Mrs. John Marsh : The World Knew Her As Margaret Mitchell

About The Play

Mrs. John Marsh: The World Knew Her as Margaret Mitchell tells the story of the reclusive author’s life before and after she became a publishing sensation. Written by Melita Easters of Atlanta and produced by Wing and a Prayer Productions, the play includes an audio visual component of rarely published photographs and newsreel footage from the movie’s Atlanta premiere.

Although subsequent books have sold more copies, at the time of its publication Gone With the Wind broke every existing record for sales – records which stood for decades. The play opens with a scene based on the only radio interview Mitchell ever gave, to WSB. Flashback scenes trace her college years and debutante days, highlight her reporting career and show us how the manuscript fell into the hands of McMillan editor Harold Lathem. The second act traces the unprecedented worldwide acclaim which followed publication, the hoop-la surrounding the movie’s premiere, and Mitchell’s later years. The play includes an audio visual component of rarely published photographs as well as news reel footage from the movie’s Atlanta premiere.

Born in Atlanta in 1900, Mitchell told stories before she held a pencil. Eventually, she would become the literary editor of Facts and Fancies, her high school yearbook. By 1922, she was writing for the Atlanta Journal Sunday Magazine. She began writing GWTW in 1926 while convalescing from an auto accident; she published the historical romance in 1936.

GWTW sold more than a million copies in six months, a remarkable feat during the Great Depression. Soon after publication, David O. Selznick purchased the publishing rights for $50,000 ($809,000 in 2011 dollars), the most money paid for a manuscript at that time. Subsequently, GWTW has sold more than 30 million copies in 38 countries and has been translated into 27 languages.

Based largely on Mitchell’s own words, the play incorporates the author’s articles, the thousands of letters she wrote, and the one hour long radio interview she gave in 1936. It has been edited and organized by Melita Easters. Easters synthesizes her research of literary sources and biographies to construct an engaging and historically accurate picture of Mitchell’s life.

75th Anniversary Production

Mandi Lee as Mrs John Marsh

Mandi Lee as Mrs John Marsh

The play was first produced in Atlanta 21 years ago and has been revised to integrate current research. The 2011 anniversary production premiered with Kandace Christian, Miss Mississippi in 1992.

Subsequently, the play toured throughout the southeast, including performances at The Cloister on Sea Island.