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A Jury of Her Peers

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A Jury of Her Peers

by Susan Glaspell

Genre: Drama
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

Can I see John?’ ‘No,’ says she–kind of dull like. ‘Ain’t he home?’ says I. Then she looked at me. ‘Yes,’ says she, ‘he’s home.’ ‘Then why can’t I see him?’ I asked her, out of patience with her now. ”Cause he’s dead,’ says she, just as quiet and dull–and fell to pleatin’ her apron. ‘Dead?’ says I, like you do when you can’t take in what you’ve heard.

“She just nodded her head, not getting a bit excited, but rockin’ back and forth.

“‘Why–where is he?’ says I, not knowing what to say.

“She just pointed upstairs–like this”–pointing to the room above.

“I got up, with the idea of going up there myself. By this time I–didn’t know what to do. I walked from there to here; then I says: ‘Why, what did he die of?’

“‘He died of a rope round his neck,’ says she; and just went on pleatin’ at her apron.”



COMMENTS:

“Trifles.” It tells the story of two women who solve a murder just by keen observation, while their fellas, looking for big clues (like blood and motivation) miss the entire scene. An adaptation might explore the very buried subtext of “should we share what we’re observing with the boarish detectives?, or should we let the murderer, who is a fellow WIFE…go free?”

With a little more psychological exploration than Glaspell provides, this could be a terrific full-length one-act musical.


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