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A Is for All

A Is for All
Your Price: $17.99 CDN
Limited Quantities
Author: Marian Winters
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 91
Pub. Date: 1968
ISBN-10: 0822200007
ISBN-13: 9780822200000
Cast Size: 7 female, 7 male

About the Play:

HARD TO FIND BOOK, only a very limited number of copies are still available.

A is for All is a collection of three one-act plays by Marian Winters. When Animal Keepers is presented as a double bill with Assembly Line or All Saints' Day, or both, it offers exceptional opportunity for actors to demonstrate versatility by doubling in different roles in the several plays.

Animal Keepers brings the characters together in a veterinarian's waiting room as a microcosm to explore human nature through conversation as they await treatment of their pets. As described by critic Whitney Bolton: "It is about the reception room of a veterinarian to which come poor and rich with ailing animals. It is a sensitive play, a commentative play, with some wit, some discernment, some sense of what people are and why they are what they are." The author's own television adaptation on CBS Repertoire Workshop won two coveted Emmy Awards in 1967. (Cast: 3 female, 4 male, 1 child, no animals required.)

What people say:

"Uncommonly touching there's a quality of simple honesty that runs through the play and the production that's most affecting. Miss Winters' microcosm is small in scope, but her veterinarian's waiting room, filled with lonely souls who pour out their stifled affection to their animals, is a sad but oddly warm and pleasant little place." — New York World Journal Tribune

Assembly Line is a funny, lively and spirited, yet deeply moving. The play is concerned with a group of factory workers and the exciting interplay of their personalities under the tensions created by their hypnotic daily routine. Set in the dramatically colourful, economically bleak thirties, the play begins with the early morning arrival of a handful of women at their drab jobs. Filomena, brassy, good-natured, working to pay for her sister's education; Frances, shy and scared, forfeiting her own dreams to indulge a selfish mother; Mae, self-centred, imagining herself a professional model; Joan, holding down two jobs to support her piano studies; and Inez, hoping to dance to fame through the Harvest Moon Ball contest. Into this group comes young Marsha, sensitive, educated, resented for being a cut above the others. Tension and friction mount under pressure of their forced cooperation to maintain the flow of work, until a sudden accident by a careless stock-boy causes the factory owner to suffer a severe heart attack. Abruptly the individual dreams are halted. Awed by the awareness of a potential death, they reach out for one another and create a brief moment of gentleness and understanding. But, relentless as reality, the work resumes and the assembly line continues as it must coldly, impersonally, inexorably. (Cast: 7 female, 7 male)

All Saints' Day is alternately funny, touching and chilling, with overtones of the mystical. This remarkably gripping two-character play keeps the audience enthralled from opening curtain to electric denouement. Two lonely derelicts have taken temporary shelter in an abandoned waterfront building on Halloween night. Vaguely uneasy, some sixth sense makes John want to leave, but he is nevertheless impressed and intrigued by Peter's unending fund of information and is prevailed upon to stay until midnight. As the water slaps against the pier outside, they brew tea over a tar-barrel fire, and engage in a fascinating dialogue on various jobs, hitchhiking, chess, ancient customs and meanings. Peter explains that the "Lord of Death" appears at midnight on Halloween, the start of All Saints' Day, to exact retribution for misdeeds. Peter misses his wallet and accuses John of having stolen it. John denies it. In an awesome struggle Peter relentlessly attacks John and leaves him lying on the floor. He then discovers the missing wallet and goes to tell John, only to find him dead. Remorseful and troubled, Peter slides John's body from the window into the water below, and returns to sit and await his judgement from the "Lord of Death." (Cast: 2 male)

About the Playwright:

Marian Winters (1924-1978) was an American actress of stage, film, and television. Best known for her work on Broadway, she is the author of the one-act plays A is for All, All Saints' Day, Animal Keepers and Assembly Line.