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Lillian Hellman’s second play, Days to Come, is a family drama set against the backdrop of labor strife in a small Ohio town which threatens to tear apart both town and family. “It’s the story of innocent people on both sides who are drawn into conflict and events far beyond their comprehension,” Hellman said in an interview before Days to Come opened in 1936. “It’s the saga of a man who started something he cannot stop…”
She was “very full of the most miraculous kind of contradictions,” observed Jane Fonda on playing Lillian Hellman (1905-1984). Hellman persistently spoke her mind as one of America’s most celebrated playwrights and controversial icons. Hailed as a “dramatist of extraordinary strength and skill” (John Chapman, The New York Daily News), Hellman pursued questions of truth and deception, integrity and complicity throughout her life and plays. Drawing from melodrama’s conflicts between good and evil, Hellman created characters of textured moral ambiguity, including the indelible Regina Giddens of The Little Foxes.
The Suitcase Under the Bed, so named for the place where all of Teresa Deevy’s writing was stored for decades, prior to the launch of Mint Theater Company’s “Deevy Project”, featured four short plays, three of which were World Premieres. Deevy, thanks in part to the Mint, is now recognized as “One of Ireland’s best and most neglected dramatists.” (Irish Times)
STRANGE BIRTH (World Premiere)
Sara Meade works at a small rooming house where she observes with determined detachment the heartache of each resident; a caution against falling in love herself. Suddenly the day’s post brings a letter that challenges her resolve.
THE FATAL WEAKNESS, George Kelly’s last produced play, tells the story of Ollie Espenshade—an incurable romantic who discovers, after 28 years of marriage, that her husband is a lying cheat. It opened in New York on November 19, 1946 in a production starring Ina Claire. Although Claire’s triumphant return to Broadway after a five year absence garnered much of the press attention, Kelly’s play turned more than a few critics’ heads.
Admired for his character-driven satires and gimlet-eyed plays of modern manners, George Kelly (1887-1974) led a distinguished career in the New York theatre from the 1910s through the 1940s.
LOVE GOES TO PRESS is a wise-cracking romantic farce set in a makeshift press camp in the village of Poggibonsi, Italy, 1944. Headlining are two smart, sassy and determined journalists who brave the front lines to get their stories. Annabelle and Jane, both glamorous American women, are autobiographical caricatures of the authors: Martha Gellhorn and Virginia Cowles.
Martha Gellhorn (1908-1998) covered nearly every major confl ict during her lifetime, from the Spanish Civil War to the U.S. invasion of Panama (when she was 81). Famously, she was one of the few reporters who witnessed D-Day; she did so by locking herself in the toilet of a hospital ship – the first ship to survive the crossing. Gellhorn published 17 books during her six-decade career as a journalist, short story writer, and novelist.
After launching the Teresa Deevy Project with WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN in 2010, the Mint continued its exploration of “one of the most undeservedly neglected and significant playwrights of the 20th century” (The Irish Times) with a production of TEMPORAL POWERS.
Teresa Deevy was born in 1894, the youngest of thirteen children. Intent on a teaching career, Teresa enrolled in the University College, Dublin in 1913. After about a year she began to feel ill; her ears rang and she suffered frequent bouts of vertigo. She was diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, an incurable condition caused by fluid imbalance in the inner ear. Within a few years, Deevy had completely lost her hearing.
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