Is Leading Ladies set in 1952 or 1958 and why is there a skull listed on the prop list?

Hi Ken,

I am excited to be directing the upcoming Central Park Players production of Leading Ladies in October. ( I have a couple things I wondered about. Central%20Park%20Players%20Image.jpgMaybe I just need to read/rehearse a few hundred more times but I can't seem to figure out why there is a Skull listed in the script on the Prop list. Possibly to be used in the Henry IV/V scenes? Also, both versions of the script we have (the manuscript version as well as the actual scripts we purchased from Samuel French) have a discrepancy with the year we are in. Doc's speech in the Moose Hall claims it is the annual meeting in June, 1952 but the "Setting" information in the beginning of the script indicates it is 1958. (I know how those Lodge meetings can go on and on and on.....) Any thoughts are appreciated!


Ken replies:

Dear Shari,

What an eye you have. It's no wonder you're confused, because these are both mistakes in the printed text. There's no need for a skull any more, but there was in the first draft of the play. In my first draft, Leo and Jack did an excerpt from Hamlet, not the mangled Henry V they now do, at the beginning of the play. Ergo the skull. And the discrepancy in dates is again a first-draft, second-draft issue. I'd put the whole thing in 1958. I think that tracks better with other events in the play.

I'm sorry for the confusion. And good luck with the production. I'd love to hear how it goes.

All best,


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