Treadwell: Bright and Dark
by Allyson Currin
(previous working title: The Amazing Sophie)
May 27-June 19
Theatre on the Run
3700 South Four Mile Run Drive
Please note this is
our usual performance venue; click
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Please note that there is no late seating for this
The American Century Theater’s first original one-actor
show, following the life and career of lawyer Clarence
Darrow, continues to be produced and performed a decade
later, most recently by the Olney Theater with its
original TACT cast, Paul Morella. Now TACT is preparing
its second World Premiere of a one-actor show, about a
very different 20th Century figure, Sophie Treadwell. She
will be portrayed by acclaimed Washington actress
Melissa Flaim, and we hope the play will begin to
restore the lost fame of this remarkable, fascinating
The play is a new work by Helen Hayes-nominated playwright
Allyson Currin. She has undertaken the daunting
task of exploring the complex personality and many faceted
career of Treadwell, who throughout a long career fiercely
applied her talents as a writer, poet, thinker and
playwright to professions where women were neither
respected nor welcome. Her triumphs included a sensational
in person interview with the Mexican bandit, Pancho Villa,
an expressionist stage masterpiece,
Machinal, that is regarded as a classic (and was
produced by TACT in 2004), and victory in a courageous
lawsuit against actor John Barrymore, who had tried to
steal one of her plays. But there were defeats and
humiliations too, Sophie Treadwell battled personal demons
that threatened her happiness and even her sanity.
Throughout her long life, and often in her plays and
novels, she wrestled with a question that still challenges
women today: how can a woman in America fulfill all of the
roles expected of her without losing herself?
American Century Theater audiences have a rendezvous with
a brilliant, fearless and inspiring woman who has nearly
been forgotten, yet is unforgettable.
The show’s director is
Stephen Jarrett, who directed TACT’s acclaimed 2008
Cops. TACT Producing Director
Sherri L. Perper
has assembled a team of designers ready to create the
mindscape of Sophie Treadwell:
(Scenic Design) and
(Lighting Design) (both of whom will be collaborating with
TACT with the support of the Kennedy Center/Kenan Fund
Performing Artists-in-Residence Program, a project of the
Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts),
(Sound Design), and
(Props Design, Master Carpenter).
(Stage Manager) complete the production staff.
Running time: 90 minutes, with no intermission.
There will be no late seating for this show.