L to R: Rachel Louis as Lida Dutton, Amanda Barr as Maggie Loden, Suzy Alden as Lizzie Dutton and Rosemary Thoburn as Sarah Steer - yet another foraging raid by Capt. John Mobberly (Phil Erickson) and Barlow (Brendan Petak). Photo by Craig Thoburn.
Valerie Konur as Mariah in the 2019 production of ALL FOR THE UNION (Photo by Craig Thoburn)
"You bring women's history and stories out of the shadows." - Lee Lawrence
McMath's original play is based on the true story of Lida, Lizzie and Sarah - three young pro-Union women living in Confederate Loudoun County, Virginia who chose to write a newspaper to boost the morale of Union soldiers. As a result, they became the first Female journalists of Virginia. Their Waterford News covered the reality of their daily lives - from skirmishes, battles and Confederate foragers to Union burning raids and personal loss - all with unshaken hope and ironclad humor. The play explores why they made those choices and leaves the audience to wonder whether they'd do the same.
Former productions: Run Rabbit Run Theatre (2011), The Lincoln Preservation Foundation (2003), The Waterford Foundation (2000), and the premiere with The Growing Stage (1997) directed by Dolly Stevens.
Courtesy Waterford Foundation Archives and Local History Collection
ARMS & THE HIGHLANDER A Revolutionary Romantic Comedy
"McMath’s adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play “Arms and the Man” is full of exchanges that make a guy nostalgic for a language alive with wit and humor, with deliberation and suggestion, a language rich enough to express the complicated truth about each of us and thereby make it possible for us to know ourselves.”- Mark Dewey, The Blue Ridge Leader, 2006
L to R: Ernie Carnevale as , Penny Hauffe as , Steve Beggs as Captain Hay, as Elizabeth Littlebone, Millie Shipe as , and Christopher Saunders as
Brie Reid as Elizabeth Littlebone and Christopher Saunders as Captain Gabriel Hay in the 2018 production
This Colonial American adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man begins just after the Battle of Yorktown. As Americans realize they've won the war, they're celebrating in the streets; young Elizabeth Littlebone has just heard the news that her love led the final charge, and with great pride and dreams of a happy future in this brand new America, she blows out the candle in the window and tucks into bed. In the street below, one British Mercenary Soldier is running through the streets to save his life when he spies the open window above. As he climbs the side of the home, Capt. Hay thinks is certain he's made a brave escape, but he's never met a brave, new American lass.
McMath adapted Shaw's play to make the work more accessible to modern audiences. Shaw's original was set in the generally unknown 19th c. Serbo-Croatian conflict but full of a biting, contemporary humor and a grand love story. Further information on the play's adaptation can be found here.
This original contemporary drama, written and directed by McMath, premiered at the 2010 Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, D.C. to critical acclaim. The play begins as a group of actors rehearse a play about child abuse and Social Services intervention. But the actors begin to do more than act, and the child begins to do more than the others to get the part... in fact, she may give it her all.
MARK TWAIN'S ADAM & EVE DIARIES
Ben Huntington and Carolyn Cutshall as Adam and Eve (Photo by Jim Poston of Middleburg, VA)
Phil Erickson as Mark Twain
This Romantic Comedy, set in Mark Twain's parlor as well as the Garden of Eden, follows the adventures and misadventures of the first man and the first woman. Based on Twain's novels, in McMath's adaptation has Mark Twain himself set the scenes... and give his personal take on the couple's progress.
Eve's curiosity makes her follow Adam around the Garden until he gives in and speaks to her. But it's not a happy start. As Eve is trying to befriend every animal, Adam is trying to name them. Eve is full of wonder at everything she meets - like the Brontosaurus she'd like to make a household pet. Adam's response? He wants to give the house to the animal and vacate the premises.
Eventually Eve's curiosity also leads her to befriend a serpent, or, as Twain calls him, "The world's first consultant," and that leads to mankind's fall and their exodus from the once beautiful, peaceful garden. But - as in life - their story doesn't end there. Eventually the couple reconcile to their new world and find that, in the end, love conquers all... and they have other gardens to build.
The play premiered in 2017 at North Gate Vineyard in Purcellville, VA,
STICKS & STONES
L to R: Morgan El-Shafey (actor), McMath (playwright), Tom Sweitzer (actor), Charles Upton (director)
Second production: Directed by Nate Juraschek at
FIRST PRIZE-WINNER: A contemporary drama written by McMath, CASE 22 explores a young woman’s sense of herself after experiencing sexual abuse - the guilt, the difficulty she has bringing those feelings up from the past - so certain for so long of her part in it all. But guilt has distorted her perspective and the truth will change everything.
STICKS & STONES took first prize in the 2003 Source Theatre's Ten-Minute Play Competition in Washington, D.C. and has also been produced at the University of North Carolina, 2003, directed by Nate Juraschek.
SOUTHERN COURAGE: Civil War Women of Loudoun County, Virginia
A documentary written and directed by McMath presenting 17 true accounts from Loudoun County women living through the Civil War. The women speak to us in their own words - taken directly from diaries, letters and accounts within a deeply divided Virginia county. A majority pro-Confederate County, Loudoun also had pacifist Quaker towns, slaves and freedmen, an active Underground Railroad and one Union troop, The Loudoun Rangers - the only Union troop to ever form in Virginia.
Here in SOUTHERN COURAGE we meet Elizabeth Carter of Oatlands Plantation who owned more slaves than anyone in the County, Lida and Lizzie Dutton who acted as conductors on the Underground Railroad and published a pro-Union newspaper to boost the morale of Union soldiers, a slave woman whose husband was beaten and then taken away to build forts around Leesburg, a young woman assisting in an Army field hospital, a Confederate spy and many, many more.
Real women, true stories, and a rare look inside a county torn by civil war.