Female Olympian Musical Receives $10,000 Grant, Features Lesbian

Female Olympian Musical Receives $10,000 Grant, Features Lesbian

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“The Babe Didrikson Project” will focus on the lesbian who “dominated golf, basketball and track and field," and brought visibility to women’s sports.
Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias

The Chicago theater group About Face Theatre was founded in response to a lack of LGBT voices within the American theater and has been named one of the 2015 grant recipients of the National Endowment of the Arts.

The company was granted $10,000 to support “The Babe Didrikson Project” which will focus on the early 20th century lesbian who “dominated golf, basketball and track and field, and will explore how her ability to compete in a male-dominated sports culture was a crucial step in bringing visibility to women’s sports.”

Didrikson won two gold medals and a silver medal at the 1932 Olympics. She was criticized for lacking femininity and being so muscular. She never seemed to be interested in men until she married the 235-pound wrestler George Zaharis. However, she spent more time with a golfer Betty Dodd who would often stay at Didrikson’s home.

“The Babe Didrikson Project” will be a musical with a book and lyrics by playwright Sarah Gubbins.

“Since coming to the NEA, I have met with many NEA grantees and have seen first-hand the positive impact they have on their communities,” NEA chairman Jane Chu said. “These new projects will continue to demonstrate the power the arts have to deepen value, build connections, and foster an atmosphere of creativity and innovation both at the community level and with individuals throughout the nation.”

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