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2 Drama 11 (9m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

April, 1945. The Nuremberg War Crimes Trials against the leaders of Nazi Germany are about to begin. Hermann Goering, in the place of Adolf Hitler, leads the accused and with his German counsel, prepares his defense. Drug free and healthy from a spartan imprisonment, Goering is once again the formidable man who more than any other made Hitler Chancellor of Germany and built the engines of the Third Reich. He defies the Tribunal with wit and ferocity, refuses to blame Hitler for his actions, denies the right of any conqueror to fairly prosecute the conquered, and foretells a disturbing future for crimes of war. As the horrors of what he is responsible for come to light, he demonically refuses to accept them as anything but the natural consequences of human conflict, and after manipulating his own suicidal escape from hanging, asks the audience, "What do you think men are?"

An exploration of the historical events surrounding Hermann Goering and the Nuremberg Trials in 1945, which offers to help us understand how we allow and view the events of today. "2 is theater as it should be." —Advocate. "What is strongest about the play…is Mr. Linney's perspective on history and its lessons…he has done substantial research and then with an artist's eye analyzed the reality behind the myth." —NY Times. "2…is an imaginative creation in documentary style of a character in the grip of the totalitarian mind-set…Romulus Linney's revisionist history emerged as the leading contender for international attention." —Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Akhmatova Drama 5 (2m, 3f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

AKHMATOVA is summoned to the Kremlin upon the death of Stalin and must resist the ruthless Commissar's search for the words of her masterpiece, which has been committed to her memory and to the memories of her trusted friends.

     

Ambrosio Drama 7 (5m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Freely adapted from Matthew Lewis' eighteenth-century gothic novel, The Monk, AMBROSIO, the play, deftly transposes our own contemporary concerns about sexuality, desire and abstinence on to the original novel's voluptuous setting and atmosphere. As the monk Ambrosio confronts temptation, first in the form of a seductive young male novice, and then in a young woman who begs Ambrosio to be her confessor, as a mysterious fisherman named Don Pedro looks on. Is he, as Ambrosio suspects, really the devil, offering up inducements for Ambrosio to renounce his vows? Is this vision of the devil simply a case of delirium brought on by Ambrosio's life of denial? Is either answer part of a plot by the Inquisition to shore up their own power? Ultimately, the crux of Ambrosio's dilemma lies in the realm of spirituality, where what distinguishes fantasy from reality has yet to be decided.

In a vivid departure from the hypnotic and spiritual folk plays that have confirmed Romulus Linney as one of America's premiere playwrights, comes a work about the Spanish Inquisition's reign of terror and religious persecution, and how it led to the death-by-fire of a fanatical sixteenth-century monk whose vows of celibacy could not hold and instead gave way to rape and murder. "With its intelligence and acuity about crises of faith, AMBROSIO is a play that would honor any of our major theaters." —NY Times.   

April Snow 6 (4m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

APRIL SNOW, is a deeply felt study of love and loneliness involving an aging writer and the women who have figured most significantly in his life—one of his four ex-wives, and a young protégé, forty years his junior, who rekindles his long-lost passions. But, as this bittersweet comedy makes eloquently clear, old wounds are slow to heal, and happiness can be the most elusive—and illusory—of human conditions.

Further evidence that Mr. Linney is a master of the one-act play form. "APRIL SNOW is probably the best play I've seen in New York all year." —The New Yorker. "The writing has Mr. Linney's customary intelligence, as well as a mysterious, enigmatic quality." —NY Times. "I wished the Ensemble (Studio Theatre) would undertake an entire Romulus Linney festival. He is wonderful." —The Nation.     

Ave Maria Comedy/Satire 5 (2m, 3f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

In AVE MARIA, a tenth-century nun, Hrosvitha, the only female playwright of her time, confronts an outraged monk who is shocked by her contention that love is both spiritual and sensual.

     

Can Can Comedy/Satire 1 (1m, 0f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

CAN CAN, is a poignant and telling fugue of overlapping soliloquies in which an ex-GI recalls his brief love affair with a French girl, while a Nashville housewife tells of the strange bond she feels for an older country woman.

     

Captivity of Pixie Shedman, The Drama 6 (4m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Attempting a novel based on his late grandmother's diary, Bertram Shedman, a struggling young writer, is bemused by her extravagant tales and high-flown poetry. Trying to sort out the truth of this remarkable and singular woman he conjures up the fleshly spirit of Pixie herself—as she steps into the action of the play and attempts to persuade this quizzical young man that the lurid events and twisted relationships put down in her family history are indeed the stuff of real life. Their confrontation brings forth other ghosts; his domineering great-grandfather, who whisked Pixie off to Washington after his election as a U.S. Senator; his hard-drinking physician grandfather, who stole Pixie away from his father but looked for solace in the arms of a local waitress; and his own unhappy father, who led a life ordained by others and died of cancer while still a young man. In the end these apparitions step back into the past once more, but their legacy is now one of truth and a guide to the present descendant in reconciling the tangled strands of his own life.

