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Gretchen Cryer '57 and Nancy Ford Charles '57 Collaboration in New York Times

November 6, 2003

November 6, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - An article in today's New York Times on the phenomenon known as American Girl, notes that two DePauw University alumnae will be presenting a show at the new 43,000-square-foot American Girl Place in New York. "The American Girls Revue will begin an open run at the Manhattan store on November 12. Written by Gretchen Cryer and Nancy Ford, it introduces many of the doll characters and their stories and is intended to send what Scott Davidson, the executive producer, called 'a powerful message to today's girls that this is their moment in history to shine.'" Ford and Cryer are both 1957 graduates of DePauw; Ford is seen in the accompanying photo.

American Girl began in 1986 with a series of dolls, notes the Times' Stephen Kinzer. "Then came high tea, the musical theater show and finally some of the endless stream of tie-in merchandise that has made American Girl a huge marketing success as well as a cultural phenomenon... American Girl is part Disney, part Barbie, part Nancy Drew and part Tipper Gore. Its great cause, other than making money, is the defense of girlish innocence. It presents its characters as wholesome alternatives to the trash-talking, navel-baring role models who dominate television and pop music." He adds, "In its 17 years the company has sold eight million dolls, making its line second only to Barbie."

You can access the complete story online by clicking here (a free registration is required). Ford and Charles have been frequent collaborators over the years and created the landmark 1978 feminist musical, I'm Getting My Act Together and Taking it on the Road.

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