Sophie Treadwell

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Sophie Treadwell (October 3, 1885 – February 20, 1970), was a leading American playwright and journalist of the first half of the 20th century. Among her prominent works are Machinal (an archaic word from the French meaning "of or pertaining to machines")[1] and Intimations For Saxophone. As a journalist, she conducted an exclusive interview with Pancho Villa [2] for the New York Tribune in 1921. She was also an actress and was mentored by renowned Polish actress Helena Modjeska. The majority of Treadwell's works are stored at the University of Arizona Library Special Collections and the rest at The Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library. The rights to them are owned by the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Tucson: A Corporation Sole.

Further biographical information and critical analysis about Treadwell may be found in "Broadway's Bravest Woman: Selected Writings of Sophie Treadwell" published by Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale (2006)



  • Treadwell's play Machinal was inspired by the life and execution of convicted murderess Ruth Snyder.

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