SENIOR COMPANY SPRING PLAY 2019
BLUE STOCKINGS by Jessica Swale
Directed by Hallie Flower
AUDITIONS: MONDAY, December 10th 4-6:30 pm
A moving, comical and eye-opening story of four young women fighting for education and self-determination against the larger backdrop of women’s suffrage – and the young men beside them.
1896. Girton College, Cambridge, the first college in Britain to admit women. The Girton girls study ferociously and match their male peers grade for grade. Yet, when the men graduate, the women leave with nothing but the stigma of being a 'blue stocking' - an unnatural, educated woman. They are denied degrees and go home unqualified and unmarriageable.
In Jessica Swale's debut play, Blue Stockings, Tess Moffat and her fellow first years are determined to win the right to graduate. But little do they anticipate the hurdles in their way: the distractions of love, the cruelty of the class divide or the strength of the opposition, who will do anything to stop them. The play follows them over one tumultuous academic year, in their fight to change the future of education.
FIRST READ-THRU Sunday, February 17th 2-5pm
Regular REHEARSALS Begin February 25th
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday 3:45-6:45pm
Tuesday, March 5th 10-4pm (as-called/Town Meeting Day)
Saturdays (as-called) March 23rd, 30th 10-4pm
Tech week rehearsals: Sunday, March 31st 12-5pm
T, W, Th April 2nd, 3rd, 4th 3:45-7pm
DIALECT WORKSHOP: additional weekend hours with visiting artist to learn the UK dialects used in the play TBA.
Friday, April 5th 7pm
Saturday, April 6th 2pm & 7pm
Friday, April 12th 7pm
Saturday, April13th 2pm & 7pm
For more information:
Please contact the front office at 802.246.6398 ext 101.
WHAT TO PREPARE:
Bring any brief monologue of your choice (near 1 minute) or one of the speeches below. And be prepared to play!
You really have no idea, do you. You should watch yourself, Tess. I’ve never – I haven’t – I mean, I’ve never had a Ralph. I want that too. Almost more than anything. But being here… it’s not until it’s taken away that you understand. They sent me home. Nervous exhaustion. I worked through till dawn every night then went straight to prayers. I had to fight to come back. What would I have done if they’d said no? Don’t throw this away. Not when it’s only started.
That girl on the roof. What would she say to that? If she knew you when you were grown, that you’d be standing here, now, ready to go home? You owe her more than that. We might graduate. Can’t you see? WE’d be the first. The first! Thank god we’re not like Annabel. WE’re not passengers. People like us don’t get buffeted by the wind: we change it’s course. WE are the luckiest, luckiest women alive. And you’re ready to pack up and go home? You do what you have to, but if you leave now you might as well have cracked your skull because that little girl would never forgive you. And nor would I.
You know they say Orion fell so desperately in love with them that he chased them right across the world. So Zeus turned them into stars, to keep them safe. All but the youngest. Merope. She’d fallen in love with a human. I think they stole way, the two of them. He took her somewhere where no one could find them. That’s why they thought there were only six stars in Pleiades. He hid her because he wanted to keep her safe. ( Pause.) I went to the observatory this afternoon. I looked for the seventh star, but I couldn’t see her. There was a smudge on the lens. And my mind was elsewhere.
You think that – that joke of an education – gives you the right to set foot here? This isn’t some country-hole second-rate pauper college. We’re not average men here. We are the future. The leaders. The establishment. We don’t sleep, we don’t rest, we don’t give up and we don’t come in second. We learn. It is our right. It’s our blood. And we stop at nothing. These buildings. They make us men. Eight hundred years we’ve studied here. We built this country. We made this nation. Then you. You what? Waltz in with your bonnets and your pretensions and your preposterous self-belief and think you have a right to set foot in these walls? To put yourself on a level with us because you can heat a test tube on a burner? You’re a joke.
No. Look, I’m sorry. My father has expectations. Plans for me. And you can’t argue with the man. Girton is – well, it’s political. I treid to broach it with him but he was adamant, you know what it’s like. Newnham isn’t radical, it’s respectable, they’re not involved with all this stuf, graduation rights. Listen, I’m a scientist, I wasn’t cut out to be a politician. I didn’t want this, I didn’t choose it. If you see her, will you wish her well.
8-14m, 8-10f (12-16 actors with doubling)
The Girton Girls
TESS MOFFAT, a curious girl
CELIA WILLBOND, a fragile hard worker
CAROLYN ADDISON, an early bohemian
MAEVE SULLIVAN, a mystery
RALPH MAYHEW, a student at Trinity
LLOYD, a student at Trinity
EDWARDS, a student at Trinity
WILL BENNETT, a student at King’s; Tess’s friend
ELIZABETH WELSH, Mistress of Girton College
DR MAUDSLEY, renowned psychiatrist
MR BANKS, a lecturer at Girton & Trinity
MISS BLAKE, a lecturer at Girton
PROFESSOR COLLINS, a lecturer at Trinity
PROFESSOR ANDERSON, a lecturer at Trinity
PROFESSOR RADLEIGH, a board member at Trinity
MINNIE, the housemaid
MISS BOTT, a chaperone
BILLY SULLIVAN, Maeve’s brother
MRS Lindley, shopkeeper in the haberdashery
Also a LIBRARIAN, additional MALE STUDENTS, a LADY and her HUSBAND in the cafe