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The Insanity of Mary Girard - Short Play, Drama

The Insanity of Mary Girard

Lanie Robertson

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Short Play, Drama

3m, 4f

ISBN: 9780573622274

"An engrossing drama on the abuse of the mentally ill." - The Times-Picayune

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Short Play


Time Period - 16th Century / Elizabethan

Settings Of Play - A lunatic cell in the basement of the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.


Cutting Approved for Competition, UIL Approved, Competition or audition material

Bare Stage/Simple Set

Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Period Costumes


Intense Adult Themes




College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

In 1790, Mary Girard is committed to an asylum. After Mary became pregnant by another man, her husband had her declared legally insane. Now, Mary sits in a chair as the "furies" dance around and impersonate people from her past. By the end of this haunting and highly theatrical piece, she has grown rather convincingly into her diagnosis.


"An engrossing drama on the abuse of the mentally ill." - The Times-Picayune

"Compelling." - DC Theater Scene

"[The Insanity of Mary Girard] is well-crafted." - Gambit Weekly

First produced at The Painted Bride Art Center by Theatre Center Philadelphia on July 4, 1976.



3m, 4f

MARY GIRARD - a very attractive woman of 29 years.
THE FURIES - three women, two men of any age.
THE WARDER - a man of any age.
MRS. LUM - Mary's mother.
STEPHEN GIRARD - Mary's husband, ten years her senior.
MR. PHILLIPS - a steward of Pennsylvania Hospital and a man in his forties.
POLLY KEATON - a young woman.
MRS. HATCHER - a woman approximately Mary's own age.

Lanie Robertson

Lanie Robertson writes about iconic artists and the societal issues they faced in Nasty Little Secrets, Alfred Stiegletz Loves O’Keeffe, and Woman Before a Glass. His plays have been produced internationally and at the Alley Theatre, Arena Stage, Delaware Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, Festival d’Avignon, George Street Playhouse, Kennedy Center, Old Globe, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Playwrights ... view full profile

Now Playing
Casey Rush 4/2/2017 12:36 PM
I just completed directing a very successful production of "The Insanity of Mary Girard"; our program, Mount Desert Island High School, won its first State Championship in twenty-one years with this play in 2017. It is an excellent "star vehicle" for a strong female, but it is the ensemble possibilities that exist within the five Furies and the characters they become in Mary's visions and dreams that makes this a truly stellar piece, especially for a cast of capable physical actors.

One note of caution: it is very seductive to play the emotions and "insanity" of the piece totally over the top, but it is a subtle approach to characterization and action that I found most interesting and successful. Also, I was fortunate to have an exceptionally capable and mature actress to play Mary. Not every high school girl (or boy for that matter) will be willing to be strapped into the "tranquilizing chair," head completely covered with a box as is required in the story.
Cheryl Germann 10/18/2016 4:30 PM
Courtney Kilmer 8/24/2016 9:40 PM

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