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by Sophie Treadwell

First produced in the 1920s, and inspired by the sensational murder trial of Ruth Snyder, "Machinal" explores the compelling downfall of a character simply entitled “Young Woman.” Intentionally penned as an archetype, she faces the oppression and lack of personal freedoms that were representative of a patriarchal and industrialized society. When pressured to marry against her will, she suffers through a loveless marriage—despite having achieved a degree of financial security. After discovering libertion through a secret affair, her quest for freedom and identity takes a tragic turn.

Despite some early critical acclaim, "Machinal" struggled to compete in an industry dominated by male writers. This irony was not lost on the author, who gradually became disenchanted with the theatre of her time. "Machinal" stands as her most powerful and successful work. Recent scholarship and a wave of revivals are codifying the piece as a classic example of Expressionism, and an early exploration of feminist themes. Now, nearly a century later, the play is fulfilling the predictions of the New York Times, which asserted that the play “in a hundred years…should still be vital and vivid.”

Admission is free for anyone with a valid TLU ID, but tickets are required for entry. To purchase or reserve tickets, please visit the Weston Center box office or email Box office hours are Monday through Friday, from 3 - 5:30 p.m., beginning two weeks prior to the opening performance. In the event of a school holiday, the box office will open on the first available school day thereafter.


  • Friday, Nov. 2, 7:30-10 P.M.
  • Saturday, Nov. 3, 7:30-10 P.M.
  • Sunday, Nov. 4, 2:30-5 P.M.
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 2:30-5 P.M.
  • Friday, Nov. 9, 7:30-10 P.M.
  • Saturday, Nov. 10, 7:30-10 P.M.