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Type of Play

MenWomenTotal Cast

Dark Comedy Farce Historical Melodrama Mystery Romantic Satire Tragedy Thriller


Full Length, Comedy
1 man, 3 women
Total Cast: 4, Flexible Set
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-4163-8


MIN. PERFORMANCE FEE: $105 per performance.
THE STORY: From the brawny castles of 16th-century France, to the rugged plains of 1960s Idaho, to the strapping palaces of 1920s India, all hail the remarkable stories of the Great Men—as told by their whiny, witchy, vapid, vengeful, jealous wives. In this kaleidoscopic, time-hopping, comic ensemble piece, Jaclyn Backhaus pushes past patriarchal cliché to reach an ecstatic breakthrough, untethering stories and history—and language itself—from the visions made by men. A play about women taking control of their narratives with the help of each other, their feeling, and a giant fish.
“Jaclyn Backhaus’s WIVES, a swift and playful feminist manifesto, tells us flat-out that it’s looking to mess with narrative norms…It aims to challenge our assumptions about historical truth and about what makes a ‘well made’ drama, digging down to the roots of individuals, social structures, and theatrical structures and attempting, sometimes violently, to purge the toxins it finds there…a funny, ferocious, long overdue celebration.” —New York Magazine.

“…it’s hard to resist the angry, happy spectacle that Ms. Backhaus [has] made…WIVES is a gleeful work of historical subversion.” —The New York Times.

“…[a] frantically funny and freestyle commentary on how patriarchal history pigeonholes the women that clichés tell us were behind great men…WIVES not only packs a lot of laughs, but a good deal of spirit as well.” —BroadwayWorld.