Jonathan Donald Productions, Inc.

A Program Profile: Trifles

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Minnie Wright, victim and murderer
Minnie Wright, victim and murderer

A small hymn singing farm women turns on her abusive husband in Post WW I America and somehow manages to hang him in his bed! Why she did and how, suspensefully plays out in Trifles, a murder mystery that explores the vengeance visited on her husband and how it instructs two other women, one of whom undergoes a transformation herself unblocking terrible memories  that send her in search of her own revenge! Starring Tony and Obie award winning actors, Marian Seldes, Maryann Plunkett and Mia Dillon with David Lansbury, Brian Delate,  George DiCenzo and Wil Love.

Trifles is based on a 1916 play written by Susan Glaspell, an early American feminist and  highly successful author. She based  her story on a murder she covered reporting for the Des Moines Daily News. Glaspell was a determined rebel. After a long affair with then married stage producer George Cram “Jig” Cook the two married and moved to New York where they joined the Greenwich Village “Bohemian” set along with poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Earlier Glaspell and  Eugene O’Neill had created the Provincetown Players on Cape Cod. When the Playhouse moved productions to New York Cook demanded Glaspell write a play for the new  Playhouse. She wrote Trifles, a work inspired not only by the murder but no doubt also by her anger at her husband’s  overbearing behavior and philandering, an anger she shared with the revenge seeking women of her play.

Vision of the murderer's past

Mrs. Hale forces the Sheriff's wife to reveal her own tragedy

Mr. Hale recounts how he discovered the murder

Mrs. Hale discovers evidence of Wright's cruelty to his wife

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