A Young Woman finds herself trapped by the expectations of society all around her, choosing to marry her boss for security and stability, even though she does not love him. Suffocating and stifled, she runs into the arms of a younger lover, and is ultimately driven to commit an inconceivable act— so she can finally be free.
Machinal, written by American playwright and journalist Sophie Treadwell (c.1928), was inspired by the story of New York mother and housewife Ruth Snyder, who was tried, convicted, and ultimately executed for the murder of her husband, Albert; it became a news sensation of the time.
"That said, there's a lot that feels contemporary about feeling trapped in a machine of life that pushes you along without giving you a chance to figure out who you are and why you do things," says play director Jules Odendahl-James.
Machinal was presented by Duke University’s Theater Studies Department from April 3rd - 13th at the Sheafer Theater in West Campus. Directed by Resident Dramaturg and a Visiting Lecturer, Jules Odendahl-James. Starring an ensemble cast including Madeleine Pron as the Young Woman and Thomas Kavanagh as Mr. George H. Jones. Videography and editing by Eric Barstow.