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  • 1.  Wednesday’s Wisdom from EdTA Emeritus

    Posted 11-29-2022 23:06
    Great plays you've probably never heard of...

    (a new series)

    Some common issues on Theatre teachers' social media: What play should I do next?  I want to do something that the other schools in my area aren't doing. I need a play with a majority of female characters. I need a play that won't need to have the language censored. Why can't girls do stage combat, too?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, may I recommend:
    The Warrior's Husband by Julian F. Thompson

    Originally published by Samuel French, so it's available through Concord Theatricals.

    The copyright was last renewed in 1959, so it's not in the public domain.

    I first read about this play in a Katherine Hepburn biography. It was her first big lead on  Broadway in 1932.  The action of the play begins in Hippolyta's palace in the land of the Amazons where men are the weaker sex, and women are the warriors.

    The cast has 13 female speaking parts and 8 male speaking parts. Doubling is possible, and the cast can be expanded to fit everyone. Most of the male characters only appear in the second and third acts.

    Did you ever think about these lines from the first scene in A Midsummer Night's Dream?

    Theseus:  Hippolyta, I woo'd thee with my sword,
    And won thy love, doing thee injuries;
    But I will wed thee in another key,
    With pomp, with triumph and with revelling.

    In legend, Theseus and his army of Greek Warriors defeated Hippolyta and her Amazon Army. Theseus took Hippolyta as his bride, bringing peace to their countries.

    The Warrior's Husband takes this legend and looks at it through the Amazon's eyes. There are also nods to the Iliad and the Odyssey, the Labors of Hercules, the Trojan War, and Troilus and Cressida...but you don't have to know any of those stories to understand The Warrior's Husband. (though it might help to watch the 2017 Wonder Woman) At its heart, The Warrior's Husband is a comedy about gender stereotypes.

    I directed a production of this play in 2000. My students loved it.

    Coming next: more great plays you've never heard of. I'm thinking about some obscure musicals: Return to the Forbidden Planet, Of Thee I Sing, and Oh My, Nellie Bly. Feel free to e-mail me any suggestions for plays you'd like to see exhumed from obscurity. Publishers feel free to chime in.


    See you in the lobby!



  • 2.  RE: Wednesday’s Wisdom from EdTA Emeritus

    Posted 11-30-2022 08:07
    I LOVE THIS!!  Thank you Mr. Houck!


    Keith Rollins

    MCHS Drama Director

    Thespian Troupe #596


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  • 3.  RE: Wednesday's Wisdom from EdTA Emeritus

    Posted 12-01-2022 10:00
    Having done The Warrior's Husband twice (once in 70's and again in the 90's) I second Billy Houck's recommendation!  The show is great fun and while it can be done with a smaller cast, we expanded ours to include an honor guard for the Queen ( our band's Color Guard) which accompanied all her entrances, including some through the house which included flag work. Extra men were either Greek soldiers or Amazon boyfriends.
    Might I also suggest Moliere's Learned Ladies with rhyming couplets and Canterbury  Tales.  Unfortunately, it was so long ago that I don't remember which script we used.

    Marilynn [Zeljeznjak
    Past CA State Thespian Director
    Blacksburg VA