“The Mint Theater Company, one of New York’s most admired Off-Broadway troupes, specializes in neglected plays that have slipped through the cracks. More often than not it comes up with gems, among the most notable of which was Rachel Crothers’s SUSAN AND GOD, first seen in 1937 and revived by the Mint to impressive effect in 2006. Now the company has gone back to the same well with an equally strong staging of another Crothers play, A LITTLE JOURNEY, which hasn’t been performed professionally in New York since it closed on Broadway in 1919—and guess what? It’s just as good.”1

Set entirely on a westbound train over the course of a four day trip, A LITTLE JOURNEY originally ran for 252 performances on Broadway and was nominated for the 1918 Pulitzer Prize. The New York Heraldreported audiences were so moved they lingered in their seats afterward “to cling to the men and women of Miss Crothers’ imagination as one would hold onto friends.”

Our production was a “smartly-cast, inventively staged, and altogether spiffy representation of Crothers’ proto-feminist play about the limitations on women living in a male society.”2 Jackson Gay’s production was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Revival of a Play and Outstanding Set Design.

Rachel Crothers (1878-1958) was among America’s most successful and produced playwrights during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Nearly 30 of her plays opened on Broadway between 1906 and 1937.  “Although it rare now to find anyone who has heard of her,” wrote the New York Times in 1980, “Miss Crothers at the apex of her career was a symbol of success in the commercial theater.”

Crothers’ first Broadway success was with the melodrama The Three Of Us in 1906.  While more sensational than her later work, The Three of Us hinted at Crothers’ interest in strong women characters and social concerns.  Her best work would recast the European “problem play” in a distinctly American idiom, with richly-drawn characters and sparkling dialogue.  A Man’s World (1910), heralded by one New York critic as the “first great American play,” followed a young woman’s struggle to establish an artistic career while raising an adopted son.  Nice People (1921) examined the flapper phenomenon through the eyes of three young women and provided Katharine Cornell and Tallulah Bankhead with their first important roles.  In Susan and God (1937), a socialite discovers the difference between public façade and personal faith while reconciling with her husband and daughter.

Crothers directed her own work.  Her consistently high standards helped professionalize the role of director in American theater.  She was also a dedicated philanthropist.  She helped found many important charities, including the American Theater Wing for War Relief (established 1940), which evolved into today’s American Theater Wing.

By the late 1940’s, Crothers’ comedies fell out of fashion.  She continued writing, but she did not produce any of her new plays, preferring to focus on her charity work.  She died in her sleep on July 5, 1958.  The Times wrote in her obituary: “She was as skillful as she was prolific.  Miss Crothers mixed an enormous amount of common sense with smooth craftsmanship and a rare knowledge of and faith in human nature.”



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  • Mrs. Bay Rosemary Prinz
  • Lily Chet Siegel
  • Mrs. Welch Laurie Birmingham
  • Porter Anthony L. Gaskins
  • Jim West McCaleb Burnett
  • Annie Jennifer Blood
  • Kitty Van Dyck Victoria Mack
  • Ethel Halstead Joey Parsons
  • Julie Rutherford Samantha Soule
  • Alfred Bemis John Wernke
  • Leo Stern Craig Wroe
  • Frank Ben Hollandsworth
  • Charles Ben Roberts
  • Mr. Smith, Conductor Douglas Rees


  • Set Design Roger Hanna
  • Costume Design Martha Hally
  • Lighting Design Paul Whitaker
  • Sound Design Jane Shaw
  • Properties Design Joshua Yocom
  • Dramaturgy Heather J. Violanti
  • Casting Stuart Howard, Amy Schecter & Paul Hardt
  • Production Stage Manager Samone B. Weissman
  • Assistant Stage Manager Andrea Jo Martin
  • Assistant Director Katherine Schroeder
  • Press Representative David Gersten & Associates
  • Advertising & Marketing The Pekoe Group
  • Illustration Stefano Imbert
  • Graphics Hey Jude Design, Inc


Dr. Sharon Friedman is an Associate Professor at N.Y.U. Her teaching and research interests are in the areas of literary and dramatic criticism, feminist criticism, theories of adaptation, and critical writing across the curriculum. Her publications include Feminism as Theme in Twentieth-Century American Women’s Drama in American Studies.

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Rail travel in early twentieth-century America brought strangers together onto rail cars made and serviced by two unions whose recent histories have become lore in the history of American labor, the African American sleeping car porters and the American Railway Union. The 1894 Pullman Strike would catapult Eugene V. Debs to prominence in American labor and ultimately as leader of American socialism, but the strike’s outcome and the intervention of the government would also set precedents that would shape the history of public work and public service in the US to the present.

Professor Daniel J. Walkowitz holds joint appointments in the department of Social & Cultural Analysis and Department of History at New York University. A specialist in American labor and urban history, his most recent books are City Folk: English Country Dance and the Politics of the Folk in Modern America, and an edited collected with Donna Haverty-Stacke, Rethinking US Labor History.

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Dr. Zoe Corell has been a professor of theater and literature for many years. She received her PhD in Dramatic Literature, History, and Criticism from CUNY’s Graduate Center where she wrote her dissertation on Rachel Crothers, and attended London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.


Dr. Judith E. Barlow is retired from the University at Albany, SUNY, where she was a Professor
of English for thirty-five years as well as a member of the Women’s Studies faculty. She is the author ofFinal Acts: The Creation of Three Late O’Neill Plays and editor of Plays By American Women, 1900-1930, Plays By American Women, 1930-1960, and Women Writers of the Provincetown Players: A Collection of Short Works. Judith has been a visiting professor at Sofia University in Bulgaria and Nankai University in China, and has lectured widely on modern drama.


Dr. Brenda Murphy is Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Connecticut, where she has taught since 1989, following fourteen years as a faculty member and administrator at St. Lawrence University. She is the editor of The Cambridge Companion to American Women Playwrights (1999).


Dr. Colette Lindroth is Professor of English at Caldwell College and co-author of Rachel Crothers: A Research and Production Sourcebook. B.A. University of North Dakota, M.A. Marquette University Ph.D. New York University Office. Special interests include journalism, American literature, literary criticism, film, and theater.