Barefoot Productions’ second Studio Show of the 2019-2020 season
Mysteries and Masquerades, directed by Valerie Haas, features four short plays. Two by Susan Glaspell and two by O. Henry
ON STAGE: January 3 - 12, 2020
Friday and Saturday performances at 8pm and Sunday matinees at 2pm
Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, is a classic story of a murder on a farm in Iowa and the two overlooked women who solve it. The play begins as the men, followed by the women, enter the Wrights’ empty farm house. On command from the county attorney, Mr. Hale recounts his visit to the house the previous day, when he found Mrs. Wright behaving strangely and her husband upstairs with a rope around his neck, dead. Mr. Hale notes that when he questioned her, Mrs. Wright claimed that she was asleep when someone strangled her husband. While the county attorney, Mr. Hale, and Mr. Peters are searching the house for evidence, Mrs. Hale and Mrs. Peters find clues in the kitchen and hallway to this unsolved mystery.
The Outside, also by Susan Glaspell, is a story about a woman who is trying to get away from everything, but finds that everything still finds her.
The plot centers on two women, Mrs. Patrick and Allie Mayo, who have exiled themselves from the world because of emotional pain caused by their husbands. Allie Mayo has refused to say an “unnecessary word” since the death of her husband. Mrs. Patrick has returned to the place that she and her husband used to visit and had talked of buying to bury the things that hurt her. The main action of the play takes place in an abandoned life-saving station that Mrs. Patrick has recently bought, on a cape, in Massachusetts. Three men, Bradford, Tony, and the Captain, fight to save a man who has drowned at their old station, now the house of Mrs. Patrick. The men have brought the victim to this place because of convenience, since the body was found only forty feet from the house, and out of habit, since they used to work from this location. At the end, it is Allie who tries to save Mrs. Patrick from the life that she wants.
O. Henry, the undisputed king of irony, is the author of the other two short plays, The Ransom of Red Chief and While the Auto Waits.
The Ransom of Red Chief centers on two small time con men, Sam and Bill, who travel the South looking for small money-making schemes that we're guessing end up exploding in their faces. They get it in their head that by kidnapping the son of a small-town official they can easily gather a little extra capital needed for a real-estate swindle. The actual kidnapping goes off without a hitch, but these guys have little experience with precocious ten-year-olds. Wacky mayhem ensues.
While the Auto Waits
This sweet and whimsical short play is about two young people who seem determine to impress each other by being someone other than who they actually are.