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An American Daughter

An American Daughter
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Wendy Wasserstein
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 76
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 0822216337
ISBN-13: 9780822216339
Cast Size: 6 women, 8 men

About the Play:

An American Daughter has become a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

An American Daughter is a full-length drama by Wendy Wasserstein. A candidate for U.S. Surgeon General, who is the daughter of a famous senator, finds her campaign in trouble when a past indiscretion is revealed and treated as a scandal. The play was inspired by President Clinton's nomination for attorney general of corporate lawyer, Zoe Baird, doomed by the disclosure that she had failed to pay social security taxes for domestic help.

An American Daughter is set in Washington, D.C. and focuses on Dr. Lyssa Dent Hughes, a health care expert and forty-something daughter of a long-time Senator. When the President nominates Lyssa to a Cabinet post, an indiscretion from her past is discovered. The media turns it into a scandal which imperils her confirmation and divides her family and friends. Lyssa is forced to make a decision: continue to pursue the post and face an ugly Senate hearing; or decline the nomination, becoming a sacrificial lamb for the President. Partisan politics in our nation's capital, however, are nothing compared to the personal politics in Lyssa's living room, where complicated relationships unravel with her father, husband and her best girlfriend – not to mention the awkward encounters she has with an exuberant neo-feminist author and a relentless TV journalist.

An American Daughter was first staged in 1996 at Seattle Repertory Theatre during the New Play Workshop Series. The play premiered on Broadway in a Lincoln Center Theater production at the Cort Theatre in 1997, and has become a popular choice for school and community theatre productions.

Cast: 6 women, 8 men

What people say:

"With An American Daughter, Wendy Wasserstein gets angry. Or rather, the anger that's always slept beneath her humor wakes up and announces itself…with the playwright's commitment and compassion (and another "c" — craft) that, put together, make for her most ambitious work to date." — Variety

"Political comedies are unusual if only because dramatists rarely seem to take politics seriously enough to make fun of it. Wendy Wasserstein is obviously an exception, for in An American Daughter she is making a distinct and often amusing attempt to expose that soft underbelly of American political life, its media awareness and its consequent confusion of public opinion polls with democracy." — New York Post

About the Playwright:

Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006) was an American playwright, novelist, and an Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. She received the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1989 for her play, The Heidi Chronicles, often touted as a precursor to the HBO television series, Sex and the City. Over the course of her career, spanning four decades, she wrote eleven plays and is one of those rare playwrights whose work is performed regularly in schools and community theater as well as commercial venues. She was admired both for the warmth and the satirical cool of her writing; each of her plays and books captures an essence of the time, makes us laugh, and leaves us wiser.

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