A Minister's Wife


New Work
Writers: Austin Pendleton Joshua Schmidt Jan Levy Tranen Michael Halberstam George Bernard Shaw


Show Information

Conceived By
Based On Book By
Based on the Play/Book/Film
Number of Acts
First Produced
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
london, england, 1890s
Cast Size
Orchestra Size
Ideal for
College/University, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Small Cast
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult characters


A Minister’s Wife is a new chamber musical, based on George Bernard Shaw’s play, Candida. It is set in London at the end of the 19th century and hones in on the marriage of the Reverend James Morell and his wife, Candida. However, all is not as it seems, as into their marriage comes the poet, Eugene Marchbanks. He is young, idealistic, and desperate to win the love of the beautiful and strong-willed Candida. A spirited socialist and moralist, Rev. Morell has let his marriage to Candida take care of itself whilst he passionately advocates change and reform in London society. Happy to see his wife upon her brief return from the country, he initially misjudges Marchbanks’ position within his marriage. While Rev. Morell focuses on preparing a speech for the Guild of St. Matthew with his secretary, Prosperine (Prossy) Garnett, and his curate, Rev. Alexander (Lexy) Mill, Eugene Marchbanks admits that he is in love with Candida. When Prossy admits to Marchbanks that she is in love with Rev. Morell, Marchbanks is devastated to realize that Candida may also really love her husband. Aware that his marriage is now under threat, Rev. Morell leaves his wife alone with Marchbanks as a test of their marriage. Marchbanks is a smitten lapdog as he desperately repeats his declarations of love to Candida. When Rev. Morell insists his wife chooses between him and the poet, Candida plays with the affections of both men before choosing to stay with her husband. Crushed, Marchbanks disappears “Into the Night”, leaving the Reverend and his wife alone to repair their marriage.

Lead Characters

A Minister's Wife guide sections