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Title Genre Cast Size Actions / Compare
Actor, The Comedy/Satire 5 (3m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

This play tells the hilarious and moving story of a young man, bitten by the acting bug, who'll make any sacrifice to keep his dream of a theatrical career from being crushed under the weight of his parents' expectations for him. It's a charming exploration of artistic ambition from one of modern theatre's greatest artists.

"Few dramatists today can replicate this kind of storytelling with the gentle mastery that Mr. Foote provides…both sentimental and ruthless, toting up the losses in one generation's life with warm compassion and a cold awareness that to live is ultimately to lose." —NY Times.     

Actors Comedy/Satire; Drama 3 (2m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

The scene is the bare stage of a theatre, where two actors, one young, one old, await the start of rehearsals. They play chess and exchange theatre stories, but as they do so deeper chords are touched. Just as they represent two generations, and two schools of acting, so do they reflect two distinct ways of thinking—the older man has learned to compromise and to hold back his true opinions; while the younger man must live, and act, as openly as his emotions dictate. Ultimately sparks are struck, and their conversation cuts to the root of human relationships. But, when they part, it is evident that both, in finally revealing their deepest and most honest thoughts, have also gained much from each other—perhaps even more than they have been aware of giving.

Funny, sensitive and crafted with consummate skill, this affecting short play was warmly received in its Off-Off-Broadway production by New York's noted Ensemble Studio Theatre. Also selected for inclusion in Best Short Plays. "…written with great economy and humor." —NY Times.     

Acts of Love Drama 4 (2m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Ed, a physician, and Sheila, a well-known anthropologist, are celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary at their summer cottage. Their son, Tom, joins them, bringing with him his new girlfriend, Annie, who is apparently thrilled to discover that her boyfriend's stepmother is one of her academic heroines. As the weekend unfolds, it becomes increasingly unclear whether Annie's presence at the house is a matter of fate, coincidence or deliberate manipulation—and the peculiar tension between the women leads to other deeper, long-avoided questions about Ed and Sheila's marriage and the intertwined acts of love and deceit that brought and have kept them together.

"…a tight, compact domestic drama that is engaging throughout. In examining the lengths to which its characters go in the name of love, the play detonates its share of dramatically satisfying moments and unveils a couple of unexpected plot surprises that keep the audience hooked." —NYTheatre.com. "…a scenario which becomes absorbing and is near flawless…Ms. Chetkovich provides a vehicle which rings of emotional truth, clarity, and personal impact." —Hi!Drama."There's both pathos and humor…ACTS OF LOVE is a tribute to the diversity and purpose of families. It beautifully illustrates the needs that bring individuals together and the love that keeps them together under the most desperate of times." —Electronic Link Journey.   

Adam Baum and the Jew Movie Comedy/Satire; Drama 3 (3m, 0f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Hollywood, 1946. Jewish movie mogul Sam Baum prepares to give notes to Gentile screenwriter Garfield Hampson on his screenplay about anti-Semitism. Time is of the essence. Zanuck at Fox has his own "Jew Movie," Gentleman's Agreement, and America can only take one. Gar arrives, excited and optimistic. Sam chats him up, but then gets to the point: The script is too Jewish; Gar has written it "as a Jew, and not as a Gentile." The men argue about the script, about what it means to be American, what it means to be Jewish. Sam invites Gar to his son Adam's Bar Mitzvah, so he can see what Jews are really like. Late Saturday night, the Bar Mitzvah is winding down, and Sam slips into his study. Adam appears, in his plaid suit and yarmulke. Sam takes the yarmulke from him. Adam asks if he can sing him his portion. Sam refuses, gives his son a "shake hand lesson" instead. Gar appears, a little drunk, with a present for Adam: tools. Adam leaves. Sam asks Gar what he's learned from the Bar Mitzvah. Gar is appalled by it. Sam calls him a communist. Adam appears. Sam asks him to drop his pants to show Gar what makes him Jewish. Adam runs off. All is lost. Sam and Gar cannot get on the same page. Gar asks if Sam's fear is about money. Sam calls Gar a "Jew hater," and finally understands the genius of Zanuck, hiring Moss Hart, a Jew, to write Gentleman's Agreement. "Only a Jew could write a Jew and not think of writing a Jew." The movie is off. Gar leaves, devastated. Adam returns. Sam apologizes to him, and asks him to sing his portion. Adam sings as Sam weeps.

