“Surprisingly up-to-date, fast-paced, and engaging,”1 declared the New York Times of Rachel Crothers’ neglected masterwork, SUSAN AND GOD. The 2006 production reclaimed Crothers as the “first lady” of American playwrights and was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts: Mint’s first.

Written in 1937, SUSAN AND GOD is a glittering comedy of a socialite who has found religion but lost herself. A story of a woman who proselytizes to friends while ignoring her troubled family, the play’s initial run starring Gertrude Lawrence lasted 288 performances. In 1943, the play was selected to open City Center.

“A major event, a pitch-perfect production of a 69-year-old play whose subject matter is so modern in flavor that it could have been written last week….a brilliant revival of a play that never should have been forgotten in the first place—just the sort of thing for which the Mint Theater Company is rightly renowned,”2 wrote Terry Teachout in the Wall Street Journal. Teachout named SUSAN AND GOD one of 2006’s top ten productions.

RACHEL CROTHERS (1878-1958) was born in Bloomington, Illinois. When her mother embarked on a medical career, Crothers was sent to live with an aunt in Massachusetts. She learned early about the struggle to balance a career with family life. The lesson would prove a recurrent theme in her plays.

In 1896, Crothers moved to New York. After one term as a student at Stanhope and Wheatcroft School of Acting, she was hired as a teacher. She began to write and direct her own plays. When Nora (1903), a one-act about a widowed actress’s battle to keep her son, debuted at the school, one critic predicted “a new dramatic author may have arrived.”

Nora imitates the work of Ibsen and Strindberg, but Crothers gradually grew confident enough to recast the “problem play” in a distinctly American idiom. A Man’s World (1910), heralded as “the first great American play,” followed a young woman’s struggle to establish an artistic career while raising an adopted son.

During World War I, she wrote “gladness plays”-sentimental comedies with melodramatic overtones. One of these, A Little Journey (1918), was nominated for the Pulitzer. Her postwar output abandoned sentimentality in favor of realism and social issues. Nice People (1921) examined the flapper phenomenon and provided Tallulah Bankhead and Katherine Cornell with their first important roles. Crothers’ plays revolve around the everyday challenges facing women-getting a job, becoming independent, raising a family. She sympathized with various women’s movements, but never allied herself with them. She was criticized for being apolitical, she was called old-fashioned-but she managed to survive thirty-one years on Broadway.

Toward the end of her life, Crothers focused on charity work. During War World II, she helped found the American Theater Wing and contributed to its relief work overseas. Crothers died in her sleep at her Connecticut home on July 5, 1958.


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  • Susan Trexel Leslie Hendrix
  • Barrie Trexel Timothy Deenihan
  • Blossom Trexel Jennifer Blood
  • Irene Burroughs Opal Alladin
  • Michael O’Hara Al Sapienza
  • Charlotte Marley Katie Firth
  • Hutchins Stubbs Anthony Newfield
  • Leonora Stubbs Heidi Armbruster / Jordan Simmons
  • Clyde Rochester Alex Cranmer
  • Leeds Mathieu Cornillon


  • Set Design Nathan Heverin
  • Lighting Design Josh Bradford
  • Costume Design Clint Ramos
  • Sound Design Jane Shaw
  • Properties Design Scott Brodsky
  • Dramaturgy Heather J. Violanti
  • Casting
    Stuart Howard, Amy Schecter & Paul Hardt
  • Production Stage Manager Jennifer Grutza
  • Assistant Stage Manager Sara Kmack
  • Press Representative David Gersten & Associates
  • Graphics Hey Jude Design, Inc.


Three distinguished scholars discuss the work and careers of Rachel Crothers and other significant American women such as Susan Glaspell, Lillian Hellman, Sophie Treadwell, etc.
Judith Barlow, editor of Plays By American Women: 1900-1930, and Plays By American Women: 1930-1960. Professor at SUNY Albany.
Brenda Murphy, editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights and a professor at the University of CT.
J. Ellen Gainor, author of The Plays of Susan Glaspell: A Contextual Study and a professor at Cornell U.


Sharon Friedman is a Professor at NYU in the Gallatin School. Her publications related to women and theatre include “Feminism as Theme in Twentieth-Century American Drama” in American Studies. Dr. Friedman discusses Susan and God in the context of Crothers’ overall body of work.


Anne Sheffield shares her childhood reminiscences of summers spent in Connecticut with Crothers. Sheffield’s grandmother was Rachel’s long-time companion and Anne is now executor of the Crothers’ estate.