A Stitch in Time by Earl Halbe

Synopsis

In early 20th Century rural America, a young girl has been given a dress at the age of twelve by her mother, who had received it from her mother. At the age of seventeen, and after the tragic death of her parents, the girl, Millie Henderson, uses the dress as inspiration, as she faces the monumental task of raising her two younger sisters, while attempting to keep the family together in the only home they’ve ever known.

Cast of Characters
(In order of appearance)

  • MILLIE HENDERSON: A young farm girl

  • MILLIE HENDERSON: 12-year-old Millie (Optional. Appears in Scene 1)

  • AMANDA HENDERSON: Millie’s motherMAGGIE HENDERSON: Millie’s youngest sister, 5 years old

  • MARGARET HENDERSON: Sister to Maggie and Millie, 7 years old

  • TOM HENDERSON: The Henderson Family patriarch. Works at feed store.

  • ABBY WILBERRY: Spoiled bratty girl, Millie’s classmate and nemesis at school

  • GAIL WILBERRY: Abby’s twin sister, cut from the same cloth as Abby

  • PASTOR JIM HINKLE: Town Preacher

  • TODD HUMBOLDT: Millie’s classmate at school, son of large, influential farming family

  • MISS JUNE WITHERS: School Teacher

  • FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS, TOWNSFOLK: Non-speaking roles/Ensemble

Production Notes

  • Minimum set requirements: A small wooden trunk for “the dress,” four wooden chairs, a small kitchen table, and one small wooden bench.

  • The cast consists of seven girls and three boys. If desired, the part of the twelve year old Millie in scene one, can be played by another shorter and/ or younger girl.

  • After scene two, the actors that play Tom and Amanda make a simple costume change and join the chorus of friends, neighbors, and townsfolk for the remainder of the production.

  • The “updates” to the dress over the years can be handled easily by using small stick-on velcro to attach ribbons and bows, as well as Millie’s bridal train in the final scene. The use of a sash tied around the waist is a quick and easy way to make the dress appear to become “updated” and more festive.

  • The director may wish to have a second dress similar in style and color, permanently stored in the trunk for Amanda to use in scene one. This will free up the actual dress that will be used in the rest of the production. A simple, ankle length, cream or neutral colored dress works best.

The Setting
A small farming community in East Central Illinois, Circa 1922

 

In the News

Also available from this Playwright

ISBN #1-60513-280-2; JAC #2017-0008
MEET EARL HALBE

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