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Acrobats and Line: Two Plays

Acrobats and Line: Two Plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Israel Horovitz
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 58
Pub. Date: 1971
ISBN-10: 0822200066
ISBN-13: 9780822200062
Cast Size: 1 female, 1 male

About the Play:

Acrobats and Line are two one-act plays by Israel Horovitz. A perfect curtain-raiser, Acrobats is a clever, whimsical 10-minute two-hander, which was presented Off-Broadway on a double bill with Line. Acrobats depicts two "acrobats" engaged in a running marital feud while, at the same time, going through the intricacies of their routine. Line is an absurdist drama very much in the Beckett/Ionesco style, about five people waiting in a line; none of them seemingly know what they are waiting for, but all are desperate to get first place in line.

Acrobats explores co-dependency in relationships. A husband and wife start their acrobatic number for yet another performance. They go valiantly through the complexities of their routine, smiling toothily, bowing on cue, and, all the while, spouting their disdain for one another. (A ballroom dancing routine has been substituted for the acrobatics the title implies: the couple's rocky relationship is then mirrored in their tango.) He threatens to drop her, she vows to leave him – but then the lights come up, the final bows are taken, and, subtly but surely, we are aware that their mutual dependency is still stronger than the tensions that have been so wittily and amusingly exposed. (Premiered in 1971 at Theatre De Lys in New York City; Cast: 1 female, 1 male)

What people say:

"It's funny and offbeat and a fine curtain-raiser." — Cue Magazine

"…beguiling with a variety of funny and subtle touches." — Variety

"…tricky, bright and literate." — Long Island Daily Press

Line: One by one a group of unacquainted people come together to form a line for some unnamed, upcoming event. The first to arrive is a burly, beer-drinking, sweat-shirted "middle American"; then an alienated, voluble, Mozart-loving youth; a taciturn type who brings his own folding stool; and, finally, a shapely, promiscuous girl and her spineless, older husband. Gradually inexorably, the struggle for first place begins, and as they lie, cheat, wrestle and push to gain the lead spot an extraordinary panorama of human frailty is made explosively and hilariously real. As, in the end, are the deviousness, the competitiveness, and the pettiness of the small, wasting battles with which we litter our lives. (Cast: 1 female, 4 male)

Line premiered in 1967 at the legendary La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (La MaMa E.T.C.) Off-Off-Broadway in New York City. A revival of Line is the longest-running Off-Off-Broadway show, having played continuously at the 13th Street Repertory Theatre from 1974 to 2018. Among actors who appeared in the show over the years have been Richard Dreyfuss, John Cazale and Chazz Palminteri.

About the Playwright:

Israel Horovitz (1939-2020) was an American playwright, director, and actor who first came to prominence in the counterculture melting pot of Greenwich Village in the winter of 1967-68, with four critically acclaimed plays produced Off Broadway. Since then, nearly 70 Horovitz plays have been performed throughout the USA, and dozens have been translated and performed in as many as 25 languages, worldwide. He won numerous awards, including the OBIE (twice), the Emmy, Priz du Plaisir de theatre (for Line In Paris), Prix du Jury (Cannes Film Festival), the New York Drama Desk Award, and Award in Literature of The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Eliot Norton Prize, and many others.

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