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In this interview, award-winning actress Jane Lapotaire talks about the process of devel - op ing the central role in Pam Gems's Piaf, for which she won the Tony Award for Best Actress in 1981. She further describes how Gems gave her the chance to play a protagonist for the first time in her career in the British male-dominated theatre of the late 1970s. Gems established herself as a major feminist playwright in the British theatre in 1976 with the production of Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi, although it was Piaf that brought her international attention and acclaim. Lapotaire discusses the significance of the female mission to create protagonist roles for women in the theatre who did not previously have the opportunity to drive a play's narrative. Esmaeil Najar is a translator, director, and theatre historian. He is currently writing his doctoral dissertation at the Ohio State University on Pam Gems's life and impact on British theatre.
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