“There must be no shortage of little-known, finely crafted, funny, thought-provoking plays exploring the fracturing of English society in the early twentieth century, because the Mint Theatre Company keeps coming up with them,”1 wrote the New Yorker of MARY BROOME. Monkhouse’s biting comedy tells the story of a household turned upside down by an upstairs/downstairs liaison between the ne’er do well son and the honest housemaid.

MARY BROOME premiered in 1911 at Manchester’s Gaiety Theatre and quickly moved to London. Over the next two decades, MARY BROOME was revived at repertory and “little” theatres across England and the U.S. Its first New York production was in 1919 at the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand St. In 1958, Granada Television Network broadcast MARY BROOME to commemorate the Gaiety’s 50th anniversary. The London Times wrote “the play startlingly foreshadows the realist drama of our own time.” Despite such acclaim, the play languished in obscurity until London’s Orange Tree Theatre revived it in 2011.

The following year, our “lively, penetrating revival”2 reacquainted New York audiences with Monkhouse’s strikingly prescient comment on the decadence of modern society. The production was a New York Times Critic’s Pick and was deemed “Highbrow” and “Brilliant” by New York Magazine‘s popular critical round-up, “The Approval Matrix.”3

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CAST

  • Rod Brogan
  • Janie Brookshire
  • Katie Fabel
  • Kristin Griffith
  • Roderick Hill
  • Julie Jesneck
  • Patricia Kilgarriff
  • Graeme Malcolm
  • Douglas Rees
  • Erica Swindell
  • Jill Tanner

CREATIVES

  • Sets Roger Hanna
  • Costumes Martha Hally
  • Lights Nicole Pearce
  • Sound Jane Shaw
  • Props Joshua Yocum
  • Dialects and Dramaturgy Amy Stoller
  • Additional Dramaturgy Heather J. Violanti
  • Casting Amy Schecter
  • Production Manager Sherri Kotimsky
  • Production Stage Manager Kathy Snyder
  • Assistant Stage Manager Alex Hajjar
  • Illustration Stefano Imbert
  • Graphics Hey Jude Design, Inc.
  • Advertising The Pekoe Group
  • Press David Gersten & Associates

PATRICIA DENISON, BARNARD UNIVERSITY:
THE EDWARDIAN ANGRY YOUNG MAN.

In 1958, just as the “Angry Young Man” began to rage on British stages, railing against establishment hypocrisy, Granada Television broadcast Mary Broome—and critics were astounded by angry young Edwardian Leonard Timbrell.  “A blood brother to George Dillon and Jimmy Porter,” declared theLondon Times critic, comparing him to the protagonists of John Osborne’s searing Look Back in Angerand Epitaph for George Dillon.  Robert Stephens, who had played George Dillon, portrayed Leonard on the broadcast—reinforcing the link.

In light of this comparison, Patricia Denison, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Drama and Theatre at Barnard College and editor of John Osborne: A Casebook, will discuss Leonard as antecedent to the “Angry Young Man.”  Join us for this thought-provoking comparison of two surprisingly similar eras and dramatic traditions.

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JOSHUA GLENN AND MARK KINGWELL,
CO-AUTHORS OF THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY

Joshua Glenn and Mark Kingwell, co-authors of The Idlers’ Glossary, examine the character of Leonard Timbrell in light of the modern “idler.”  Just as Leonard shocks Edwardian society by refusing to work and questioning the status quo, so the modern idler questions current work and social structures.  Indeed, “to be idle” in the philosophic tradition is not to reject work, but to contemplate—and perhaps redefine—the very nature of work itself.

Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, editor, and semiotics analyst. In addition to co-authoring The Idler’s Glossary, he is the co-author or co-editor of Taking Things Seriously, The Wage-Slave’s Glossary, Significant Objects, and Unbored.  He is also a co-founder of the websites HiLoBrow, Significant Objects, and Semionaut.   In the 1990s, he edited the philosophy and pop-culture-themed Hermenaut, described by Michael Stutz of Wired as “a scholarly journal minus the university, a sounding board for thinking folk who operate outside the ivory tower.” Glenn has a master’s degree in teaching from Boston University.

Mark Kingwell is a professor of philosophy at the University of Toronto. As a philosopher, he has focused on questions of social obligation and the role of citizenship in maintaining a just and democratic society. He is the author of several books, including Glenn Gould, Opening Gambits, Concrete Reveries, Nearest Thing to Heaven, Nothing for Granted, The World We Want, and Better Living. He is also co-editor of Rites of Way: The Politics and Poetics of Public Space.  He has won the Spitz Prize for political theory, the Drummer-General’s Award for non-fiction, and national magazine awards for his essays and columns.  Dr. Kingwell holds a Ph.D and MPhil from Yale University.

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DR. CAROL W. BERMAN: "ON THE COUCH WITH LEONARD:"
AN ANALYSIS OF LEONARD TIMBRELL

Leonard Timbrell is a fascinating character—witty and bitingly self-aware, yet strangely diffident and lacking purpose. In this discussion, psychiatrist Dr. Carol W. Berman, a specialist in personality disorders, puts the character of Leonard “on the couch”—metaphorically speaking—analyzing his personality and choices. Dr. Carol W. Berman has practiced psychiatry in New York City for 25 years and is the author of 100 Questions and Answers About Panic Disorder and Personality Disorders. She is a clinical assistant professor in psychiatry at NYU, where she earned her medical degree. An artist and playwright as well as a psychiatrist, her plays have been produced by the Workshop at the Neighborhood Playhouse and Ego Actus Productions.

DR. JOHN P. HARRINGTON, AUTHOR OF THE LIFE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD PLAYHOUSE ON GRAND STREET

Dr. John P. Harrington, author of The Life of the Neighborhood Playhouse on Grand Street, charts the Playhouse’s history, with particular emphasis on its 1919 production of Mary Broome, the play’s New York premiere. Founded in 1915 by philanthropists Alice and Irene Lewisohn, and known for championing thought-provoking plays shunned by commercial producers, the Playhouse helped pave the way for the Off-Broadway movement. Harrington is Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University. He has written extensively on theatre history, with particular emphasis on Irish theatre.

VLASTA VRANJES, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: MARY BROOME AND MARRIAGE IN EDWARDIAN ENGLAND

The housemaid is pregnant, the second son of the household is the father: is marriage “the right thing”—given their class and personality differences?  Dr. Vlasta Vranjes, a professor in the English department at Fordham, discusses Leonard and Mary’s union in terms of Edwardian marriage laws and societal expectations, which were shaped by strict class and gender roles.  Dr. Vranjes is the author of English Vows: Marriage and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture,and her current research examines literary responses to Victorian marriage legislation.

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