Mint Theater Company presents
Feb 7 – Mar 18, 2023
Masks are required Tuesday evenings and Sunday matinees. At all other performances, masks are optional but strongly encouraged.
“It’s a rare play that can inspire applause from a line of dialogue and cheers as the lights go down on the final act, odder still for one getting its world première nearly a century after it was written. But that’s what’s happening at the Mint’s production of this remarkable 1931 drama by Betty Smith, the author of the novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, directed by Britt Berke.”
—Ken Marks, The New Yorker
Becomes a Woman is one of Mint Theater Company’s most exciting discoveries ever: the World Premiere of an unpublished and unproduced play by Betty Smith, author of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Smith’s novel was a best-selling sensation when it was published in 1943, as well as the source for two movie versions and a musical.
Readers of Smith’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age story may remember that 11-year-old Francie Nolan longed to be a “writer of plays.” Like Francie, Betty Smith’s first love was the theater. Although she never graduated from high school, she ended up pursuing an education at the University of Michigan where she won the Avery Hopwood Prize. Smith’s prize-winning play was called Francie Nolan, after its 19-year-old protagonist, but she ended up changing the title to Becomes a Woman—an apt description of the play’s story.
In Becomes a Woman, Francie is nineteen, living with her family in Brooklyn and working at a five and dime store as a singer at the sheet music counter. Her co-workers describe her as “afraid of her family, afraid of the boss, afraid to make a date. Afraid that something might happen to her. But just you wait! She’s the kind that some smooth-tongued fellow will get hold of someday. When he’s through, she’ll be broken like that.” Which is exactly what happens to Francie, leaving her to pick up the pieces in a shocking display of independence and courage.
Written by Betty Smith
Directed by Britt Berke
Christopher Reed Brown
Emma Pfitzer Price
Sets: Vicki R. Davis
Costumes: Emilee McVey-Lee
Lights: M.L. Geiger
Sound & Original Music: M. Florian Staab
Props: Chris Fields
Dialects & Dramaturgy: Amy Stoller
Intimacy & Fight Director: Cha Ramos
Casting: Stephanie Klapper, CSA
Production Stage Manager: Jeff Meyers
Stage Manager: Arthur Atkinson & Miriam Hyfler
Illustration: Stefano Imbert
Graphics: Hey Jude Design, Inc.
Photo Credit: Todd Cerveris
Press: David Gersten & Associates
Associate Producer: Matthew McVey-Lee
Producing Artistic Director: Jonathan Bank