The Second Self

Written by:

Victoria Hudson-Muir

Cast Size:
8

Roles For:

  • Men: 4
  • Women: 4

Genre:

Drama
Historical

Themes:

Love
Wedding
Women
World War II

Length:

60 min.

Year Written:

2014

Synopsis:

The Second Self is set in Brantford, Ontario, in the summer of 1944. World War Two is in full swing, affecting not only the men overseas, but also the women on the home front waiting for their loves’ safe return. The Second Self is a Canadian portrait centering on the lives of four of these young women: Marie, Catharine, Helen and Fannie. While Marie anxiously plans her dream wedding, Catharine longs to break free of expectant matrimony. While Helen desires the return of her sweetheart, Fannie pushes aside love in fear of imminent loss. Each woman must struggle to overcome their own inner turmoil while the wider world attempts to conquer the chaos of WWII.” (From the CPO Website)

Characters:

Helen James – 24 years old. Is in love with Joe, who never appears in the play but is mentioned throughout. She lost both her father and brother in the war. She now lives with Marie, Catharine, Fannie and George.

Marie Walsh – Marie is 21 years old and is about to marry Thomas Reid. She is the older sister of George Walsh and cousin of Helen James. Her father used to beat her very severely and then left when she was younger, and her mother died when she was around 19. She works as a switchboard operator at the local telephone company.

Catharine Baker – Catharine “Cat” Baker is the older sister of Fannie Baker and is a bit rough around the edges. She is 23 years old. Her mother and father died in an automobile accident when she was 15. She works as a switchboard operator for the local telephone company.

Fannie Baker – Fannie is the youngest of the group at 15. Her sister is Catharine Baker. She has lived with Marie, Helen, and George since the age of seven when she and her sister both lost their parents in an automobile accident.

George Walsh – 15-16. George is the only male who lives in the house; he often feels alienated because of this. His father used to beat him and then walked out on him and his sister, Marie, when they were younger and his mother died shortly after.

Thomas Reid – He is engaged to Marie. Thomas could be anywhere between 22-30 years old. He is much like Catharine in that he loves to party and always has a cigarette handy. He is one of the few men who has not been drafted into the war because he broke his leg when he was a boy and did not have it fixed properly. He walks with a limp.

John Howell – Does not enter until the end of the play because he is at war. He comes back because he lost his leg. He dated Catharine before he went to war, and she had promised to wait for him. He is in his mid-twenties.

Man in Uniform – A man who works for the army, named “Stubby” Sam, for his loss of three fingers. He delivers the notice that Joe is dead.

First Produced:

2015, Brant Theatre Workshop

Resources:

The Second Self is available through the CPO Website.

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