The Last Daughter

FULL-LENGTH PLAY. Finalist for the 2020 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. What if the last fertile woman on earth didn't want to have children? When Eve discovers she is the only known woman still able to conceive a child, she has no idea how radically her life is about to change. Immediately, Eve is put into a box - a literal, bulletproof, could-withstand-a-nuclear-blast-box - where she is looked after by...
FULL-LENGTH PLAY. Finalist for the 2020 Jane Chambers Playwriting Award. What if the last fertile woman on earth didn't want to have children? When Eve discovers she is the only known woman still able to conceive a child, she has no idea how radically her life is about to change. Immediately, Eve is put into a box - a literal, bulletproof, could-withstand-a-nuclear-blast-box - where she is looked after by a vaguely charming (and terribly un-funny) doctor and spied on by an ever-present Very Important Person. Eve's ecstatic mother is on hand, with a parade of horrid would-be suitors, intent on impregnating the very last of the Last Daughters. In this environment, it's impossible for Eve to figure out if she actually wants to have children, not that anyone cares what she wants. But can Eve really look into the face of her barren sister, Elizabeth, and reject what her sister so desperately desires?
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The Last Daughter

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    14 Apr. 2020
    THE LAST DAUGHTER is an excellent piece of darkly comedic sci-fi. Strayer gives us enough details about the world to understand the lay of the land while still focusing entirely on character and theme rather than getting bogged down in exposition. Eve is a compelling protagonist, and the two women surrounding her--Mother and Elizabeth--have potent motivations as well. The visual metaphors are powerful and direct, and Strayer explores reproductive freedom, bodily autonomy, gender roles, self-actualization, and systems that oppress women with complexity and nuance. I finished this briskly-moving play in one entertaining sitting.
  • Vicki Meagher:
    22 Jun. 2019
    This is a surreal comedy about a woman who has The Most Valuable Reproductive System on Earth. It makes points about (non-surreal) life today, and has visual/theatrical elements that are compelling and entertaining. The relationship between the two sisters is sweet and tender, and they're both able to be creators--in their own separate ways.
  • John Bavoso:
    1 Dec. 2018
    Reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, yet wholly its own story, THE LAST DAUGHTER is an original look at the struggle to find oneself and the pressures society thrusts upon us—and on women, in particular. Shot through with funny one-liners and beautiful quotes—as well as some truly wonderful dick jokes—Strayer has created a world full of flawed and interesting characters. Featuring some great roles for women—Eve, in particular, would be a joy to play, I’d imagine—this play would be one I’d love to see on its feet. Well worth a read!

Character Information

  • Eve
    18-39,
    Female
    Eve is the last fertile woman on earth. She is sarcastic, strong, and also terrified. Eve loves her mother and sister but greatly resents the pressure they're putting on her. She is desperately seeking permission to be herself, but is keenly distraught by the idea of letting everyone down.
  • Mother
    50-80,
    Female
    Eve's mother is fiercely intent on convincing Eve to have children, not only for the sake of the world, but because she truly believes it is in Eve's best interest. She loves her daughters, but can be insensitive to their needs and their feelings. She is incredulous when people can't see life the way she does.
  • Elizabeth
    20-42,
    Female
    Elizabeth, or Liz, is Eve's barren sister. She desperately wants children and can't understand why Eve would throw away this opportunity. She loves her sister and was often a mother figure to her in their growing up years. She truly wants what is best for Eve, but is also hurt that she can't have what Eve has been given.
  • Doctor
    25-45,
    Male
    The Doctor is Eve's guardian, caretaker, and jailer (of a sort). He's horrible at making jokes, but he's not too bad at making Eve feel at ease. He's a bit naive and single-minded, but he's also a good listener. Eventually, he develops an attraction to Eve, which opens the door to a lot of trouble. The Doctor also appears as several different characters in Eve's imagination as she tries to envision the men who are interviewing to be the father of her future children.
  • VIP
    30-80,
    Female
    A Very Important Person who is bent on controlling Eve's reproductive choices, the VIP's only concern is what's best for the world at large (at least in her opinion). The VIP appears as a "talking head" on a large, overhead screen, and at the end, appears on a mobile device such as an iPad. She never appears in the flesh, but she does react to events in real-time, so I would not recommend pre-recording this character.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Ensemble Atria
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Scranton Shakespeare Festival
    ,
    2018

Awards

Finalist
,
Jane Chambers Excellence in Feminist Playwriting
,
Association of Theatre for Higher Education
,
2020