The Maids – Location, Tickets, Reviews

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The Maids – Location, Tickets, Reviews

Sonnet Repertory Theatre presents its take on Jean Genet’s 1947 French noir play, The Maids.

The story revolves around Solange and Claire, two sisters employed as servants to a wealthy woman simply known as “Madame.” Feeling powerless in their stagnant, lowly existence, the two housemaids perform sadistic play-acts in their master’s bedroom when she is away. The sisters alternate between the roles of maid/murderer and Madame/victim in their violent, escapist fantasies. Performed in secret the plays are cathartic acts in which they finally stand up to Madame.

The Maids is a play about inescapable class constraints, a favorite theme of Genet’s. Sonnet Repertory Theatre set this production in New Orleans rather than France (its original location) and cast it with three women, rather than three men (as is often done). It’s a unique take on The Maids that fans of Genet may find intriguing. For those unfamiliar with Genet, he is an acquired taste with a very bizarre and idiosyncratic style that is not always communicative.


Ford Foundation Studio Theatre
at the Pershing Square Signature Center
480 West 42nd Street
New York City
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1 hour and 20 minutes, no intermission


$18 (click here for tickets)


Performances through December 1, 2013


The artistry of the play seems incomplete to me, mainly because the maids are written partly as real people, partly as exemplars of class frustration and struggle. The show left me impressed with the quality of the talent and the production, and caught up in the beauty of some of the language. But it also left me with confusion that only gradually dissipated on reflection.

(partial list)

Written by Jean Genet

Directed by Christopher Schilder

Featuring Rosa Arredondo, Monique Coleman, and Chinasa Ogbuagu


Sonnet Repertory Theatre