Ladies First

by  James A. Mcdonald, Robert Gerlach

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  9f

In this comedy by the authors of Something's Afoot, Jackie Kennedy is very nervous on an afternoon in January, 1962. She has completed the restoration of the White House and has invited Eleanor, Bess, Mamie, Pat and Lady Bird to give their opinions. And do they ever!

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    9f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

In this comedy by the authors of Something's Afoot, Jackie Kennedy is very nervous on an afternoon in January, 1962. She has completed the restoration of the White House and has invited Eleanor, Bess, Mamie, Pat and Lady Bird to give their opinions. And do they ever! They criticize the way she runs the White House and take her to task for being uninvolved politically. When Mrs. Roosevelt commands her to head the crusade for women's rights, a hilarious political hurricane ensues. Each discovers something about herself, her relationship with her husband, and how touching and funny it can be to hold the highest non paying job in the U.S.A.
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Keywords

Feminism, Politics

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1960s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: January, 1962. A weekday afternoon. The Yellow Oval Room, The White House, Washington, D. C. The events of the play are fictional.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy
  • 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

9f

Six First Ladies and three White House employees

MAUREEN - 20, a new maid, recently arrived from Ireland
HANNAH - 55, a White House maid since the Roosevelt administration
MARIE - 28, Jackie's secretary; efficent, ambitious, friendly with Jackie
JACQUELINE (JACKIE ) KENNEDY - 32, determined, born to rule ten years from now; her voice is breathy until she wants to make a point; she is dressed by Chanel
MAMIE EISENHOWER - 65, looks ten years younger; gregarious, with srrong opinions; petite and wears a suit that emphasizes her tiny waist; her hat is pink
BESS TRUMAN - 76, dry, shrewd; wears a small, flowered hat, a good, belted, flowered dress, and sensible shoes
LADY BIRD JOHNSON - 49, small, effusive, with a Texas accent; hatless and her hair is teased; her dress is from Neiman-Marcus
PAT NIXON - 48, sleek, blonde, cool; hatless and wears a becoming American suit
ELEANOR ROOSEVELT - 77, dynamic; wears a dark two-piece dress and a hat, which, like her fox-skins, are all years out-of-date

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Cast Attributes

  • All Female
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
  • Parts for Senior Actors

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Authors

James A. Mcdonald

James A. Mcdonald

Robert Gerlach

Robert Gerlach

Ladies First was first presented by Centenary College on November 13, 1980, at the Matjorie Lyons Playhouse in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was directed by Robert R. Buseick. Staged readings of the play were presented at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, and at Playwrights Horizons in New York City.

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