The Sweet Girl Graduate

Written by:

Sarah Anne Curzon

Cast Size:
6

Roles For:

  • Men: 2
  • Women: 4

Genre:

Comedy
Historical

Themes:

19th Century
Canadian History
Cross-Dressing
Feminism
Gender

Length:

30 min.

Year Written:

1882

Synopsis:

The play tells the story of Kate Bloggs, who gains admission to the University of Toronto by disguising herself as Tom Christopher, since women were barred from the university. After winning great acclaim at the university, Kate reveals her true identity in the end, demonstrating that women possess the intelligence and fortitude to excel at post-secondary studies.

Characters:

Kate Bloggs & Tom Christopher / Mrs. Bloggs – Her mother / Mr. Bloggs – Her father, a wealthy Scugog Merchant / Orphea Blaggs – Kate’s Cousin / Mr. Biggs – A Professor / A Nurse

Resources:

Click here to view a PDF of the script: The Sweet Girl Graduate

To view other works by this playwright, click here.

Notes:

“Based on the controversy surrounding the admission of women to University College in Toronto, The Sweet Girl Graduate was written at the instigation of John Wilson Bengough, the editor of the satirical reformist weekly Grip, and appeared in volume one of The Grip-sack in 1882.” (from Women Pioneers. Edited by Anton Wagner. Toronto, Canadian Theatre Review Publications: 1979).

The play was written as a closet drama in blank verse.

Featured Play Category:

Barry's Picks

Selection Notes:

While its brevity and form may not make it a piece ripe for staging today, The Sweet Girl Graduate is a sharp satirical piece showcasing the ironic wit and playful theatricality of an important 19th century Canadian woman playwright. A great play to teach to undergraduates about 1st wave feminism, or about feminist theatre in Canada. -Barry