This afternoon, the Public Theater will hold a town hall meeting about sexual harassment and misconduct in the arts and entertainment industries. Invitations were issued to members of the New York artistic community. “We invite you to listen, share stories, and offer suggestions as we collectively chart our path forward,” organizers wrote. The event is very much in line with Public founder Joe Papp’s vision for the institution, which was always intended to be a leader in promoting diversity and inclusivity in theater and, by extension, the culture at large. It also reflects some of the most pressing topics to surface on stages in 2017, a year during which a host of theatrical works confronted sexism and gendered violence in workplaces and schools; in iconic works of art and literature; and in our history and fantasy lives. Though artists would undoubtedly be exploring these topics no matter the occupant of the Oval Office, it’s also probably no coincidence that they appeared so frequently — and with such urgency — during our first year under the administration of a self-proclaimed sexual assaulter. This has been a time of reckoning for American gender politics, and artists were ready, looking to history, myth, and imagination to offer critique, context, and sometimes even a balm for what feels like an especially painful moment. When #metoo swept Facebook and Twitter this fall in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, the social media outcry wasn’t just a sign of the times: It was also a highly overdue acknowledgement of long histories of sexual violence — histories that many playwrights had already been thinking about. Michael Yates Crowley’s disturbing, satirical The Rape of the Sabine Women, By Grace B. Matthias, which opened the Obie-winning Playwrights Realm’s 2017–18 season, related the tale of a high school student who is raped by a classmate and thereafter caught in a legal and educational system unable to comprehend the complexity of her experience. She finally finds solace in a surprising source: Jacques-Louis David’s legendary 1799 painting The Intervention of the Sabine Women, which depicts the fates of a group of virgins who were kidnapped