The PlayFinder™

Type of Play

MenWomenTotal Cast

Subgenre Filter(s) Dark Comedy Farce Historical Melodrama Mystery Romantic Satire Tragedy Thriller

The Madwoman of Chaillot

Jean Giraudoux, adapted by Maurice Valency
ISBN: 978-0-8222-0714-6
Full Length, Drama
Principal roles for 17 men and 8 women plus a number of minor roles, some without lines
Total Cast: 25, 1 Interior, 1 Exterior
FEE: $80 per performance. SPECIAL NOTE: The incidental music, written especially for this play, is available in photocopy form through the Play Service for $5.00, plus shipping. There is no additional fee for the use of his music.
THE STORY: The play is a kind of poetic and comic fable set in the twilight zone of the not-quite-true. At the Cafe Chez Francis, a group of promoters plot to tear up Paris in order to unearth the oil which a prospector believes he has located in the neighborhood. These grandiose plans come to the attention of The Madwoman of Chaillot who is ostensibly not normal in her mind but who is soon shown to be the very essence of practical worldly goodness and common sense. She sees through the crookedness of the prospector and insists that the world is being turned into an unhappy place by the thieves and those who are greedy for worldly goods and power. At a tea party attended by other "mad" women of Paris, she has brought together representatives of the despoilers of the earth and wreckers of its happiness, and has them tried and condemned to extermination. In a scene which mounts into the realms of high poetic comedy, she sends the culprits one by one, lured by the scent of oil and undreamed-of riches, into a bottomless pit which opens out of her cellar. The exodus of the wicked is accompanied by another and more beautiful miracle: Joy, justice and love return to the world again.
An outstanding success in New York.