They say you can take the girl out of Yorkshire but you can’t take Yorkshire out of the girl. I live in New York but was born and bred in Yorkshire and go back every summer to visit my beloved country, see the stunning beauty of its countryside again. Yorkshire has been the setting and inspiration for several of my plays, and Rosemary and Time springs out of a conversation over dinner with Yorkshire friends several years ago.
When my friend, Duncan, told me the story, I felt immediately there was a play in it, and asked if he could connect me with Sally, the woman who becomes Rosemary in my play. I had tea with her, and later she and Margaret, the woman who becomes Hilda came for lunch. They were excited about the idea of a play, and gave me their permission, understanding this would not be a biography or documentary, but that I would take off imaginatively with the material to create drama. The kernel of the story, the wellspring, is all true, and I used many details they so generously gave me.
I like that the play spans two time periods – Britain in the 1940’s, World War II, and in the 1970’s. I am drawn to the themes of families and motherhood, of integrating the past into the present, of healing old trauma and sadness. I like that the play has many strong roles for women. And I like being able to use some of my late darling Dad’s Yorkshire jokes!
~Jennifer Fell Hayes