In setting forth his study of American Womanhood (and how she got to be what and where she is) the author begins at the beginning—with Eve and the apple. From this earliest hint of what was to come he moves on, in historical sequence, through biblical and Elizabethan times and, drawing closer to home, to the lot of Indian squaws and Puritan and Colonial ladies. Supplementing his own sprightly imagination with vivid excerpts from journals, biographies, letters, plays, newspapers, sermons, and even trial extracts he constructs a well-defined and amusing picture of his ever changing yet always intriguing subject. As times (and mores) move on, the author sharpens focus on his subject with witty examinations of the first American working girl; the educated woman; the frontier wife; the suffragette; the bloomer girl and the clubwoman. The men may be reluctant to admit it, but "The American Dame" is on her way to becoming an equal partner with the male. In fact before the cycle is complete the admission is finally and grudgingly made that perhaps women are the superior sex after all.
The author describes a "play/out" as "an entertainment where actors announce a theme and then play it out." In this case the theme is the saga of American Womanhood, humorously and comprehensively set forth through material drawn from a wide range of sources. The general format is a series of contiguous skits and readings, done without scenery and employing only the "simplest of props and snatches of costumes."