Kate Capshaw:
The moment somebody says "this is very risky" is the moment it becomes attractive to me.

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... that in England, women were not allowed to perform on the stage until the 17th Century?

In England women were not allowed to perform on the stage until the 17th Century. The entire English Renaissance passed without a single participating female playwright, director, or actor. Throughout history and across several continents female performers were often banned from public performance and looked upon as disrespectable, no better than prostitutes. Despite this, actresses have continued to practice their craft wherever, however and whenever possible.

Women began popping up as heads of Commedia Dell 'Arte troupes in Italy in the Mid-Sixteenth Century. Most were popular actresses who gained control of the companies through their popularity.

In England, female theatre managers, the equivalent to today's director, began controlling theatre companies around 1775. Many were former actresses, who became managers to gain more independent control over their careers. The first woman manager in New York was Sarah Ross, who managed the Grove Theatre in 1804.

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