Wishbone Theatre Collective
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FAIR - OUR NEWEST SHOW!

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After two years of research and workshops, Wishbone Theatre's new play premiered at the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival and Chicago Fringe Festival with rave reviews! 

Certified Audience Reviewers Said:

The Wishbone Theatre Collective has seemingly come out of nowhere
to create one of the great theatre pieces of this year’s Fringe festival.
Engaging, funny, inspired and compelling drama. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
The ensemble acts as one working unit. With the continuous switching of characters
in and out, the cast stays grounded in this carnival like ride.

I could tell immediately that this work had been developed over a period of time: the fast pace and furious blocking, the actors’ physical agility and focus, the quick blackouts and scene changes, the clever use of minimal props, and the writing—witty, provocative, assured and meaningful...FAIR is a complicated tale woven into an entertaining melodramatic format.
— Terry Holzman, LA Female Playwrights Initiative

 

The premise:  a feisty, smart, successful proprietress in the Gold Rush years of California with a string of marriages and more than one dead husband attached to her name, is seduced by a charming lawyer. He proposes marriage and what begins as a passionate affair ends with murder at sunset aboard a passenger ferry. Drugs, scandal, suffragists, rumors, lies, promises made and broken...an evil doctor. Are you ready to meet Laura Fair?

Laura Fair

Laura Fair

Alexander P. Crittenden

Alexander P. Crittenden

Why tell this story? The trials of Laura Fair were a media sensation. The press played fast and loose with the facts while the prosecution turned the court proceedings into a morality play, casting Laura as the epitome of evil womanhood. The public vilification and aftermath of someone who challenged popular convention were of great interest to us and relevant to how we view outsiders to this day.

It takes a village.

2015 & 2016 Development Workshop Sessions and FAIR premiere

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Resources

Murder by Gaslight by Robert Wilhelm @Copyright 2009-2016

Murder and Turmoil: Honor and Crimes of Passion in Two 19th Century Murder Trials, Stephanie A. Pisko, 2012

SHADY LADIES by Suzann Ledbetter. Copyright @2006 by University of Oklahoma Press

THE TRIALS OF LAURA FAIR: SEX, MURDER, AND INSANITY IN THE VICTORIAN WEST by Carole Haber. Copyright © 2013 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. www.uncpress.unc.edu

Who Killed Mr. Crittenden?, The Laura D. Fair Case by Kenneth Lamott, Copyright 1963 by Kenneth Lamott

Much of the dialogue was taken from the recorded transcripts and letters printed in the Official report of the trial of Laura D. Fair, for the murder of Alex. P. Crittenden, From the short-hand notes of Marsh and Osbourne, official reporters of the courts, San Francisco, San Francisco Co-operative Printing Co., 1871

Special Thanks

 Luke Berri and the University of Michigan Library for providing access to letters between Alexander and Clara Crittenden.