Programme – Butterflies Are Free


By Leonard Gershe

By arrangement with Samuel French inc. London.

Produced by the Theatre Arts Company Limited

Directed by Gavin Garner

Don Baker:   Michael McGrath
Jill Tanner:   Linda Howard
Mrs. Baker:   Gillian Davies
Ralph Austin:   Barry Eggleston

THE SCENE: The entire action takes place in Don Baker’s apartment (the top floor of a walk-up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan) on East 11th Street in New York City.

Scene 1:   A morning in June
Scene 2:   A few hours later

Scene 1:   A moment later
Scene 2:   That night

BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE was first presented on October 21, 1969 at the Booth Theatre, New York City.


Leonard Gershe has worked in the theatre in London and New York, and on TV scripts and motion pictures in Hollywood. He wrote the original screenplay ‘FUNNY FACE’, which won him an Academy Award nomination. With Leonard Spigelglass [Spigelgass] he wrote the screen version of the Cole Porter musical ‘SILK STOCKINGS’. Both films were on the New York Times’ ten best pictures list for 1957. In 1959 Mr. Gershe authored the book for the Broadway musical ‘DESTRY RIDES AGAIN’. Several years of writing songs and screenplays followed; then he returned to the theatre, his first love. One morning Mr. Gershe was listening to a radio interview with a blind Harvard law student who was chuckling over the fact that his draft board had classified him I-A. “I had never met a blind person, and was bowled over by this boy’s humor and healthy attitude about his situation,” the author says. Mr. Gershe had also been thinking about the personality of a friend of his, a young Hollywood star who was wary of committing herself to any permanent relationship. He was intrigued by the idea of bringing these two characters together in a play. And so ‘BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE’ came to be.

Hastings Group Theatre Incorporated
Napier Repertory Players Incorporated

I only ask to be free.
The butterflies are free.
Mankind will surely not deny to Harold Skimpole
What it concedes to butterflies.

Bleak House
Charles Dickens

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Hastings Group Theatre Incorporated and Napier Repertory Players Incorporated

Format of the original



  • Barry Eggleston
  • Gavin Garner
  • Leonard Gershe
  • Linda Howard
  • Michael McGrath

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