In conjunction with its world premiere production of Not Enough Air by Masha Obolensky, TimeLine Theatre Company will present a series of concert readings of the landmark play that inspired Obolensky's work, Machinal by Sophie Treadwell.
Sophie Treadwell's Machinal is one of the most acclaimed dramas of the 20th Century and is regarded as a highpoint of expressionist theater on the American stage. Inspired by the real-life murder trial of Ruth Snyder that snared sensational headlines during the 1920s, this emotional play tells the story of Everywoman through nine episodes. Each scene depicts a subsequent phase in a young woman's life, and as Treadwell notes in her stage directions: "The plan is to tell this story by showing the different phases of life that the woman comes in contact with, and in none of which she finds any place, any peace. The woman is essentially soft, tender, and the life around her is essentially, hard, mechanized." Told in true Expressionist style, this thought-provoking story was hailed by the New York Times upon its Broadway debut in 1928 as "a triumph of individual distinction, gleaming with intangible beauty."