Machinal

Spring, 2014
Written By: Sophie Treadwell
Directed By: Jules Odendahl-James

Machinal is the story of “a young woman, any woman,”—a woman destroyed by “a world of money, men, and machines.” Machinal depicts the struggle for personal fulfillment in a world where alienation, commodification and automation reign supreme. A world that is past, present and future.

Treadwell’s 1928 American expressionist masterwork draws inspiration from the case of Ruth Snyder, who was put to death in Sing Sing’s electric chair for killing her husband with the help of her lover Judd Gray. “The murder case was a sensation at the time and was made even more so by a reporter sneaking a camera into the execution chamber. The resulting photograph of Snyder was published on the front page of the Daily Times tabloid,” says Odendahl-James.

“It’s important to remember this play is very much of the 1920s. It was written less than 10 years after women got the right to vote,” she says. “That said, there’s a lot that feels contemporary about feeling trapped in a machine of life that pushes you along without giving you a chance to figure out who you are and why you do things. Certainly technological advancements increase the anxiety about human identity, but Treadwell is very interested in the role that such anxiety and pressure played in women’s lives. That’s specifically why it attracted me—its resonance is still there.

Machinal
by Sophie Treadwell
Director Jules Odendahl-James

Set Designer
Torry Bend
Sound Designer
David K. Garner
Costume Designer
Sonya Drum
Movement Designer
Kali Quinn
Lighting Designer
Cecilia Durbin
Stage Manager
Kara Post
Dramaturgy/Asst. Director
Hillary Spiritos
Asst. Director/
Asst. Movement Designer

Phil Watson

ENSEMBLE listed alphabetically

Cullen Burling Adding clerk, Doctor, Speakeasy customer, Judge, Guard
Thomas Kavanagh George H. Jones, Speakeasy customer, Priest
Ashley Long Telephone girl, Speakeasy customer, Matron
Tierney Marey Stenographer, Speakeasy customer, Court Reporter, Barber
Roxana Martinez Mother, Speakeasy customer, Lawyer for the Prosecution
Mike Myers Mr. Roe, Bailiff, Jailer
Justin Paley Filing clerk, Doctor, Mr. Smith, Lawyer for the Defense, Barber
Madeleine Pron The Young Woman
Nikki Rigl Nurse, Reporter
Jessica Tanner Bellboy, Speakeasy waiter, Reporter