By Louise Schroader Epperson
Maud Powell was America’s first virtuoso, male or female. She was born in Peru Illinois in 1862 and after she had learned all American teachers could offer, she studied and concertized in Europe, later returning to an acclaimed career in the United States. When the phonograph was invented she was the first instrumentalist to record and she did the Bob Hope thing before he did it, playing for soldiers in World War I. Her story is told through a series of monologues by various people in her life – her mother, Susan B. Anthony, Anne Mukel Ford, Amy Cheney Beach, Estelle Liebling, Madame Davenport-Engberg, and Army Nurse Brown.
This play may be performed by a single actress or by several actresses. The stage directions are for the single actress who changes wigs and costume pieces from an onstage table for the transitions. It is recommended that Maud’s music be played during these transitions, preferably by a fake crank phonograph on stage. These recordings on CD and audio tape are available from the Maud Powell Foundation. This play runs approximately 45 minutes.
Susan B. Anthony
Anne Mukle Ford
Army Nurse Brown