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Machinal

by Sophie Treadwell
Directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert

Stage Manager: Caleb Thomas Cook

Scenic Designer: Michael Wogulis

Costume Designer: Euihyun Song

Lighting Designer: Bryan Ealey

Sound Designer: Salvador Zamora

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Director's Statement:

"It is a deeply lonely task to try and fit yourself into a space where you do not feel you belong. In Machinal by Sophie Treadwell, Helen Jones-referred to as “Young Woman” in the script-finds herself constantly alienated by the patriarchal, mechanical world in which she lives. The subways are too crowded, her work is endless and repetitive, and at the age of 23 the pressure to maintain beauty standards, get married, and have children is consuming her. Navigating her way through the rigidity of this society, Helen feels like she is the only one struggling to conform, and she yearns endlessly for somebody to help her feel stabilized.

...

It isn’t until she meets a drifting man who lives outside of this society that she sees a pathway for this escape.

Young Woman murders her husband in an effort to free herself from her narrow trajectory. Soon after, she is put on trial for his murder, found guilty, and put to death. Her last words before she is executed are “Somebody! Somebod-”

...

Sophie Treadwell did not set out to write a period piece about the 1920’s-she wrote an intensely urgent piece of theatre in response to the realities of her own modern times. It is this spirit of urgency that is a driving force for me in staging my production of Machinal nearly a century later. A 2022 audience which is continuing to critically investigate the way our society has not been built with women, queer folks, POC, disabled people, Non-Christian people, etc in mind is uniquely qualified to empathize with Young Woman’s plight. Today, we are only beginning to discuss the complexity of gender in mainstream spaces. Words like “Cisgender”, “Nonbinary”, and “Transgender” are becoming part of the zeitgeist, but widespread understanding of gender as something an individual asserts for themself rather than something a person is born with remains contentious. The majority of our systems and spaces continue to enforce a narrow approach to gender expression."

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