Saint Somebody

by Rita Anderson

When an African-American “deserter” wanders into the camp of the Irish Brigade near Gettysburg, conflicts intensify, but the soldier carries an old statue that his family calls “Saint Somebody,” since they don’t know her real name. Based on real events at The Wheatfield, the play, SAINT SOMEBODY, suggests one solution as to how the Brigade of 600 held back Confederate troops for three days when they were outnumbered by thousands. What the Irish Brigade needed—and found—was a miracle. A play about the women and other unsung heroes in the Civil War, SAINT SOMEBODY explores a part of history that has not been dramatized. It confronts the brutalities of war (to include behind-the-battlefield issues), and the characters demonstrate love’s resilience and the necessity of hope to keep the spirit alive in dire straits.

  • Cast Size: 3M 3W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

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About the Playwright

Rita Anderson, an internationally-published and award-winning writer, has an MFA Creative Writing and an MA Playwriting. Rita served as a Dramatists Guild Regional Representative and as Faculty for Interlochen. She went on scholarship to The O’Neill, and her play, Frantic is the Carousel, was the National Partners of American Theatre nominee. Rita won the Ken Ludwig Playwriting Award, the top national prize from The Kennedy Center for “Best Body of Work.” She has had numerous productions and literary publications to include Smith & Kraus’s BEST NEW 10-MINUTE PLAYS (years 2019, 2020, 2022) and in their BEST WOMEN’S MONOLOGUES (2019, 2020, 2022). Early Liberty, Final Conversations, The 27 Club, and Woman Hollering Creek are “Best Selling Plays,” and her drama, Saint Somebody, publishes November 2022. Rita has a play in She Persisted: Thirty New Ten-Minute Plays by Women 40+. (Introduction by Theresa Rebeck. APPLAUSE.) Rita was Playwright in Residence at Lakeview Performing Arts Center, and she has developed work with The 24-Hour Plays Project, Madison New Works Laboratory, Woven Theatre & The Loom New Works Festival, HBMG Foundation & Creede Repertory Theatre, The PlayGround Experiment, Texas State University, Missouri State University, James Madison University, Illinois College, Reading Theater Project, Barrow Group, Mildred’s Umbrella Museum of Dysfunction, Moving Parts Theatre (Paris, France), and Rita was a pilot playwright for Hyde Park Theatre Writers’ Group, but the highlight of her emerging career so far was sitting on a playwriting panel with Christopher Durang. Rita is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee for her poetry books: The Entropy of Rocketman, and Watched Pots (A Lovesong to Motherhood), and she is Artistic Director of Mélange Theatre Company.


Average Rating: 5.0 out of 5 (1 votes)
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Donald E. Baker

Contemporary drama in period dress

That rarity, a Civil War play that centers women, nurses, as full participants. The enlisted men of the “Irish Brigade” at their camp near Gettysburg are “ready to spill our guts for a country that hates the very look of us.” So is the wounded African-American who turns up and whom the nurses must keep hidden from their cowardly commanding officer. The play deals with questions of duty, power, religion, and race, and each character’s inward and outward conflicts and relationships are well drawn. A nice contemporary play in period dress.

2 years ago

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