‘The Children’s Hour’ Brings Drama and Gossip to Southeast


Image of the Children's Hour poster.

“The Children’s Hour” brings a life lesson to Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus Nov. 11-15. You can find out more about the Children’s Hour and purchase tickets here.


Oct. 26, 2009 – “The Children’s Hour” brings a life lesson to Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus Nov. 11-15. 

“The Children’s Hour” is a serious adult play written by Lillian Hellman in 1934.  It teaches a lesson about the negative effects of lying and spreading gossip.  Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11-14 and 2 p.m. Nov. 15 in The Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theatre.

The play features two women running a school for girls and how their lives fall apart at the hands of a little girl and the gossip she spreads.  A student at the school is angry at the women because she was punished for her wrongdoings.  The troublemaker refuses to return to the school after being punished, so she fabricates a lie involving the two headmasters to avoid returning.  Another student is forced to verify the lie.  Within hours, the gossip has spread to all the students’ parents, and the school is forced to shut down.  From there, the gossip continues to destroy the lives of the women. Later, the gossip is discovered to be false, but by then it is too late.

Dr. Robert Dillon Jr., professor of theatre and dance at Southeast, directs “The Children’s Hour.” 

Dillon said his favorite part of the play is “the climax in which an apology comes too late to heal the wound created by the lie.”

Dillon said the audience will be entertained and moved by the play, “because it’s the universal story of how talk can kill, it has beautiful writing and brilliantly drawn characters.”

The production adequately demonstrates how gossip and lies spread quickly without hesitation and can significantly affect the lives of many people.


Tickets may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at MetroTix.com, keyword “Childrens”, or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.