.

This could be used for inspiration for the scene between Peter and Heidi when he tells her he is gay. There was a lot more at stake at the time ten a friendship. His life and career was too. At the time, gays were thought to be child molesters. A gay pediatrician?

“A Brief History of AIDS” About.Com ?2000

In July 1981, the New York Times reported an outbreak of a rare form of cancer among gay men in New York and California, first referred to as the “gay cancer” but medically know as Kaposi Sarcoma. About the same time, emergency rooms in New York City began to see a rash of seemingly healthy young men presenting with fevers, flu like symptoms, and pneumonia called Pneumocystis. About a year later, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) link the illness to blood and coins the term AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In that first year over 1600 cases are diagnosed with close to 700 deaths.

As the number of deaths soared, medical experts scrambled to find a cause and more importantly a cure. In 1984, Institut Pasteur of France discovered what they called the HIV virus, but it wasn’t until a year later a US scientist, Dr. Robert Gallo confirmed that HIV was the cause of AIDS.

Following this discovery, the first test for HIV was approved in 1985. Over the next several years medications to combat the virus were developed as well as medicines to prevent infections that flourish when HIV and AIDS damage the immune systems. By the end of 1987, there were 71,000 confirmed cases of AIDS, resulting in over 40,000 deaths.

So where are we 18 years later? Thanks to an ever-changing array of new anti-retroviral drugs and improved funding for early medical care, AIDS related deaths in the US are declining. People are healthier and living longer. But, in other parts of the world, the AIDS epidemic rages on. Some estimate that 40% of persons in the sub-Sahara region of Africa are HIV infected. Many of these people don’t realize they are infected, resulting in the infection of others, adding to the spread of the disease. Another grim reminder of the epidemic is the number of African children orphaned by AIDS. Streets are clogged with children who have lost their parents to AIDS, have no food, and no place to go. And with no money available for expensive HIV drugs, the epidemic is expected to get much worse, with estimates of 20,000,000 infected over the next 5 years.

It’s impossible to say, but I often wonder if anyone could foresee the mysterious illness affecting a few gay men in 1981, becoming the epidemic that would forever change the way in which we all live?

How does this apply to the play?

This may not be important in the acting process, but this is what Peter would have been looking at in 1989. Most of the people who received AIDS in the beginning contracted it in the 1960?s and 1970?s. This is when Peter was in his 20?s and free love reigned. This was a really fear for the homosexuals in the 80?s. Many people got it and many others feared that they did. No one knew how they were getting it or who had it. This is great for the character research.


“American Literature: Drama,” Microsoft? Encarta? Online Encyclopedia 2000 ? 1997-2000 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.