The drama department at Winsor is excited to tackle Machinal by Sophie Treadwell—a challenging and surprisingly relevant play—this fall.
The drama department at Winsor is excited to tackle Machinal by Sophie Treadwell—a challenging and surprisingly relevant play—this fall. The production runs November 9th and 10th at 7:00 p.m. in the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Theater at the Nancy and Richard Lubin Center for Performing Arts at Winsor.
"The growing #MeToo movement and the recent Kavanaugh investigations have forced us all to examine what it means to be a woman in America, and this play does so with an unflinching eye," writes director and performing arts faculty Jeremy Johnson. "Treadwell's use of Expressionism, often characterized by archetypal characters, nightmarish scenarios, episodic nature and highly stylized dialogue and acting made the piece an experiment in a powerful but seldom used form."
The cast includes Caroline Bonnevie '19, Teresa Lawlor '19, Ariela Rosenzweig '19, Nazira Calhoun '20, Danya Dubrow-Compaine '20, Lola Fearon '20, Isabel Leonetti '20, Sophie Sherman '20, Shantel Teixeira '20, Maya Bodick '21, Thomasina Hare '21, Grace Abbott '22, Ana Sophia Leissner '22, and Tristen Leone '22. Audrey Wu '20and Zoe Wang '22are stage managing and Ifeanyi Umunna '20is assistant directing.
Tickets are free and seating is general admission. Please note that this production is rated PG-13 for content. There will be a reception immediately following the Friday evening performance.
In January 1928, a young housewife named Ruth Snyder, accused of murdering her husband, was sentenced to the electric chair in New York City. On the day of her execution, a reporter for the New York Daily Newssmuggled a camera strapped to his leg into the prison, and captured a photo of Snyder moments after her death. His photo appeared in print the next morning in an edition that sold out in fifteen minutes.
Court reporter, playwright and feminist Sophie Treadwell was so horrified by the use of Snyder's body to sell papers that she furiously penned a play that fought to explain why Snyder may have been moved to commit murder. She completed the play in four months and by September of 1928, Machinalappeared on Broadway for the first time.
Intensely theatrical, shocking and decidedly feminist, the play received mixed reviews and vanished from the stage until its rediscovery in the early 1990s. Since then, the play has established itself as a masterpiece of Expressionist-style theater and one of the few plays in the first half of the 20th century written by a woman to receive critical recognition.