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The Insanity of Mary Girard

The Insanity of Mary Girard
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Lanie Robertson
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 50
Pub. Date: 1979
ISBN-10: 0573622272
ISBN-13: 9780573622274
Cast Size: 3 women, 4 men

About the Play:

The Insanity of Mary Girard is full-length drama by Lanie Robertson. Based on a true story, Mary is committed to Philadelphia's only institution for the insane in the basement of Pennsylvania Hospital in 1790. Wife of a rich businessman, we learn just what it takes to be labelled, and become, insane.

The Insanity of Mary Girard is the real-life story of a Philadelphia women who spent the last 25 years of her life in a mental institution. In 1790, Mary Girard is committed to an asylum. After Mary became pregnant by another man, her husband took swift and immediate action. He had her declared legally insane. The play is set on the first night of Mary's confinement, Mary sits alone in the basement psycho ward, strapped into a "tranquilizing" chair while her "furies" dance around and manipulate her by impersonating the people she believes can save her. Through this haunting and highly theatrical piece, we follow Mary as she questions and fights the realities of her sanity under the heavy circumstances she finds herself in.

The Insanity of Mary Girard premiered in 1976 at The Painted Bride Art Center (sometimes referred to informally as "The Bride") in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US and has been mounted by high schools, colleges, and community theatres.

Cast: 4 women, 3 men

What people say:

"An engrossing drama on the abuse of the mentally ill." — The Times-Picayune

"Compelling." — DC Theater Scene

"[The Insanity of Mary Girard] is well-crafted." — Gambit Weekly

About the Playwright:

Lanie Robertson is an American playwright, actor, and educator, best known for his brilliant one woman plays, including Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill, the story of Bille Holliday. Many of his plays were produced in Philadelphia, where he also taught literature and play-writing at the Philadelphia College of Art during the 1970s. He has written over 30 plays for regional and Off-Broadway theater. His plays have been produced in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, and in towns in Virginia, Alaska, and Maine. Internationally, his work has been produced in Canada, England, France, Australia, and Japan.