martinguerreThe House of Martin Guerre is a musical written by Leslie Arden (music, lyrics & co-book) and Anna Theresa Cascio (co-book). It is inspired by the 16th century French peasant Martin Guerre. It was first produced by Theatre Plus under the direction of Duncan McIntosh in Toronto (1993) at the Jane Mallett Theatre.  It won the 1994 Dora Mavor Moore Award.  It was then developed further by the Canadian theatrical producer Livent and went on to be produced by Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 1996. It was directed by David Petrarca and received the Best Musical 1996 Jefferson Award.  Variety said the show was “so fresh, so resoundingly complete and rewarding, that there is talk her first major show may yet land on Broadway”.  In 1997, it was once again produced in Toronto by the Canadian Stage Company.  Arden was nominated with a Chalmers Award for her work.

The story is famous, a 16th-century tale of a young French peasant farm boy who was forced into an arranged marriage. The unhappy Martin Guerre deserted his wife Bertrande and baby son, returning eight years later to assume his position as head of the family and heir to the Guerre land. According to legend, Bertrande readily accepted her husband, who had apparently been transformed into a loving and caring partner. Four years later, however, she suddenly denounced him as an impostor, and he was jailed and sent to trial.



Written By: Leslie Arden with Anna Theresa Cascio

Additional:  Based on the famous 16th century tale

Licensing By: The Talent House,

Cast Requirements: 12 Men, 10 Women




Canadian Stage, Toronto, 1997

The Goodman Theatre, Chicago, 1996

Theatre Plus, Toronto, 1993

Reviews: “Composer-lyricist Leslie Arden has not only done her mentors Cameron Mackintosh and Stephen Sondheim proud, she has, in writing “The House of Martin Guerre”, also created something so fresh, so resoundingly complete and rewarding, that there is talk that her first major show may yet land on Broadway.” -Mira Friedlander, New York Variety



  1. Oh my God, we saw this play at the Goodman and were overwhelmed by the brilliance, the staging and costumes, and the utterly perfect performances. We tried to get tickets again before the end of the run but were unable. I would absolutely love to see this musical again…or own a cast recording. There are a few songs available to stream on Ms Arden’s website, and that’s great, but it only makes me want more!

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