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All Because of Agatha

All Because of Agatha
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Jonathan Troy
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 1964
ISBN-10: 0822200155
ISBN-13: 9780822200154
Cast Size: 6 female, 4 male

About the Play:

All Because of Agatha is a full-length comic mystery by Jonathan Troy. The play is about the hilarious plight of the young couple who move into a centuries-old house, only to find that it is haunted once a year by a slightly destructive witch named Agatha. Refusing to be scared off, they plan a party for the night of witch's annual visit, inviting the local psychic, the doctor next door, the local reporter and more – all over-the-top characters – in All Because of Agatha. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

All Because of Agatha is the story of Duff O'Hara and of his young bride, Joan. Being a cartoonist, Duff can live where he chooses and, at the urging of Joan, this turns out to be historic Salem, Massachusetts. They are both taken by the charming old house that is shown to them; although Duff evinces misgivings when the real estate man reluctantly admits that the house has one rather bizarre feature which has discouraged previous tenants from staying on – it is visited each year by a distressingly capricious, maddeningly tenacious yet undeniably appealing witch, Agatha Forbes, who was burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials. But Joan wants the house, witch and all, so they settle in. Things go so well that by the time Agatha's annual visitation is due Duff and Joan decide to make a party of it, and hopefully a farewell one for Agatha. Joan's Aunt Thelma comes to visit in time for the festivities for which the next door neighbours, Dr. Randolph and his mother (a medium who calls herself Madame La Solda), are also invited. Inasmuch as Agatha is a local legend the newspaper sends its star reporter, Flip Cannon, along to cover the affair, but the atmosphere of gaiety soon vanishes when the witch herself arrives in a cloud of smoke and bad temper. Impatient from the outset, Agatha makes no bones about the fact that she wants everyone out of the house, although she does mellow to the extent of admitting that if she had a choice she would rather forego her enforced yearly visits and stay wherever it is witches live out eternity. She even goes along with Madame La Solda's occult attempts to dissolve the commitment that binds her, but when this fails Agatha loses patience and repeats her evacuation order. As no one will cooperate, she then exercises her special powers and casts a spell which, to every one's dismay, makes them actually become, temporarily, as they secretly wish themselves to be. The results are uproarious. But Joan, fortunately, keeps her wits about her and solves the riddle of how to free Agatha from her house-haunting obligation – which she does in the nick of time and to the relief of all.

All Because of Agatha premiered in 1962 at the Call Board Theatre in West Hollywood. It has been a long-standing favourite of college and community theatre groups and middle and high school drama clubs because the action can easily take place in present-day.

Cast: 6 female, 4 male

About the Playwright:

Jonathan Troy is an American playwright and dramatist. Among his plays are the bewitching comedy All Because of Agatha, the mystery Web of Murder, and the romantic comedy A Handful of Rainbows.

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