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Renee, pen-name of Renee Taylor Biography

(1929– ), pen-name of Renee Taylor, Setting the Table, Wednesday to Come, Pass It On

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: David Rabe Biography to Rhinoceros (Rhinocéros)

New Zealand playwright, born in Napier, educated at Massey University and at the University of Auckland. Her first full-length play, Setting the Table (1984), was followed by Wednesday to Come (1985), the first play of a trilogy, which established Renee's reputation. The play draws on both feminist and working-class perspectives in a family drama which takes place in a house situated on the path of a national unemployment march, where four generations of women battle with the repercussions of a husband's suicide brought about as the consequence of the Depression of the 1930s. The story of this family of strong women enduring and triumphing over the bleakest circumstances continues in Pass It On (1986), set during the 1951 watersiders' confrontation with the government, and in Jeanie Once (1990), which is set in Dunedin in the 1890s. Renee's published plays are naturalistic dramas but some of her most successful productions, for example Born To Clean (1987), have minimal scripts and rely on the skills of women actors and singers in ensemble production. Her fiction includes Willy Nilly (1990) and Daisy and Lily (1993).

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