Commissioned and produced by New York's famed Phoenix Theatre, this ingeniously conceived memory play probes into the mind of a young writer who must exorcise the ghosts of his ancestors before he can get started on his own career. "…Linney juggles his string of conflicts wittily and effectively…a director's feast." —Village Voice. "He shoots plays off into horizons." —NY Post. "…reminiscent of the plays of Thornton Wilder, almost a cross between his Our Town and The Skin of Our Teeth, walking the same kind of tightrope between naturalism and out-and-out fantasy." —Bergen Record. 

Childe Byron Drama 8 (4m, 4f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

As the play begins, Ada, the Countess of Lovelace, who was Byron's only legitimate daughter, is writing her will. She is thirty-six (the same age at which her father died) and dying of cancer. While she had been estranged from her father during his lifetime, and had reviled his memory, now, as her own end is drawing near, she is seized with a desire to know more about her profligate father. Stimulated by the drugs she is taking for her illness, she summons him to life and, in sharp, sarcastic exchanges, probes into the truth behind the myth. Aided by a chorus of six other actors who impersonate a variety of characters, the life and art of Byron are unfolded; his tempestuous youth; his incestuous relationship with his sister; his homosexual escapades; the scandal surrounding his brief marriage; and his castigation by the society of his day. In the end the private man, the public figure and the protean poet are reconciled, and the rare dimension of this remarkable figure, who became the symbol of the Romanticism of his time, is made movingly real.

A brilliantly inventive and perceptive portrait of one of history's most controversial and fascinating figures—Lord Byron—which enjoyed the unique distinction of major productions by the Virginia Museum Theatre and the Actors Theatre of Louisville prior to its Off-Broadway presentation by New York's distinguished Circle Repertory Company. "…a brilliant, witty, searing work that seeks and finds the man behind the romantic legend." —Variety. "The Museum Theatre has presented nothing in the last three seasons that is more polished, eloquent or deeply moving than this work." —Richmond News Leader. "It's a tremendously exciting play, this CHILDE BYRON…it marks the arrival of an awesomely gifted American playwright." —Louisville Courier-Journal.  

Christmas Carol (Linney) Drama; Festive/Christmas 36 (19m, 17f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

An adaptation of the story of Ebenezer Scrooge's journey from an embittered, ungenerous creature into a giving, caring human being at the hands of three spirits, who, one Christmas Eve, show him what life means. Of his new stage version of the story Linney writes, "When the Milwaukee Repertory asked me about adapting its new A CHRISTMAS CAROL for them, I did not remember actually reading the book, nor had I seen any of its numerous stage versions. I was only acquainted with the film starring Alastair Sim, done in England years ago, which I had liked, but only dimly remembered. So when I read A CHRISTMAS CAROL, I was able to pretend I had never heard of the great story before. I was of course amazed not only at its beauty and durability, but at its blazing theatricality. It is part Hamelt …part Everyman…and part Charlie Chaplin. I vowed to stick to the bones of the story as closely as I could to take the evolution of Scrooge seriously, and to try and find, as he goes, the child within him that slowly emerges from his ordeal to such bountiful happiness." This richly textured play brings the full spirit of the book, as well as those of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come, to life on the stage. Directions are included for a simplified version of the play.

A new adaptation of the Dickens' classic by an American original. This fine version of the tale of Scrooge's redemption was originally produced at the Milwaukee Repertory Theater. 

Death of King Philip, The 4 (2m, 2f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Set in colonial America, the play tells the story of Mary Rowlandson, who is abducted with her baby son during an Indian uprising that left a dozen New England settlements in ruins. At first we meet Mary as a woman of sixty recalling the momentous event of her youth; then Mary at thirty appears and acts out the events themselves—her capture by the Indian leader, King Philip; and the retribution exacted by her fanatical minister husband, Joseph Rowlandson, and the other settlers. In a series of deftly written, compelling scenes, the irony of the situation in which the protagonists find themselves is made clear: The noble, dignified Indian leader is forced into savage acts of vengeance against his will; while the God-fearing Puritans, despite the teachings of their church, counter with equally terrible acts. In the end King Philip, accepting the inevitable, lays down his arms and surrenders to his fate; yet, as the play so eloquently confirms, the end result is not a matter of victory—but, rather, of the sowing of the seeds of white racism which will bear bitter fruit in succeeding generations.

An eloquent and moving evocation of a tragic page in our early history the inexorable destruction of the American Indian. First presented by the renowned Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the 1983 Festival of Short Plays. "…it is written with a spare lyricism that brings it to a quick and shattering emotional catharsis." —Louisville Courier-Journal. "…took us back to colonial times for a mordant and poetic tale about an Indian chief forced into acts of savagery." —NY Times. 

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