Dori Appel Playwright and Poet 


Freud's Girls
Freud's Girls explores the scandalous treatment of two of Sigmund Freud's patients, as witnessed by Virginia Woolf, Anais Nin, "Anna O." and Brecht's tragic teenage heroine, Marie Farrar. Foreshadowing contemporary issues of recovered memories, incest and sexual harassment, Freud's Girls is a darkly comic drama which reveals Freud's own well-guarded secrets as well as those of his valiantly struggling patients.

Six women, two men (multiple casting for most roles). Single unit set.


Finalist for the Eugene O'Neil Theater Center, National Playwrights Conference, 2000
Winner of the Oregon Book Award in Drama, 1998;
Finalist for the Eugene O'Neil National Theatre Conference, 2000;
Semi-finalist, Portland Stage, New Plays Festival, 2000.
Finalist, Stage 3 Theatre Company, Festival of New Plays, 1999;
Finalist in Shenandoah International Playwrights Retreat competition, 1998;
Finalist, Columbus State University, Larry Corse Prize, 2004


Ashland New Plays Festival Reading, 1997
Emerging Artists Theatre Reading, New York, N.Y., 1997
Golden Fish Theatre Reading, Seattle, Washington, 2002
Artists Repertory Theatre Reading, Portland, Oregon, 2003
Student Workshop Performance, Yale College, Wales, U.K., 2001.

Looking for a premiere production.


This richly theatrical work dramatizes the effects of Sigmund Freud's theories of hysteria on the lives of the patients on whom these theories and the resulting therapies were first tried - and on those living subsequently. The progress of two parallel case histories with differing results is monitored by a committee of witnesses that is made up of twentieth-century women who could be considered, in differing degrees, victims of Freud's teachings; Anais Nin,, Virginia Woolf, Bertha Pappenheim, and Marie Farrar. One would anticipate viewing the events of the drama through such a filter would prejudice the case against Freud, but Dori Appel manages to make him personally and intellectually engaging, while still remaining doggedly Teutonic. This is the great delight of this work. It is not the polemic one expects, and the author persuasively leads her audience to draw their own conclusions. In effect, we get to join the committee of witnesses in viewing an intriguing moment in our cultural history. The drama is lively and delightfully compelling. There is a wonderful theatricality about its presentation.-- James Bierman, Oregon Book Award in Drama judge.