Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Intimate Apparel: Introduction
Intimate Apparel: Plot Summary
Intimate Apparel: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Intimate Apparel: Themes
Intimate Apparel: Quotes
Intimate Apparel: Characters
Intimate Apparel: Symbols
Intimate Apparel: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Lynn Nottage
Historical Context of Intimate Apparel
Other Books Related to Intimate Apparel
- Full Title: Intimate Apparel
- When Written: 2003
- Where Written: Brooklyn, NY
- When Published: The play was first performed in 2003; the script was published in 2005
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Dramatic stage play
- Setting: New York City, 1905
- Climax: Esther and Mayme refuse to open the door for George
- Antagonist: George; racism, sexism, and poverty
Extra Credit for Intimate Apparel
Got Your Back. The kinds of corsets that Esther would've made are known as s-bend or swan-bill corsets, and they were originally marketed as a "healthier" alternative to the hourglass-shaped Victorian styles. This claim, however, was questionable: while it may have put less pressure on the stomach, it forced wearers' backs into unnatural and dangerous positions. For this reason, many contemporary costume designers on Intimate Apparel choose to either use corsets that aren't 100% historically accurate, or they choose to use accurate corsets from a few years earlier or later than 1905.
Just Add Music. Intimate Apparel has been commissioned to be adapted into an opera with music by Ricky Ian Gordon, while Lynn Nottage is involved in the project to adapt Sue Monk Kidd's novel The Secret Life of Bees into a musical.