Machinal Tickets

In the stylish new revival of Sophie Treadwell’s 1920s’ expressionist play, Machinal, Rebecca Hall takes the lead role. Set against the male dominated 20s’ America, Machinal presents the fictional version of the events leading up to the case of Ruth Snyder, the executed and convicted murderer. Helen, the lead character, has her whole life planned out before her and dictated to her as she is expected to follow the rituals and rules that were expected from the women of that era. The story is set amidst devouring shadows. The revival will be staged throughout January and February and the Machinal tickets are selling fast.

Although we have run out of Machinal Tickets, we would like to invite you to view tickets in the following places




American Airlines Theatre


Sophie Treadwell

Machinal – The Psychodrama

The psychedelic tale of Machinal, (Machinal means “of pertaining to machines” in French) starts off at a busy subway, where we see Hall playing the role of Miss A., rushing through the crowd of people looking for solitude where she can breathe again. She is a stenographer in a world where the industry is dominated by men and women have no or very little say in everything, including their own lives. The suffocating scene that initiates the play gives the audiences an impression of how it is going to go from there onwards. Eventually, despite her repulsion towards an arranged marriage, she is forced into one by her mother, and on her wedding night her husband, Mr. J. declares that he is her husband now, defining her role and status in that one sentence.

The story goes on as Helen becomes mother of a child, but motherhood wasn’t something she desired, hence it brings no joy to her life either. Desperate to find her freedom in a world that is keen on suffocating her rights, she ends up having an affair. However, reprieve is always thin, and when the reality strikes again, the desperate housewife is ready to do whatever it takes to break the chains that captivate her.

Ruth Snyder – The Real Tale

Convicted of murdering her husband, Albert, Ruth Snyder was executed in an electric chair in January of 1928. Snyder was a regular housewife living in Queens Village, New York. She had a running love affair with Henry Judd Gray, a married salesman. Eventually, as her husband became a hurdle in her love affair, she planned his murder. It is told that her hatred for Albert took flame when he wanted to keep his late finance’s picture hanging in their house, and later also named his boat after her. Ruth’s life was full of unfortunate and miserable events, which is what Treadwell tries to portray in her play, Machinal.

Sophie Treadwell – The Playwright

Many know Sophie Treadwell for being an accomplished journalist of her time, while others know her as a great playwright, famous for the psychodrama, Machinal and Intimations for Saxophone. She is considered as one of the leading playwrights of the twentieth century. As a professional journalist, she is known for interviewing Pancho Villa exclusively in 1921, for New York Tribune. Apart from being an accomplished journalist and writer, Treadwell was also a skilled actress, and had Helena Modjeska, the famous Polish star as her mentor. Most of what remains of Sophie’s writings are today stored at University of Arizona Library Special Collection. Rest can be found at The Billy Rose Theatre Collection of New York Public Library. Some notable works by her include The Right Man, Highway, Woman with Lies, Ladies Leave and Once Fierce Hour and Sweet.

Machinal at American Airlines Theatre

Machinal has been adapted into several different productions over the years, and has received a great reception wherever it has been taken to. This new revival of the play features Rebecca Hall, the British star who has been known for her films like The Town, Vicky Christina Barcelona and The Prestige. Performances started in December of 2013, and plan to run all through January and February as well.


Did You Know…

  • In 1899, Ruth was the first woman to be executed in an electric chair at Sing Sing.
  • Ruth killed her husband with a dumb-bell, her last words before being executed were “Jesus, have mercy.”
  • Rebecca Hall, the star to take the lead role in Machinal is making her American stage debut.
  • Rebecca Hall has appeared in several Oscar winning movies, but hasn’t received any award for herself yet.
  • Sophie Treadwell, the playwright was labeled as “Broadway’s Bravest Woman”.