A Stitch in Time
by Earl Halbe
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.
(In order of appearance)
A young farm girl
12-year-old Millie (Optional. Appears in Scene 1)
Millie’s motherMAGGIE HENDERSON: Millie’s youngest sister, 5 years old
Sister to Maggie and Millie, 7 years old
TOM HENDERSON: The
Henderson Family patriarch. Works at feed store.
Spoiled bratty girl, Millie’s classmate and nemesis at school
Abby’s twin sister, cut from the same cloth as Abby
HINKLE: Town Preacher
Millie’s classmate at school, son of large, influential farming family
WITHERS: School Teacher
TOWNSFOLK: Non-speaking roles/Ensemble
Minimum set requirements: A small wooden trunk for
“the dress,” four wooden chairs, a small kitchen table, and one small
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.
A small farming community in East Central Illinois, Circa
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