Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Featured Play: The Stepmother by Githa Sowerby

Share |
Featured Play: The Stepmother by Githa Sowerby

Women's Press, 2008

Written in 1924, The Stepmother by Githa Sowerby (1876-1970) was performed only once by a private theatre club in London and then vanished. Now, more than eighty years later, the Shaw Festival has unearthed this buried treasure by the gifted writer of the acclaimed Rutherford and Son. A twist on the “wicked stepmother” story, the play centres on Lois Relph, a young stepmother who cares deeply for her new daughters, owns a thriving dressmaking shop and seems to have it all. But behind closed doors, the picture is very different. Her husband is caught up in one unsuccessful business deal after another and uses her money to stay in the game, and her relationship with an empathetic neighbour is becoming dangerously close. A play that takes a fascinating look at a successful woman who struggles to define what being a wife, mother and business woman mean—a story whose resonance can still be felt today.

The Stepmother is co-published by Women’s Press and the Academy of the Shaw Festival.

Githa Sowerby was an early feminist playwright whose work was neglected for many years, but has received increasing attention since the early 1990s. It was not thought, however, that the script of The Stepmother had survived until it was recently discovered in the archives of Samuel French Ltd. in London.

From the catalogue. Read more about The Stepmother at the Canadian Scholars' Press website. Women's Press is an imprint of Canadian Scholars' Press.