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The People (play)

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The People is a play written by Susan Glaspell. The following one-act play is reprinted from The People and Close the Book: Two One-Act Plays. Susan Glaspell. New York: Frank Shay, 1918. It is now in the public domain and may therefore be performed without royalties. She grew up with one older and one younger brother, and although her father was a devout member of the Disciples of Christ, he maintained a weakness for swearing and horse-racing. When she was young, he allowed her to accompany him to homesteads in Iowa and the surrounding states, giving Glaspell a favorable impression of the people who lived and farmed in the region, which she later explored in her fiction.An intelligent child, Susan considered entering the teaching profession after high school but chose instead to become a local reporter in the hopes of becoming a writer. While working as a journalist, she wrote short stories for Youth's Companion, selling a total of forty-three stories over the next two decades, many of which were set in Freeport, the fictional version of Davenport. With him, she helped found a theatrical group called the Provincetown Players, which originated in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and moved to Greenwich Village in New York City under the influence of the playwright Eugene O'Neill. Under their direction, the Provincetown Players became an experimental theater group that later became a heavy influence on American drama. Glaspell moved back to Massachusetts, where she continued writing. In the same year as her divorce, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Alison's House, a play based on Emily Dickinson's biography. Along with O'Neill, Glaspell was one of the most influential playwrights to come from the Provincetown collaborative, and Trifles in particular has come to be seen as a feminist work that deals with the psychology of crime through the lens of female domesticity.[1][2][3][4]

Characters Edit

The play has mainly twelve characters:

  • Ed
  • Oscar
  • The Boy
  • Earnest Approach
  • Light Touch
  • Tom
  • Artist
  • The Woman
  • Philosopher
  • Sara
  • The Man
  • Anarchist


Scholarly ArticlesEdit

Some notable references on the play from scholarly articles are as follows:

"The Provincetown Players produced at their laboratory theatre in New York in March The Prodigal Son by Harry Kemp, Cocaine by Pendleton King, and The People by Susan Glaspell." -- Theatre Arts Magazine - Volumes 1-2 - Page 144:1917 [5]

References Edit

  1. http://www.enotes.com/topics/jury-her-peers/critical-essays/jury-her-peers-susan-glaspell
  2. http://www.gradesaver.com/author/susan-glaspell/
  3. http://blogs.shu.edu/glaspellsociety/secondary-sources/
  4. http://www.cyberessays.com/lists/free-susan-glaspell-trifles-summary/
  5. http://books.google.com/books?id=4klJAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA144&dq=%22The+People%22+%22Susan+Glaspell%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZhZfUt-hDoWM9ASf1YAI&ved=0CG0Q6AEwCw

External links Edit

Online script links Edit

  1. http://www.one-act-plays.com/dramas/people.html
  2. http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/bai/noe.htm
  3. http://www.davenportlibrary.com/genealogy-and-history/local-history-info/the-people/susan-glaspell/

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