ISBN: 1854592114
ISBN 13: 9781854592118
By: Sophie Treadwell

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Reader's Thoughts


Weird protagonist.


I've seen it done best at Sarah Lawrence (directed by Kevin Confoy) and it's absolutely breathtaking if done right. Unfortunately it gets overshadowed by Chicago and they are two completely different kinds of stories about women and their lack of rights and sometimes even direction. It's hard to imagine a time when you couldn't even fathom your own independence so you have to make steps where nobody's ever tread before. It helps that Sophie was a journalist at the time and so can give us a sneak peek into the news of the time through this story.I did once see The Actor's Studio try to make it a musical and I almost wanted to peel my skin off.

Nick Pappas

One of the major, and forgotten female playwrights. She was the forerunner of Mamet, Beckett, and Pinter. And a true contemporary of Brechet. Good play, nice to read, better to see performed.

Donovan Foote

I think this play would be excellent. It's not really a great read though. I mean, it's a good story but there's so much going on in the way of stage direction and different characters that it gets hard to follow. So, go see the play.


Sparse, simple, powerful, this play beautifully captures a woman's descent into slow madness as the result of everyday subjigation and powerlessness. There are moments when you can almost hear the nervous ticking inside Helen's head. The characters, most only appearing for a scene or two, are elegantly drawn and easy to identify- we all know or have been these people. The scene between Helen and her lover, Richard, is filled with the beautiful, simple poetry that everyone hears in their head with their first real lover. George is suitably bland and harmless, simultaneously impossible to like and also refrain from feeling sorry for. Helen's Mother provides the perfect context for where this angry young woman comes from and how she begins on the path that leads to her martyrdom.


Designing lights for this. It'll be interesting.


This is actually a play so, well I read the script. I found it in my house! It is about a journalist in America. She is assigned to write about a woman who killed her husband with her boyfriend and who was sentenced to murder. It is a very angry book! But it was quite a successful play. I really liked it. I do not often enjoy this type of book but i liked it because it was written as a play, I suppose.


i love expressionist theatre. this one is based on the story of the first woman exectued in new york...powerful stuff, really. i did this play in college. meeeeemories....light the corners of my mind...


i was strangely fascinated by this obnoxious obnoxious play


It is a good play for a central female character. I found the writing style to be very interesting. I could sense what the playwright was trying to do but it also made me disconnect from the central character a bit. It was ok.


creepy cover, but great play! 4.5. liked the expressionist style a lot.

Jen Klug

I guess I expected this to feel more dated than it did, maybe even campy. But it was very moving. Haunting, even. I'd love to see it performed.


A beautiful haunting important play. Theatrical innovation in the 20's never fails to astound me.


after reading this several times and falling in love with treadwell's expressionistic ideas, language, and use of sounds, I decided to direct this play as a senior project in college. though i probably did it no credit, i wouldn't have chosen anything else. very profound, very difficult material. my copy has become a very fragile corpse.

Dave Cotton

An excellent example of theatrical expressionism. I can't wait to share this one with my students. I am so grateful that Roundabout Theater has revived it and brought it to my attention.

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