Machinal

ISBN: 1854592114
ISBN 13: 9781854592118
By: Sophie Treadwell

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Reader's Thoughts

KC

Designing lights for this. It'll be interesting.

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.

Stuart

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.

Jill

I'd like to do this....Melanie, you out there?

Coco

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.

T.tara

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.

Kate

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...

Jon

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

Cecily Erker

I read this because SLU is putting it on as their next production, and I wanted to audition for it. This is probably a play that has to be seen to be fully appreciated, because of the Expressionist sound effects, but I liked the script, as simple as it was. It's probably hard for people to understand why the character remained so passive until the last second, but I can identify with her feelings of helplessness and that everyone is in control of your life but you. She always had choices and multiple opportunities to take control of her life, but she couldn't see them because of her fear and passivity that had been ingrained in her by nearly all her life experiences. That's probably the real tragedy of the play.

Ana Rusness-petersen

Really great play...the entire first half, I was worked up, having trouble breathing just because of the writing style - which was an intentional. Very enlightening, especially if you've seen or read "Not Enough Air" from Timeline Theatre. Definitely feminist overtones/undertones. Be sure to read author's bio for a greater depth of appreciation.

Wendy

Weird protagonist.

brandy

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.

beth

i was strangely fascinated by this obnoxious obnoxious play

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.

Rowena

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

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