“The Enchanted Cottage” is a fable in three acts. The play tells the story of a crippled World War I veteran who retreats to a cottage in the countryside to escape from his nosy family and also to hide from the outside world. There he meets a plain, but also a very kind woman. She reveals to him that the cottage in which he is staying is in fact a very old honeymoon cottage. Spirits of newlyweds from the past, who are still swirling through the cottage, soon cast a spell upon them. They are transformed by love in each other’s eyes that each thinks the other to be strong and beautiful. Soon there is an awakening to the realities that come when they discover that they have not really changed physically. Their note of hope—all that is left to them— is that their child may be healthy and comely.
Author: Sir Arthur W. Pinero
“The Enchanted Cottage” presented Players with some technical problems. For each performance there needed to be a set of crashing dishes and pitchers. There also needed to be a way to make the leading actress appear piqued in one scene and then look healthy and fat in another. The solution was to create an identical set of costumes, one that was well fitting and the other too large. The leading actor had to have a large scar on his face but still able to easily deliver lines. The scar must also be able to appear in one scene and then be gone for another. This action would take place throughout the show. Forrest Watt’s theatrical make-up class at Illinois Wesleyan University would work out the scars and their changes. For this work, students would get one hour’s class credit.