The Madwoman of Chaillot – Iowa State University Theatre Production

adapted by Maurice Valency from Jean Giraudoux

dyanna dawn quillen as the madwoman of chaillot


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.

April 25, 26, and 27 and May 3 and 4 at 8 p.m.; April 28 and May 5 at 2 p.m. – Fisher Theater, Ames

The Cast

Countess Aurelia – Dyanna Quillen-Blegen
Dr. Jadin & Press Agent – Matt Manning
Irma – Femi Emiola
Lady – Sarah Broughton
Mile. Gabrielle – Heather Neubauer
Mme. Constance – Kelly Trunkle
Mme. Josephine – Jodee Bruce
Paulette (The Brunette) & Lady – Angela Nuss
Pierre – Gregory Brown
Press Agent – Reggie Brunson
The Baron & The Presidents – Jason Soper
The Broker – Chris Sutch
The Deaf-Mute – Margaret Benson
The Doorman & Adolphe Bertauts – Michael McNally
The Flower Girl & Lady – Sarah Menning
The Little Man & Adolphe Bertauts – Scott Stefanc
The Policeman & Propsector – Shane Merrick
The Presidents – Christian B.
The Presidents – Chris Sutch
The Prospectors – Art Blegen
The Prospectors – Mark Edwards
The Ragpicker – Gary Betts
The Sergeant & Press Agent – Darius Jackson
The Sewer-Man – Art Blegen
The Shoelace Peddler & Adolphe Bertauts – Jay Morrison
The Street Juggler – Doug Samuelson
The Street Singer – Eric Marquardt
The Waiter – Todd Isaacs
Therese (The Blonde) – Sarah Broughton

Production Team

Assistant Stage Manager – Reggie Brunson
Costume Designer – Jane Cox
Director – M. Burton Drexler
Lighting Designer – George Dowker
Scenic Designer – Fritz Szabo
Sound Designer – Al Barcheski
Stage Manager – Kelly Nesselroad

Read about Burt Drexler’s final production in the Des Moines Register, the Ames Tribune, and the Iowa State Daily.