It was first produced at Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre on 14th Street, New York, on 1 December 1930 where it was given 25 performances in the regular repertory season when, unexpectedly, it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1931. In May 1931 the production was transferred uptown to the Ritz Theatre where it received indifferent reviews and closed after two weeks.
Inspired by the life and work of the American poet Emily Dickinson, the play is set by Glaspell in her native Iowa. It is 18 years since Alison Stanhope, the country's foremost poet, died. Now the house she lived in must be sold, but it holds secrets. Did Alison sacrifice the man she loved for the sake of her family's reputation? And whom do such sacrifices benefit? The play's struggles are set in 1899, on the cusp of the 20th century, in which very different values will come to prevail.
- Alison's House at the Internet Broadway Database
- British Theatre Guide review of the Orange Tree Theatre revival, October 2009
- The Stage review of the Orange Tree revival
- Guardian review of the Orange Tree revival
- Theatre Record and its annual Indexes