Female Nude Seated
- 2019, readings in Southwest Harbor, ME and at Highlands Inn, Bethlehem, NH.
- 2020, an excerpt included in100 Monologues From New Plays 2020--Women (Applause Books, edited by Larry Harbison)
The play opens at midnight in a bedroom in a student rooming house, London, 1917. Mainie Jellet, 21, is having a nightmare. She wakes up screaming, turns the light on, and uncovers her easel to check the painting she has been working on. Still upset, she makes an attempt to drink a jar of paint thinner. Interrupted by fellow student Evie Hone, she spills the turpentine. The two women, both Dubliners, do not know each other.
Evie helps clean up the turpentine and brings a bottle of brandy. As the two women get to know each other, Mainie tells a horrific story of sexual harassment by one of her professors, who today is rumored to have been Jack the Ripper.
Mainie is in the middle of a serious identity crisis. Her year in London has opened her eyes to the truth about the “Great War,” and also about the Easter Rising. Raised in a Protestant, Unionist household, she learned to view Catholics as heathens, Irish rebels as traitors, and the war as a heroic defense of the glorious British Empire. Mainie is also beginning to question the traditional canon of male painters, and especially representational art, which she considers voyeuristic. Because of her radicalization, she feels she cannot go home.
Evie Hone, as an orphan and survivor of polio, has her own experience of losing home. She, too, is at a turning point and has made plans to enter a convent. Tempers flare and Evie challenges Mainie to paint her disabled body. Mainie, embracing the challenge, breaks through to a new form of artistic expression, one that emphasizing spiritual principle over outward appearance. Recognizing their need for each other, the two women agree to leave London and move to Paris together to seek out teachers who are breaking tradition. Instead of Evie entering a convent, the women decide to form their own community of women, women artists who share their values.