The PlayFinder™

Type of Play

MenWomenTotal Cast

Dark Comedy Farce Historical Melodrama Mystery Romantic Satire Tragedy Thriller

The Widow Claire

Full Length, Drama
8 men, 2 women
Total Cast: 10, Flexible Set
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-1253-9

MIN. PERFORMANCE FEE: $105 per performance.
THE STORY: After returning to Harrison, Texas, from his disastrous visit with his mother and sister (and his new stepfather) in Houston, Horace Robedaux has moved into a local boarding house prior to returning to Houston to take a six week business course. During his brief stay at home he falls suddenly and passionately in love with an attractive but rather self-centered young widow, Claire, who, as it happens, already has several suitors, not to mention two rather overactive small children. From the first it is apparent that Horace’s hopes are futile, and the other boarders—mostly cigar smoking, poker players—take delight in ribbing Horace about the Widow Claire’s “reputation” and the mischief he can expect from her captious offspring. Their warnings prove to be all too true, and the gentle Horace is even drawn by the widow’s young son into a disastrous (for him) fistfight with another of her suitors. As the play ends Horace is reconciled to yet another defeat in his young life, and prepares to depart for Houston a sadder but, hopefully, wiser person. And the audience is left with a haunting, eloquent evocation of a time and place where life may have seemed simpler but was, in truth, as filled with compromises, disappointments and the need for strength of mind and spirit as our own more complex times.
Part of the author’s nine play cycle entitled The Orphans’ Home. Following Lily Dale in time, the play deals with the vicissitudes of young Horace Robedaux after he returns to Harrison, Texas, and conceives a futile passion for a comely but rather flighty young widow.

“Foote as ever is a graceful, gentlemanly writer with a compassionate understanding of the needs and hungers of his Texas backwater folk.” —Variety.

“…THE WIDOW CLAIRE has the lucid details and buried poignancy of a naturalistic American short story from the era in which it is set.” —The New York Times.

“…honesty in his characters, the salient thrust of energy in his story-telling and his remarkable ability to evoke the past by making it alive with the historical present…” —New York Post.