Court-Martial at Fort Devens

Court-Martial at Fort Devens
by Jeffrey Sweet

Productions (16)
  • Historical drama on a black theme
  • 85 - 95 minutes
  • 6 f, 4 m (8-19 actors possible: 5-10 f, 3-9 m)
  • Content Notes: Mild adult language
  • Set: Minimal -- a raised platform in the center of the stage around which chairs are placed. Behind the chairs, racks, or lockers from which to extract props and costumes.

Court-Martial at Fort Devens
by Jeffrey Sweet

(0)
Productions (16)
  • Historical drama on a black theme
  • 85 - 95 minutes
  • 6 f, 4 m (8-19 actors possible: 5-10 f, 3-9 m)
  • Content Notes: Mild adult language
  • Set: Minimal -- a raised platform in the center of the stage around which chairs are placed. Behind the chairs, racks, or lockers from which to extract props and costumes.

When a group of young black women join the Women's Army Corps during WWII, they're promised training as medical technicians. But a racist Colonel at Fort Devens has other ideas, and demotes them to cleaning duty. The battle of wills leads to a confrontation in which the colonel makes comments so offensive that the WACs pull an immediate strike. Though a visiting general is able to compel most of the women to go back to work, two refuse and are held for trial. Defended by a civilian lawyer who's never tried a court-martial, they embark on an uphill fight to change the status quo. Based on a true story, this gripping and inspiring drama explores the complexities of standing up for one's rights.

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Pricing Information

Min. Performance Fee* $80
Standard Edition $9.99
Stage Manager Edition $18.99

*The per performance fee begins at $80. Your per performance fee will be provided during the ordering process.

Play Details

When a group of young black women join the Women's Army Corps during WWII, they're promised training as medical technicians. But a racist Colonel at Fort Devens has other ideas, and demotes them to cleaning duty. The battle of wills leads to a confrontation in which the colonel makes comments so offensive that the WACs pull an immediate strike. Though a visiting general is able to compel most of the women to go back to work, two refuse and are held for trial. Defended by a civilian lawyer who's never tried a court-martial, they embark on an uphill fight to change the status quo. Based on a true story, this gripping and inspiring drama explores the complexities of standing up for one's rights.

An updated version of this play with an expanded cast is available; contact Playscripts for details.

  • Historical drama on a black theme
  • 85 - 95 minutes
  • 6 f, 4 m (8-19 actors possible: 5-10 f, 3-9 m)
  • Content Notes: Mild adult language
  • Set: Minimal -- a raised platform in the center of the stage around which chairs are placed. Behind the chairs, racks, or lockers from which to extract props and costumes.

Published Reviews

"Shrewdly plotted and delivered, and makes for an involving, crystal-clear 90 minutes of theater."

Chicago Tribune

"Well-constructed... Court-Martial at Fort Devens deftly juxtaposes action with narration and flashback to tell this little-known tale."

Daily Herald (Chicago)

"Playwright Jeffrey Sweet builds Court-Martial at Fort Devens on a can't-miss theme -- the resistance against prejudice and injustice -- and caps it off with an equally can't-miss theatrical device -- the highly-charged courtroom trial scene."

Copley News Service

"Playwright Jeffrey Sweet tells the compelling tale cleanly, efficiently."

Variety

"Jeffrey Sweet has penned a crisp, polished script that allows much to be said in an efficiently, tight play that makes its case against racism without being melodramatic and without make saints of the two women. This is an important show that will grip you throughout."

ChicagoCritic.com

"It's smart. There really isn't a wasted syllable. There is absolute clarity. Crisply performed, efficiently and crisply written. A good evening in the theatre. [Jeffrey Sweet] has created very strong, multi-layered and interesting women."

WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio)

"Court-Martial at Fort Devens deserves to be seen and remembered."

Steadystyle Chicago

Production History

Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
FEB 01, 2017 - FEB 28, 2017
THEATRE NORTH
TULSA, OK United States
THEATRE NORTH TULSA, OK United States
DEC 19, 2015 - MAR 06, 2016
AART
Dallas, TX United States
AART Dallas, TX United States
FEB 06, 2015 - FEB 15, 2015
Steel River Playhouse
Pottstown, PA United States
Steel River Playhouse Pottstown, PA United States
FEB 06, 2015 - FEB 15, 2015
Steel River Playhouse
Pottstown, PA United States
Steel River Playhouse Pottstown, PA United States
MAY 29, 2014 - MAY 29, 2014
Phoebus High School Drama Department
Hampton, VA United States
Phoebus High School Drama Department Hampton, VA United States
APR 13, 2012 - APR 22, 2012
Emerson Theater Collaborative
Mystic, CT United States
Emerson Theater Collaborative Mystic, CT United States
MAR 10, 2012 - MAR 17, 2012
N/A
Munster, IN United States
N/A Munster, IN United States
MAR 08, 2012 - APR 01, 2012
New Federal Theatre
New York, NY, NY United States
New Federal Theatre New York, NY, NY United States
FEB 10, 2011 - FEB 18, 2011
University Of Central Arkansas Theatre
Conway, AR United States
University Of Central Arkansas Theatre Conway, AR United States
FEB 05, 2010 - FEB 06, 2010
The St Paul's Schools
Brooklandville, MD United States
The St Paul's Schools Brooklandville, MD United States
JAN 31, 2010 - JAN 31, 2010
JCC CenterStage
Rochester, NY United States
JCC CenterStage Rochester, NY United States
OCT 08, 2008 - OCT 09, 2008
Miami Southridge Senior High School
Miami, FL United States
Miami Southridge Senior High School Miami, FL United States
SEP 03, 2008 - SEP 07, 2008
University Of The Arts/ School Of Theater Arts
Philadelphia, PA United States
University Of The Arts/ School Of Theater Arts Philadelphia, PA United States
MAY 14, 2008 - MAY 14, 2008
Franklin High School
Somerset, NJ United States
Franklin High School Somerset, NJ United States
FEB 22, 2008 - FEB 23, 2008
Osceola County School For The Arts
Kissimmee, FL United States
Osceola County School For The Arts Kissimmee, FL United States
FEB 01, 2007 - MAR 31, 2007
Victory Gardens Theatre
Chicago, IL United States
Victory Gardens Theatre Chicago, IL United States
Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
No upcoming productions.
Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
DEC 19, 2015 - MAR 06, 2016
AART
Dallas, TX United States
AART Dallas, TX United States
APR 13, 2012 - APR 22, 2012
Emerson Theater Collaborative
Mystic, CT United States
Emerson Theater Collaborative Mystic, CT United States
MAR 08, 2012 - APR 01, 2012
New Federal Theatre
New York, NY, NY United States
New Federal Theatre New York, NY, NY United States
FEB 01, 2007 - MAR 31, 2007
Victory Gardens Theatre
Chicago, IL United States
Victory Gardens Theatre Chicago, IL United States

Awards (2)

Joseph Jefferson Award nomination

Audelco Award winner, Best Playwright (2012)