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The American Plan

The American Plan
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Richard Greenberg
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 1991
ISBN-10: 0822200341
ISBN-13: 9780822200345
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male

About the Play:

The American Plan has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Male Monologues, Female/Male Scenes, and Male/Male Scenes.

The American Plan is a full-length comedic drama by Richard Greenberg. At the play's heart is Lili, a troubled, 20ish heiress who indulges in wild fantasies. She meets a mysterious young stranger, and finds herself falling in love. But when her overbearing mother learns of their relationship, lies are exposed, alliances are forged, and Lili's one chance to escape her mother's control may be lost forever.

The American Plan is a thoughtful and mysterious play that dissects a portion of upper-class American society at mid-century and finds a troubled young girl's dream of love shattered by her mother's definition of happiness. It is the Catskills, in the summer of 1960. Lili Adler is the troubled twenty-year-old daughter of a wealthy German-Jewish refugee. By the shore of a lake, she meets Nick Lockridge, a golden young man who looks to her as if "nothing ever happened to him." Over the summer, Lili comes to view Nick as her savior, and Nick's fondness for Lili grows; but to Eva, Lili's autocratic mother, Nick is an object of suspicion, and the romance that blossoms between him and Lili is an unfortunate condition that must be indulged before it can be obliterated. Eva knows she will find out something about Nick which will unmask his unworthiness. To find it, she patiently manipulates Nick's revelations about his past to prove him unfit for Lili. By play's end, time, past injuries, and the imperatives of history will conspire to bear out Eva's dictum that happiness exists "but it's for other people."

The American Plan premiered in 1990 by the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) Off-Broadway at New York City Center Stage II and transferred to the MTC Mainstage. Revived by MTC on Broadway in 2009 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, the play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Greenberg has created some compelling characters…The dialogue is lyrical, the characters absorbing…." — New York Daily News

"How Greenberg achieves the end is nothing less than spellbinding. His characters shift and shimmer like reflections on the resort's lake." — Variety

About the Playwright:

Richard Greenberg is an American playwright and television writer, known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. One of the most produced playwrights of his generation, he has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-Broadway and has won the Oppenheimer Award for a debuting playwright, the first PEN/Laura Pels Award for a mid-career playwright and has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

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