Cody Musical Theatre Company

23rd-28th September 2002

The best bordello in Texas dated back to 1915, when Jessie Williams purchased an old farmhouse on 12 acres on the border of La Grange, where it existed in harmony with the law and local citizens for nearly 50 years. During the Depression, the girls traded services for farm goods and livestock. So many chickens were received that hen houses were set up for poultry and egg production – hence the name Chicken Ranch. In 1960 Edna Milton purchased the property from Miss Jessie’s estate and did a first-class remodelling job. It was under Miss Edna’s direction that the house of prostitution reached its greatest fame. In 1973 Marvin Zindler, a Houston TV newsman, mounted a campaign to close the Chicken Ranch. Jim Flournoy, former Texas Ranger and country sheriff since 1946, cited charitable work, saved marriages, and local acceptance and refused to close it. Zindler directed his TV attack on the Governor, who called Sheriff Jim. He in turn placed the call that quietly ended the Chicken Ranch’s 58-year history.

This happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and state-wide political side-stepping recounts the good times and the demise of the Chicken Ranch, known since the 1850s as one of the better pleasure palaces in all of Texas. The rural community of Gilbert has long tolerated, secretly relished, and certainly patronised Miss Mona’s cosy homelike bordello. Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams-sponsored by an alumnus-frequented the Chicken Ranch until that puritan nemesis Watchdog focused his television cameras and righteous indignation on the institution.

Production Team

Creative Team

DirectorSue Sampson
Musical DirectorDerek Canfield
ChoreographerHuw Prall
Stage ManagerMike Davall


Cast List

(Characters In Order of Appearance)
NarratorMartin Sampson
Miss Wulla JeanClaire Fryer
AngelDeborah Oxenham
ShyJane Mumford
JewelSophie Fryer
Miss MonaJulie Dance
Linda LouMary Heath
Ruby RaeLisa Fletcher
BeatriceAli Godfrey Palmer
EloiseJo White
DurlaVivian Barber
DawnSuzi Canfield
Taddy JoLynda Taylor
GingerVanessa Higgins
Melvin P ThorpeRon Walker
Sheriff Ed Earl DoddSteve Woolford
CJ ScruggsDavid Main
Mayor Rufus PoindexterHaydn Thomas
Doatsey MaeGiga Phillips
Edsel MackeyEric McLoughlin
TV ManDavid Main
Imogene CharleneSuzi Canfield
Senator WingwoahHaydn Thomas
GovernorDavid Main 
Dogettes and Cowboy Quartet John Canfield, Tim Canfield, Mike Lehman, Gary Oxenham  
Angelettes Suzi Canfield, Lisa Fletcher, Ali Godfrey Palmer,  Mary Heath, Vanessa Higgins, Lynda Taylor  
Aggies Chris Armes, Mark Aston, John Canfield,  Tim Canfield, Julian Clinton, Gary Oxenham, Paul Tapley, Phil Street  
Choir and TownspeopleChris Armes, Mark Aston, Carrie Canfield, Julian Clinton, Ann-Marie Emmett, Claire Fryer, Eric Smith, Paul Tapley,  June Thomas, Phil Street, Zoë Woodhams
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