Susan Glaspell’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Alison’s House, takes us to Iowa on the last day of the nineteenth century. The Stanhope family are preparing to say goodbye to their old homestead on the banks of the Mississippi but the house holds a lot of memories for each generation. Their sister and aunt, Alison, has been dead for eighteen years but her influence, both as a poet and a person, remains strong. Aunt Agatha is fiercely protective of her sister’s reputation and legacy, but what is she hiding? When disgraced daughter Elsa returns home, old wounds are opened and it becomes clear that her scandalous relationship with a married man is not the first in the family. Like Elsa, Alison also fell deeply in love but, unlike her niece, she let her lover go and channeled her secret passions into her poetry. Unable to bring herself to burn the pages, Agatha finally relinquishes the poetry to Elsa and reveals Alison’s secret.
Alison's House guide sections