Jozef, a 10-year-old boy in Gdansk, Poland, has an odd souvenir -- a woman’s shoe. It comes from a hill called Biskupia Gorka, where he has witnessed something on a warm July day that he’ll never forget.
In the spring of 1946, five SS Aufseherinnen (female guards) from the Stutthof concentration camp are sentenced to death by a Soviet/Polish tribunal. Jenny-Wanda Barkmann, infamous for her cruelty and known as the “Beautiful Spectre” by the camp inmates, shares a cell block with 22-year-old Elisabeth Becker; together, they wait out the five weeks until they are scheduled to hang. Elisabeth maintains her innocence and enlists the help of Lech, a Polish guard, to begin crafting a letter-writing campaign to the President of Poland. Jenny, who knows Lech from his previous job, uses that information as leverage to begin a project of her own.
Content warning: Adult content, language, sexuality
MAIDENS was for six First Night awards in 2019: Outstanding Play, Outstanding Original Work (winner), Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play (Molly Breen and Megan Dianne DeWald), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play (Andy Kanies) and Outstanding Sound Design in a Play (William Kyle Odum).
Trailer for production:
Kenley Smith discusses his process of writing, directing and producing the critically acclaimed historical fiction play MAIDENS. Q&A session to follow. Suggested audiences: College/University Departments (Theatre, Creative Writing/English, History, Political Science, Jewish Studies, Holocaust Studies); Corporate Events; Social, Sororal, and Fraternal Organizations; Writing Groups; Social Justice Groups, Non-Profit Groups, General Theatre Audience
Kenley Smith is the co-founder and director of TPS. He founded Studio Roanoke, a not-for-profit Virginia theatre that specialized in the development and production of new works from 2009 to 2012. He also was an Ingram playwright-in-residence at Nashville Repertory Theatre for the 2011-12 season and served as artistic associate for The Writing Room at Nashville Rep from 2015-2017. His full-length play, AKUMA SHIN was a MainStage selection of the 2015 Great Plains Theatre Conference and premiered last spring at Sacred Fools Theatre Company in Los Angeles. EMPIRES OF THE ETERNAL VOID developed through the Nashville Rep’s Ingram New Works Lab, was a MainStage Selection at the 2013 GPTC. DEVIL SEDAN was featured in 2008 at GPTC and has been produced by Baby D Productions in Omaha and by Studio Roanoke, as well as a professional production in 2013 at Playhouse Nashville. DEVIL SEDAN won first place at the Barter Theatre’s 2008 Festival of Appalachian Plays and Playwrights and took top honors in the West Virginia Writers, Inc., Joe McCabe Memorial Playwriting Competition in 2009. SHADE OF THE TREES, a 2010 Barter finalist, went up at Studio Roanoke in August, 2009, and his “Famous Bobby Pence” trilogy – consisting of DEVIL SEDAN, TWELVE STATIONS OF THE CROSS and THE BRAND New Testament - was produced there in 2010-11. MONKEY WRENCH was produced at Studio Roanoke in April, 2012. Kenley earned an M.F.A. in Playwriting and an M.A. in English and Creative Writing, both from Hollins University. He has taught playwriting at Randolph College, the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference, and the Fall Creative Writing Conference at Middle Tennessee State University.
Email us with your date preferences and budget, and we will contact you to discuss/confirm. Suggested fee is $250. We can work with budgets for HCBUs or programs with limited resources/special circumstances.
Email us with your date preferences and budget, and we will contact you to discuss/confirm. Suggested fee is $400/day plus travel expenses.
Email us to discuss arrangements/budget.