Sophie Treadwell

Sophie Treadwell

Sophie Treadwell (October 3, 1885 – February 20, 1970), was a leading American playwright and journalist of the first half of the 20th century. Among her prominent works are Machinal (French for mechanical, automatic, or involuntary) and Intimations For Saxophone. As a journalist, she conducted an exclusive interview with Pancho Villa [1] for the New York Tribune in 1921. She was also an actress and was mentored by renowned Polish actress Helena Modjeska. The majority of Treadwell's works are stored at the University of Arizona Library Special Collections and the rest at The Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library. The rights to them are owned by the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Tucson: A Corporation Sole. "Broadway's Bravest Woman: Selected Writings of Sophie Treadwell" published by Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale (2006)


  • The Right Man (1908)
  • An Outcast at the Christian Door (serial) (1914)
  • An Unwritten Chapter (1915) (stage adaptation of serial How I Got My Husband and How I Lost Him)
  • Claws (1916)
  • Gringo (1922)
  • O Nightingale (1925)
  • Machinal (1928) (also titled The Life Machine in the London premiere)
  • Ladies Leave (1929)
  • Lusita (novel)(1931)
  • Intimations For Saxophone (1934)
  • Plumes in the Dust (1936)
  • Hope for a Harvest (1941)
  • Highway (1944)
  • One Fierce Hour and Sweet (novel) (1959)
  • Woman with Lilies (1967)


  • Treadwell's play Machinal was inspired by the life and execution of convicted murderess Ruth Snyder.

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  • Treadwell, Sophie — (1885 1970)    Born in Stockton, California, the playwright served briefly as secretary to Helena Modjeska, then became a reporter. She traveled to France to cover World War I. In 1921, she achieved a major coup by getting an interview with… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

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  • PLAYS AND ANTHOLOGIES — Acosta, Mercedes de. Women in Turmoil: Six Plays by Mercedes de Acosta. Ed. Robert A. Schanke. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2003. Barlow, Judith E., ed. Plays by American Women, 1900 1930. New York: Applause, 2001. Clark,… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Machinal — Infobox Play name = Machinal image size = 180px caption = writer = Sophie Treadwell genre = tragedy setting = An office; a flat; a hotel; a hospital; a speakeasy; a furnished room; a drawing room; a court room; a prison; in the dark subject =… …   Wikipedia

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  • Machinal —    The expressionist drama by Sophie Treadwell, produced and directed by Arthur Hopkins with scene designs by Robert Edmond Jones, opened on 7 September 1928 at the Plymouth Theatre and ran for 93 performances. Having worked as both a stunt and… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

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