Aadya Bedi, Sathya Sridharan, and Purva Bedi; photo by Joan Marcus


Adina Verson, Aadya Bedi, and Purva Bedi; photo by Joan Marcus


Sathya Sridharan, Purva Bedi, and Aadya Bedi; photo by Joan Marcus


Adina Verson and Aadya Bedi; photo by Joan Marcus


Photo by Zack DeZon


Peter Jay Sharp Theater

Written by Jaclyn Backhaus
Directed by Margot Bordelon

Jody Falco and Jeffrey Steinman Emerging Playwright Commission
World premiere

You’re the queen, bitch. There isn’t any king around. This is your world.

From the brawny castles of 16th Century France, to the rugged plains of 1960s Idaho, to the strapping fortresses of 1920s India, all hail the remarkable stories of Great Men! — and their whiny, witchy, vapid, vengeful, jealous wives. In this kaleidoscopic, time-hopping comedy, Jaclyn Backhaus pushes past patriarchal cliché to reach an ecstatic breakthrough, untethering stories and history — and language itself — from the visions made by men.

Aadya Bedi — Wife 3
Purva Bedi — Wife 1
Sathya Sridharan — Man
Adina Verson — Wife 2

Scenic Design: Reid Thompson
Costume Design: Valérie Thérèse Bart
Lighting Design: Amith Chandrashaker
Sound Design and Original Music: Kate Marvin
Hair and Wig Design: J. Jared Janas
Production Stage Manager: Erin Gioia Albrecht
Assistant Stage Manager: Lissette Velez-Cross

Design Team Bios

Special thanks to The Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater for its generous support of this production.


Letter from First Rehearsal: Wives

As women, we’re endlessly bombarded with everything about us that is not right—the way we look, speak, love, parent, choose to lead, the choices we make about our bodies.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Playwright’s Perspective: Wives

Most of my plays end with a question. In a way, this is an admission of guilt. It is me, the playwright, admitting that I do not have the answers to the questions I pose.


The American Voice: Sisterhood of Delight

The Nahargarh Fort rests on a ridge overlooking the city of Jaipur, India. It was erected in the 18th century with a dual purpose: a retreat for the maharaja and a defense structure with sweeping views. But when Jaclyn Backhaus visited, on a family trip in 2007, she was struck by the view from within.


Backstory: Laugh of the Wives

When the universe of arts and letters has been systematically skewed in favor of male voices — male perspectives on work, domesticity, strength, weakness, psychology itself — the sense that these perspectives are subjective gets distorted, and increasingly the male experience begins to be assumed as the universal one.