The memoirs of Mary Rodgers―writer, composer:
In her memoirs, Mary Rodgers―writer, composer, and Broadway royalty―takes readers on a journey through her life and career. Mary Rodgers was born in 1931 into a family of exceptional talent. Her father was Richard Rodgers, one of the most celebrated American composers, and her son Adam Guettel would later follow in his footsteps. Rodgers herself was also a composer, and her musical Once Upon a Mattress remains one of the few successful Broadway hits written by a woman. In her memoirs, Rodgers chronicles her journey from an angry child, constrained by privilege and her father’s overwhelming gift, to becoming a renowned author of books for young readers and the chairman of the Juilliard School. Along the way, she offers an inside look at the world of theater and composition, sharing her insights on the creative process and the challenges faced by women in the arts. Rodgers’s memoir is a candid and often funny account of a life lived to the fullest. It is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever dreamed of a life in the theater―or of simply trying everything.
“She’s someone who knows what she wants and goes after it,” says Jesse Green, chief theater critic of The New York Times, of Betty Rodgers. “She’s a woman who liberated herself from disapproving parents and pervasive sexism to find art and romance on her own terms.” Rodgers, a prolific writer for both stage and screen, was behind some of the most iconic American musicals of the twentieth century, including Judy Holliday’s Broadway debut in Bells Are Ringing and Rin Tin Tin’s first feature film. She was also a groundbreaking force in the fight for women’s rights in the entertainment industry, co-founding the Women’s Caucus for Art and serving as the first female president of the Screen Writers Guild. Green, who is writing a biography of Mary Rodgers, says that she was “a woman ahead of her time in many ways.” “She was unafraid to go after what she wanted, whether it was a date with Hal Prince or a game of chess with Stephen Sondheim,” he says. “And she was always willing to take risks, both professionally and personally.” Mary Rodgers lived a life that was full of both triumph and heartache, and her story is an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamt of following their dreams.
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