"Stocked with uneasy questions about self-deception and self-hatred." —Time Magazine. "Comic genius." —Variety. "The script has a complexity that is rare by today's dumb-and-dumber standards. Here, after all, is a play that understands just how insidious prejudice is and also how racist attitudes can be lurking in the most unexpected places." —NY Daily News. 

Adaptation Comedy/Satire 4 (3m, 1f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

This is a contest, played like Parcheesi, in which the contestant advances or is sent back through the seven ages of man. The Author has written a parody of life with such incisiveness that it becomes like Swift in its barbs. The play creates a picture of man from birth until death, with all its madness, with all its familiarity and with all its nonsense. What's more, a quartet consisting of the games master, the male players and the female players assist the incomparable contestant from "mewling infant" to "second childishness and mere oblivion." Incident after incident makes you laugh and suddenly makes you stop and think that maybe you're laughing at yourself.

One of Off-Broadway's all-time successes (on a double-bill with Terrence McNally's Next), this excruciatingly funny and truly satiric play examines and dissects the shortcomings of modern society with rare wit and inventiveness. "…just plain marvelous." —NY Times. "…a brilliant, funny and original one-acter." —NY Newsday. "It is witty and sound and very funny." —The New Yorker.     

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Comedy/Satire 8 (6m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Join Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and Becky Thatcher in the greatest summer adventure ever told in this imaginative, highly theatrical adaptation of Mark Twain’s incomparable classic. Featuring the thrill of mischief-making, the fickleness of first love, the cold shivers that linger after an adventure gone very wrong and the unbridled joy at discovering real buried treasure, this story is for anyone who has ever been a kid and celebrates all that is grand and glorious about childhood.

"A near-perfect production…sassy, ingeniously staged and deeply affecting." —NY Times. "The show is bright and fresh enough to send a youngster who hasn't yet encountered Tom Sawyer flying home to read the book. And that is no small achievement." —Denver Westword. "Timeless and playful…[an] adaptation of a classic piece of literature with a modern theatrical appeal." —TheArtsLouisville.com. "Clever, creative…an inventive, high-spirited and endearing stage version." —Kansas City Star. "It is exciting and engrossing, for adults as well as children…the whole production soar[s] like a dream of America long ago, bursting with possibilities and promise." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "An innovative and charming adaptation…sticks to the bones of the story with admirable fidelity, but creates a flowing physical style that effectively integrates dance with drama." —Talkin' Broadway.   

African Company Presents Richard III, The Drama 7 (5m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Earning their bread with satires of white high society, the African Company came to be known for debunking the sacred status of the English classics (which many politically and racially motivated critics said were beyond the scope of black actors). Inside the Company's ranks, similar debates raged about whether to mimic the English tongue, or to provide a more lively interpretation of white theater by acknowledging the vibrancy of the black experience (in the words of the African Company's manager: "Say ya Shakespeare like ya want"). Shakespeare is the chosen cultural battleground in this inventive retelling of a little known, yet pivotal event in the African Company's history. Knowing they are always under prejudicial pressures from white society, and facing their own internal shakeups, the African Company battles for time, space, audiences and togetherness. Their competition, Stephen Price, an uptown, Broadway-type impresario, is producing Richard III at the same time as the African Company's production is in full swing. Price has promised a famous English actor overflowing audiences if he plays Richard in Price's theatre. Fearing the competition of the African Company's production, which is garnering large white audiences, Price manipulates the law and closes down the theatre. The Company rebounds and finds a space right next door to Price's theatre. At the rise of curtain of the next performance, Price causes the arrest of some of the actors in a trumped-up riot charge. The play ends with the Company, surviving, its integrity intact, and about to launch an equally progressive new chapter in the American theatre: They'll soon be producing the first black plays written by black Americans of their day.

In 1821, forty years before Lincoln ended slavery, and fifty years before black Americans earned the right to vote, the first black theatrical group in the country, the African Company of New York, was putting on plays in a downtown Manhattan theatre to which both black and white audiences flocked. Yet the drama of this progressive group reached further than their stage. "…the personal and the historical, the comic and the angry propels THE AFRICAN COMPANY…theatrical and social concerns entwine with powerful resonances to today…Mr. Brown is a writer with a distinct voice and a powerful story to tell." —Washington Post. "What makes THE AFRICAN COMPANY…so effective is the way in which the playwright not only suggests the New York of 1821, and the particular circumstances of "freed" blacks in that era, but even…suggests their angers, concerns and tensions." —NY Post.    

