Plays

Dan Woods as W. H. Hainline in THE CONFLICT
Dan Woods as W. H. Hainline in THE CONFLICT
The Conflict, 

A Soldier's Memories of the Civil War


This remarkable theatre production examines the military experience of common soldiers, the tragic struggle of a typical Illinois family, and the emotional impact of remembrance for veterans, family members, and communities. 


Developed as a series of reflections by a GAR member, and set in 1911, on the 50th anniversary of the war, THE CONFLICT is a fascinating portrayal of military and home front experience.  The play employs Civil War songs and poetry in a dramatic account of one Illinois soldier, W. H. Hainline, who fought in General Sherman’s army and survived imprisonment at Andersonville, but whose family was eventually destroyed by the war. 

 

Written for the Civil War Sesquicentennial, THE CONFLICT offers an opportunity for Illinois audiences to experience the tragedy of the Civil War and the lessons it holds for us today.  

Directed by Jeannie Woods, the play was produced by Starry Night Repertory Theatre, at Western Illinois University’s Hainline Theatre, May 26-28, 2011.

 

Four on the Frontier

This series of one-act, monologue plays, includes “Warrior at Sundown” (on Black Hawk), “American Prophet (on Joseph Smith), “Abolitionist in Congress” (on Owen Lovejoy), and “The Backwoods Preacher” (on Peter Cartwright). Each noted figure from early Illinois ruminates on his values and the conflicts that shaped his experience. Directed byMildred Canny, it was produced in various Illinois communities by Western Illinois Touring Theatre, 1982-1983.

 

The Paper Town

This one-act play is a comedy focused on the all-too-frequent experience of Illinois frontier settlers who came west only to discover that an advertised community was not actually established yet, just a town platted in the wilderness by some speculator. Co-authored and directed by Gene Kozlowski, it was produced at Argyle Park Theatre in the summer of 1985.

 

The Mysterious Bard of Sangamo

This full-length, monologue play centers on the first notable poet from Illinois (and the Midwest).  John Hancock was a British immigrant who came to Springfield in the early 1830s and who both struggled to belong and strove to express deep personal issues.  The play is filled with various  kinds of poems, related to issues of identity, belonging, and spirituality.  Set in the now-famous Illinois town where Lincoln would soon arrive, the play both celebrates the power of poetry and reminds us that each human life is, after all, a kind of complex poem. 

 

These copyrighted play scripts are available upon request to theatrical companies or organizations that want to consider them for possible production. Contact at Western Illinois University Archives staff Kathy Nichols: 309 298-2717; K-Nichols@wiu.edu.