presented by UCC Dramat
American playwright Lillian Hellman published The Children’s Hour in 1934. Set in a fictional New England town, Hellman’s play depicts the story of Karen Wright and Martha Dobie – two women unjustly accused of homosexual activity by one of their students in an all-girls boarding school. Facing outrage from the community, both women fear the immient closure of the school whilst they defend themselves.
At its premiere, Hellman’s play was a controversial piece that caused the author to be blacklisted from Hollywood. Many deemed The Children’s Hour too scandalous to be nominated for the Pulitzer prize – a decision that outraged the New York theatre critics into forming the Drama Critics’ Circle in protest. Regardless, it was an immense success and was praised by audiences both in American and Europe. Today, The Children’s Hour remains a haunting reminder of the horrors of intolerance.