After Ashley Comedy/Satire 6 (4m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

AFTER ASHLEY is a blisteringly funny and deeply affecting story about a teenage boy navigating the joys and terrors of life—all through the distorting prism of a media firestorm. When a family tragedy deals the Hammond family a dose of dubious celebrity, Justin finds himself paralyzed, unable to fully grieve or grow up. The only bright spot is a girl, only Justin can't decide if she's a saving angel or a self-interested groupie. In a world as weird as this one, she might just be both.

"Shrewd, dark comedy…absorbing and wholly unpredictable…AFTER ASHLEY is a work that virtually any audience would find accessible." —NY Times. "Sick, ugly, and brilliantly funny…and wise. In Gionfriddo's plays, as in all great plays, no one is wrong, everyone is right." —Brooklyn Rail. "Write down the name Gina Gionfriddo. Deft characterization, caustic humor, and well-deployed nips at the American slack moral conscience make AFTER ASHLEY, Ms. Gionfriddo's acidic puree of modern culture at The Vineyard, one of the necessary shows to see this year…a play for the decade." —NY Sun. "…[a] smart, satirical drama…the play's razor-sharp observations, biting humor, droll dialogue and erudite pop-culture literacy provide much to appreciate and enjoy." —Variety. "…a play that makes you ravenous for more…captivatingly assured, the work of a writer with a keen ear for the language of pop culture and a lacerating ability to con-vey the emotions roiling underneath words…" —The Miami Herald. "…everything works…compelling drama about loss, grief and morality in the media spotlight is richly embroidered with comedy." —Sun-Sentinel.

After Easter Drama 11 (5m, 6f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Greta, an Irish ex-patriot living in England, has been experiencing religious visions for years. Or are they merely signs of a mental disorder whose roots lie in Greta's upbringing? A strident non-believer, Greta has tried to suppress these episodes, but stress from a crumbling marriage and the birth of her third child have pushed her to the brink of suicide. At the opening of the play, Greta recounts fleeing a party and sitting in the middle of a road where she's nearly hit by a bus. Discharged from the mental hospital that took her in, Greta visits with her two sisters: Helen, a commercial artist who adopts an American accent to hide her heritage; and Aoife, a not-so-strict Catholic who has married and moved only minutes away from her childhood home. But on her first night out of hospital, Greta has a vision of a female banshee entering her room. That night, the sisters learn of their father's heart attack, and they return home to a confrontation with their overpowering mother, the Church and their father's death.

"Devlin's writing is sharp, subtle, brutal and funny." —Sunday Times (London). "AFTER EASTER is full of laughter, pain and spiritual grace…I found the range of its vision thrilling." —Daily Telegraph. "Anne Devlin's marvelous new play is rich, dense and poetic, beautifully written and very funny." —Observer.

After the Fall Drama 23 (12m, 11f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As Howard Taubman outlines the play: "At the outset Quentin emerges, moves forward and seats himself on the edge of the stage and begins to talk, like a man confiding in a friend. In the background are key figures in his life, and they move in and out of his narrative. The narration shades into scenes, little and big. They are revelations and illuminations. They remind Quentin of an awkward young girl whom he made proud of herself. They bring the tortured image of his mother's death and another of his mother's fury with his father, who lost all in trying to save a floundering business. They crisscross through his relations with a number of women—the first wife who wanted to be a separate person, the second who drove him into a separateness and a possible third who knew, as a German raised in a furnace of concentration camps, that 'survival can be hard to bear.' These intertwining images bring back the memories of inquisition when men were asked to name names of those who had joined with them in a communism that they mistook for a better future…AFTER THE FALL is a pain-wracked drama; it is also Mr. Miller's maturest…For to sit in Mr. Miller's theater is to be in an adult world concerned with a search that cuts to the bone."

The initial offering of New York's Lincoln Center Repertory Theater. A powerful and moving study of a contemporary man struggling to come to terms with himself and his world by probing back into the revealing and often painful events of his past. "Rejoice that Arthur Miller is back with a play worthy of his mettle." —NY Times. "A beautiful, remarkable play." —NY World-Telegram & Sun. "…strong, moving, and perceptive…" —NY Post.     

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