Sophie Treadwell: Machinal

sophie-treadwell-image-machinalSophie Treadwell, born Oct 3 1885 in Stockton, Ca., was a writer, playwright, journalist, women’s rights advocate, and novelist. Sophie Treadwell’s foray into the theatre began as an actress in vaudeville and included early mentoring by the famed Polish actress Helena Modjeska. Author of forty plays, Treadwell was one of only a few women dramatists who also directed and produced many of her own works. She is best known for her play Machinal, inspired by the real life case of convicted and executed murderer Ruth Snyder. Machinal premiered on the Plymouth theatre on Broadway, NYC, on Sept 7, 1928, and is considered one of the centerpieces of Expressionist theatre on the American stage. SOURCE

A woman is trapped in a system, caught in a machine (machinal, from the French of or pertaining to machines), that turns her into a victim any way she looks, whether she accepts her plight or fights it. Sophie Treadwell’s powerful and inventive play is a feminist treatise about women forced into marriage and then self-destruction, because they have no alternatives. SOURCE


McTier’s 2014 Production: Stills   Video

Suzan-Lori Parks: Topdog/Underdog

“Suzan Lori Parks is the greatest playwright writing in the English language today.” – Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America

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Suzan-Lori Parks

Suzan-Lori Parks is a playwright, novelist, essayist, performer and songwriter. She wrote Topdog/Underdog for which she won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, becoming the first African-American woman to do so. Named one of Time magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” Ms. Parks’ plays include The Book of Grace, In the Blood (2000 Pulitzer Prize finalist), Venus (1996 OBIE Award), The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Fucking A, and Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom (1990 OBIE Award for Best New American Play). Parks also performs Watch Me Work, her experimental performance piece/writing workshop, in theatres throughout United States and abroad. In 2003 she wrote a play a day and in 2007, her project 365 Days/365 Plays was produced in over 700 theaters worldwide, creating one of the largest grassroots collaborations in theater history. SOURCE

Website     Biography     Script

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2002 Interview (Scene Clip at 6:30)

Topdog Diaries (Scene Clip at 6:00)

American English: Dialects vs. Idioms

As nouns the difference between dialect and idiom is that dialect is (linguistics) a variety of a language (specifically, often a spoken variety) that is characteristic of a particular area, community or group, often with relatively minor differences in vocabulary, style, spelling and pronunciation while idiom is a manner of speaking, a way of expressing oneself. SOURCE


Ebonics: Language or Dialect or Something Else?   ARTICLE   YouTube Clip

Hip-Hop and Language: Macklemore’s Thrift Shop   YouTube Clip

“12 Words Black People Invented, And White People Killed” ARTICLE

Hamilton on Broadway

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s New Musical Hamilton

the most important musical of our time

From bastard orphan to Washington’s right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country’s first sex scandal to Treasury head who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy, Hamilton is an exploration of a political mastermind. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Eliza Hamilton, and lifelong Hamilton friend and foe, Aaron Burr, all attend this revolutionary tale of America’s fiery past told through the sounds of the ever-changing nation we’ve become.   SOURCE


  • 16 Tony nominations (the most in Broadway history) with 11 Tony Awards (wins)
  • Pulitzer Prize
  • Grammy Award
  • over $1B in ticket sales
  • 10,000 people in each day’s online ticket lottery for 21 tickets

Financial: “‘Hamilton’ Inc.: The Path to a Billion-Dollar Broadway Show

Hamilton: An American Musical (Website)

This segment was broadcast on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) shortly after the musical opened on Broadway (August 2015).

This overview was produced for CBS Sunday Morning (a television newsmagazine), while the musical was running Off-Broadway at The Public Theatre (February – July 2015).

NYC-based reviews on Did He Like It (note the New York Times review by chief critic Ben Brantley)

Why Hamilton Has Heat,” New York Times

A British Perspective: “Why Hamilton Is Making Musical History,” The Guardian

A Questioning Response: “Why Hamilton Is Not the Revolution You Think It Is