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The New Morality

Set aboard a houseboat on a fashionable reach of the Thames in 1911, The New Morality tells the story of how the brazen Betty Jones restores dignity to her household and harmony to her marriage, by losing her temper and making a scene.

A writer of “wit, gaiety and skillful craftsmanship,”[1] the Brooklyn-born British playwright Harold Chapin (1886-1915) wrote ten one-act plays and four complete, full-length works before falling as a WWI soldier at the age of twenty-nine. With Chapin’s tragic early death, the British and American theater lost an already assured comic talent. Revolving around the whims and wits of candid female characters, Chapin’s philosophical comedies of manners brim with “imagination and sympathy,”[2] sparkling dialogue, and a sense of humor at once sharp-edged and fanciful.

The Fatal Weakness

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.

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