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This question went unanswered when I posted it in the As The World Turns thread, so perhaps that wasn't the best place to pose this question: are there any daytime soaps that aired on American television that had two or more women as directors during the 1980s? 

As The World Turns had Maria Wagner and Jill Mitwell.

I wonder if this was rare or are were there other daytime soaps that had at least two women regularly occupying the director's chair?

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Did Shelly Curtis also direct episodes while at GH?  Because Francesca James did, and they overlapped during the Labine/Riche era.

Marlena Laird was there in the last half for Monty’s tenure, and Monty was very hands on and considered an excellent director.

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53 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

This question went unanswered when I posted it in the As The World Turns thread, so perhaps that wasn't the best place to pose this question: are there any daytime soaps that aired on American television that had two or more women as directors during the 1980s? 

As The World Turns had Maria Wagner and Jill Mitwell.

I wonder if this was rare or are were there other daytime soaps that had at least two women regularly occupying the director's chair?

I believe ATWT also had Heather Hill alongside Maria Wagner.

YR had Heather Hill and Kathryn Foster and Sally McDonald.

GL had Irene M. Pace and Sheryll Hoffman and Jo Anne Sedwick and Susan Stickler.

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41 minutes ago, Soapsuds said:

I believe ATWT also had Heather Hill alongside Maria Wagner.

YR had Heather Hill and Kathryn Foster and Sally McDonald.

GL had Irene M. Pace and Sheryll Hoffman and Jo Anne Sedwick and Susan Stickler.

 

During the 80s? 

Cool.

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58 minutes ago, Soapsuds said:

YR had Heather Hill and Kathryn Foster and Sally McDonald.

 

Y&R also had Betty Rothenberg from about 1985 till about 2000.  (You could usually tell from the very first scene if Kathryn Foster had directed a particular episode, because her episodes were typically prettier and more visually appealing than any of the other directors' work.  Y&R REALLY missed the boat by not naming Kathryn Foster as executive producer, in my opinion.)  

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6 minutes ago, DramatistDreamer said:

This got me wondering, who was the first woman to direct a daytime soap in the U.S.?

Does anyone know?

I'm not sure if we'll ever really know, but Gloria Monty went back to the '50s for Secret Storm, I believe.

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Posted (edited)

I can't believe ATWT didn't keep Heather Hill. She was an outstanding director... better than Maria Wagner.

At one point ATWT had Heather Hill and Paul Lammers. Talk about greatness.

Edited by Soapsuds
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Lela Swift moved from being a secretary to being a director circa 1950, but not sure if she ever directed a soap until 1966, when she began directing Dark Shadows.  (She directed about 50% of the Dark Shadows episodes.)  

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38 minutes ago, DRW50 said:

I'm not sure if we'll ever really know, but Gloria Monty went back to the '50s for Secret Storm, I believe.

I read an interview with her once, where the men working on Secret Storm didn’t think two women could work in production because they wouldn’t be able to tell them apart on the headsets.  Ridiculous.  I think she even said something to that effect- but we can tell all of you apart so…

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Soaps were once a lot more gender inclusive vs. primerime and film when it came to women in positions of power. I guess a lot of that would stem from Irna Phillips herself being the mastermind behind the genre, but then you had someone like Lucy Ferri Rittenberg for example (who never gets much notice) that EP’d The Guiding Light over a very long period of time. 

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It might be interesting to expand this thread away from just women directors in the 80's and look at women with positions of power in the earlier days.

Doris Quinlan is one name that comes to mind. She was working at Young Dr Malone in the early 60's before exec producing OLTL for many years.

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Posted (edited)

The reason why I specifically asked about women directors is because director is usually a male dominated field and I thought about the fact that the daytime soap was a genre that targeted women, whose audience was made up of primarily women and to see whether the genre was different from movies and primetime tv in it's day, was it somehow different, more progressive, given its target audience.

Other jobs with television and film production tend to be more open to women. Historically there have been quite a number of producers-associate, line and executive producers. Director is often still regarded as a predominantly the domain of men, especially when one thinks of the most famous directors, women's name don't tend to automatically spring to mind.

What I realize is that for television, especially daytime soaps, the director doesn't seem to occupy the same prominent position as he/she would in film. I'm not sure how gender dynamics might figure into why, for instance, it's so hard to find out definitively who the first woman to direct a daytime drama was, but the fact that the answer isn't right there is strange to me. 

Especially in a genre started by a woman, that likes to remind people of its 'feminist' credentials.

Edited by DramatistDreamer
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15 hours ago, Broderick said:

(You could usually tell from the very first scene if Kathryn Foster had directed a particular episode, because her episodes were typically prettier and more visually appealing than any of the other directors' work.  Y&R REALLY missed the boat by not naming Kathryn Foster as executive producer, in my opinion.)  

Spot on. I’m guessing the ship has sailed on that one?

Or did she migrate with Edward Scott to B&B?

For some reason, I’m imagining seeing her name appear on DAYS’ credits when Ed Scott was Exec Producer there.

She was another who got Y&R as well as being a talent in her own right.

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16 hours ago, Soapsuds said:

 

GL had Irene M. Pace and Sheryll Hoffman and Jo Anne Sedwick and Susan Stickler.

I don't know about Sheryll Hoffman, but Susan Strickler was a producer at AW during the 80s. She would become a director at GL during the late 90s.

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