100 Women We Love: Class of 2017

Every June, GO compiles a select list of talented tastemakers, influencers and all-around inspirational women who are making their mark on the LGBT community and on the world at large.

Paula Vogel

Photo courtesy Paula Vogel

If you watched the 2017 Tony awards, you saw Paula Vogel introduce her critically acclaimed play “Indecent” (which won two Tonys). Inspired by a true story, the play recounts the controversial 1923 Broadway debut of Sholem Asch’s “God of Vengeance”—controversial, in part, because of a love scene between two women. Vogel is the Playwright in Residence at Yale Repertory Theatre. She has taught for 24 years at Brown University and for five years at Yale School of Drama. In 1998, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her play “How I Learned to Drive.” Other notable works include “The Baltimore Waltz,” “And Baby Makes Seven” and “Desdemona,” to name a few. Among her awards are a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dramatists Guild, the 2015 Thornton Wilder Award, a Guggenheim and several NEA fellowships. This year, she’s been honored with a Special Citation as playwright and mentor from the New York Drama Critics Circle, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Obie Awards. What impact has being an out lesbian had on Vogel’s success? “If we use the word success to mean financial gain and visibility in entertainment, [being out] has been an obstacle in terms of short-term recognition,” she says. “But if we use the word success to mean artistic truth, risk, happiness and staying in love with my life, my partner/wife, and my own peace with myself, being an out lesbian is the most important thing I did as a person and an artist.” —SJ

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