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Mr. Scott and his wife, son and daughter have long hoped to sell the declining family business so they can pursue dreams now out of reach. When a buyer finally appears and makes a rich offer—Scott hesitates. If he sells, the old shop will become a dance hall—and Thomas Scott believes that dancing is immoral.
An “un-romantic comedy” about the price of free love, YOURS UNFAITHFULLY is an insightful, intelligent and exceptionally intimate peek behind the closed doors of an open marriage. Stephen and Anne, blissfully happy for eight years, are committed to living up to their ideals. When Stephen, a writer who isn’t writing, begins to sink into a funk of unproductive moodiness, Anne encourages him to seek out a fresh spark. Can their marriage survive uncompromising generosity, sacrifice and love? More than the story of an unconventional couple, the play is about what happens when our ideals clash with our emotions.
William Miles Malleson (1888-1969)
In 2010 Mint claimed the role of champion on behalf of the brilliant, but forgotten Irish playwright, Teresa Deevy. The ambitious Teresa Deevy Project, which includes three productions, as well as two published compilations of her plays, was launched with her “crisp psychological drama,”1 WIFE TO JAMES WHELAN.
Teresa Deevy (1894-1963) After years of rejection, Deevy had her first play produced at Ireland’s Abbey Theater in 1930, at the age of 36. One of Ireland’s leading critics predicted: “The new dramatist from whom most may be expected in the future is Miss T. Deevy.”
Health care reform of a darkly comic kind drives DR. KNOCK, OR THE TRIUMPH OF MEDICINE, Jules Romains’ tart 1923 satire of the medical profession. The play, which Mint Theater revived “with consummate savoir-faire”1 in 2010, proved once again “that one of the best ways to be topical is to look to the past”2
Romains ranked among the most produced playwrights in the world during the 1930’s, alongside Shaw and Pirandello. His most famous work, the 27 volume novel Men of Good Will, is comparable to the works of Zola and Proust in scale and ambition. Romains believed it was the duty of the twentieth century writer “to discover beneath the appearances of the modern world a spiritual reality more profound than he ever before has tried to find.”
In 2009, the Mint headed downtown to the Lucille Lortel Theater for a production of the wickedly witty backstage comedy, SO HELP ME GOD! by Maurine Dallas Watkins. The production starred two-time Emmy Award-winner Kristen Johnston as the temperamental star who tramples everyone who stands in her way.
Maurine Dallas Watkins (1896-1969) wrote the 1926 play CHICAGO, upon which the musical is based. Winner of six Tonys and a Best Picture Oscar for 2002 film, the musical CHICAGO would seem a “sure thing” from the start. But its beginnings were very much in doubt. Had Watkins got her way, CHICAGO the musical would not exist at all.
Lennox Robinson’s IS LIFE WORTH LIVING? (aka DRAMA AT INISH) is a gloriously goofy comedy that imagines the impact a steady diet of serious drama might have on the amiable residents of a seaside town in Ireland. In 2009 the play was delivered to New York audiences for the first time in 75 years.
Robinson began to write poetry in his teens, vaguely dreaming of a career as a poet or musician. In 1907, when he was 20, he saw a touring production of the Abbey Theater. The performance changed his life. He was promptly inspired to write his first play, The Clancy Name, a realistic drama about a patrician Irish family willing to destroy itself so its good name can be preserved. The play was produced at the Abbey in 1908 and caught the attention of W.B. Yeats, who promptly hired Robinson, despite his youth and lack of experience, as the theater manager. Yeats felt that running a theater was the best education Robinson could have as a playwright.
In 2003, New York audiences were introduced to D. H. Lawrence—the playwright—with a highly acclaimed production of THE DAUGHTER IN LAW. Five years later, Mint Theater returned to the same literary well with a production of Lawrence’s searing 1910 drama, THE WIDOWING OF MRS. HOLROYD
D.H. Lawrence was born in 1885 in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire. He is best known as the author of Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love and the notorious Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), which was considered to be obscene and was widely banned; Chatterley was not officially legal in England until 1960.
Lawrence is the author of eight full-length plays, none of which he ever saw onstage in his lifetime (including The Daughter-In-Law, produced by The Mint in 2003). Though it seems that he never shook off the black mark of rabid literary censorship, his works remain to this day celebrated studies of human passion and desperation. At the time of his death, much of the public regarded him as a pornographer rather than a literary genius; yet in Lawrence’s obituary notice, E.M. Forster cited him as “the greatest imaginative novelist of our generation.”
“For anyone who cares about continuity in theater history, who wants to see connections between playwrights over centuries, the Mint Theater Company is heroic…For example, J.B. Priestley’s 1957 family drama THE GLASS CAGE is arguably the missing link between Ibsen’s bourgeois tragedies and the moody domestic-subversion shockers of Joe Orton and Harold Pinter,”1 writes David Cote In Time Out New York.
Priestley was born in the North England industrial town of Bradford. In his teens, he quit school to become a clerk in the wool trade. Already an ardent Socialist, he wrote articles for a political journal, The Bradford Pioneer, in his spare time. He left these jobs to enlist in the army at the outbreak of World War I. He was wounded at the front in France, recovered, and was then sent back to the front. After mustard gas poisoning rendered him unfit for further battle, he was made an arranger of troupe “entertainments,” giving him early experience as a theatrical producer.
Ernest Hemingway wrote THE FIFTH COLUMN in 1937 while he was in Madrid working as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. A hot-blooded romance played out against a backdrop of treachery and intrigue during the Spanish Civil War, Hemingway’s first and only play was published a year later.
THE FIFTH COLUMN rings out with a battle-scarred truth as one would expect from Ernest Hemingway, the Nobel and Pulitzer-prize winning author of A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls and a celebrated war correspondent.
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