Eleemosynary (play)

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Written byLee Blessing
CharactersDorothea, Artemis, Echo
Date premieredAugust 1985 (1985-08)
Place premieredPark Square Theatre
St. Paul, Minnesota

Eleemosynary is a 1985 multi act play by Lee Blessing[1]. It follows the relationships between three generations of women. The word

"eleemosynary" itself plays a significant part in the plot.


The characters in the play are:[2]

  • Dorothea: An old woman who has chosen to be eccentric.
  • Artemis (Artie): Dorothea's daughter. Holds an important job as a biochemist. Has an incredible memory.
  • Echo: Artie's daughter. Lives with Dorothea. Is an excellent speller, in addition to having extraordinary intellectual abilities.


The play examines the delicate relationship of three women: a grandmother, Dorothea, who has sought to exert her independence through strong willed eccentric behavior, Artie her daughter, who has run from her overpowering mother, and Echo, Artie's daughter, who is incredibly smart and equally sensitive. After Dorothea (who has raised Echo into her teens) suffers a stroke, Echo is forced to reestablish contact with her mother through extended phone conversations, during which real issues are skirted and the talk is mostly about the precocious Echo's unparalleled success in a national spelling bee. In the end, Artie and Echo come to accept their mutual need and summon the courage to build a life together, despite the terror this holds after so many years of estrangement. [3]


  1. ^ "Lee Blessing | Playscripts, Inc". www.playscripts.com. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  2. ^ "Eleemosynary | Lee Blessing | Every Play in the World". www.stageplays.com. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
  3. ^ "Overview and Monologues (2)" (PDF).

External links[edit]