Engaging Shaw

by  John Morogiello

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  2m, 2f

The hilarious true story of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw’s relationship with wealthy heiress Charlotte Payne-Townshend. According to her, “no man can resist a woman once she has set her sights upon him, unless thwarted by another woman.” But confirmed bachelor Shaw may prove to be more than she bargained for.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Biography, Period, Docudrama/Historic, Romantic Comedy
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Scene work
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

He considered himself the superman. She allowed him to believe it. Engaging Shaw is the hilarious true story of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw’s relationship with wealthy heiress Charlotte Payne-Townshend. According to her, “no man can resist a woman once she has set her sights upon him, unless thwarted by another woman.” But confirmed bachelor Shaw may prove to be more than she bargained for. Can she romance an unromantic man? Can Shaw reconcile his intellectual theories with emotional reality?
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Reviews

Engaging Shaw is a charming romantic comedy featuring four razor-sharp tongues. If there’s a minute of the play that’s less than clever, you’ll be hard pressed to find it.” - Ken Jaworowski, The New York Times

"Exactly the type of work that nonprofit theaters dedicated to producing new plays and musicals should be doing - arresting, intellectually stimulating." - Stephen Wells, The New York Times

"Engaging Shaw is exactly that...a spirited and intelligent combat of words and sparkling banter." - Variety

“The play is written like one of [Shaw’s], with talk zipping in thrilling, dizzying circles. We know how the story ends before it's begun, but getting there - through spirited debate, heated emotion and the occasional flinty spark of desire - is thought-provoking fun.” - Los Angeles Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 19th Century
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The drawing room of a cottage in Stratford, among other locations
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

2m, 2f
SIDNEY WEBB - 38-40. Energetic, short, working class accent, lisp.
BEATRICE WEBB - 38-40. Sidney’s wife, upper class accent.
BERNARD SHAW - 40-42. An Irish music and drama critic who dabbles in playwriting.
CHARLOTTE PAYNE TOWNSHEND - 40-42. An heiress from Ireland.
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

John Morogiello

John Morogiello is a Playwright in Residence at the Maryland State Arts Council and a member of the Dramatists Guild. His comedy The Consul, The Tramp, and America's Sweetheart won the 2015 Julie Harris Playwright Award, the 2015 Dayton Playhouse FutureFest, and was a finalist for the Christopher Brian Wolk Award from ...

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Engaging Shaw was first presented by Langdon Brown at Old Castle Theatre Company, under Artistic Director Eric Peterson, in Bennington, Vermont, on August 20, 2006. It was directed by Mr. Brown. The play was subsequently presented Off Broadway by Abingdon Theatre Company at the Dorothy Strelsin Theatre in New York City on April 18, 2010. It was directed by Jackob G. Hofmann.

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