Playwright Crafting Play About Sheridan Woman

Playwrite Edward Allan Baker -- Photo Copyright Leslie Stratmoen

A New York playwright is crafting a play about a Sheridan woman who launched a home-front effort during World War II to pass on information about prisoners of war to their families. Leslie Stratmoen has the story.

Playwright Edward Allan Baker from Brooklyn, who’s been writing plays for the past 40 years and teaches at the Actor’s Studio in New York, has agreed to write a play about a Sheridan woman for the summer’s Wyoming Film Festival in Sheridan.

The woman he’s writing about is Cora Reed, who was a short wave radio operator who left a powerful legacy through her World War II correspondence to families of POWs she’d hear giving their name and rank on Japanese broadcasts. I sat down with Baker, recently, while he was in Sheridan, to see how this partnership evolved.

The idea, he said, came from local historian Val Burgess of Sheridan, and with that prompt, DannyLee Hodnett who’s the theater director at Sheridan College and festival organizer, joined our conversation.

Baker picked up the story then, saying the Cora letters were discovered long after she was gone.

He said the play will revolve around Cora, her family and daily life, which will include some of her personal problems, dramatized a bit.

So, after spending his time here in Sheridan, he said, he’ll now go back home and begin writing the script. The first draft of the play is scheduled to be finished by March, because the festival is set for July.