Synopsis: The year is 1912. Driven into bankruptcy by embezzling employees, celebrated journalist Nellie Bly has embarked on a lecture tour in order to pay off her debts. Knowing that the audience won’t want to hear about anything “depressing,” she recounts the many highlights of her astounding career, including the ten days she spent in a madhouse, exposing the wretched conditions there, and her record-breaking solo voyage around the world. Actually she does far more than just recount them — she dramatizes them in lively fashion, taking on the voices and personalities of dozens of different characters, male and female, assisted by an entire wardrobe trunk full of costumes and props. Ultimately she can’t resist telling the sad story of her downfall as well, but ends the evening on a hopeful note.
[Nellie Bly] is beautifully literate, urban, witty and strong willed, with an obvious ferocity of spirit.
– TWISI Theatre Blog
Amateur and professional rights:
Gary L. Blackwood
About the Playwright: Though he’s best known as an author of novels and nonfiction books for middle readers and young adults (The Shakespeare Stealer series, The Year of the Hangman, Second Sight), Gary L. Blackwood has also penned a dozen stage plays, mostly for adult audiences. Dark Horse won the Ferndale (CA) Repertory Theatre’s competition in 1993; The Count of One was winner of the 2001 Festival of Firsts in Carmel, CA; Fateville took top prize at the 2003 Dayton FutureFest. His adaptation of Edith Wharton’s Ethan Frome is published by Samuel French. His stage adaptation of The Shakespeare Stealer has been produced by most of the top children’s theatres in the States, including Seattle and Nashville, and is published by Playscripts.com.
Two Hours In A Madhouse was first presented at the Marigold Cultural Centre, Truro, NS June, 2012.
The show is funny and cerebral, it will engage your mind, grasp you firmly by the heart, surprise you, and whisk you
away to places you never thought you would go.
– New Glasgow News