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A Perfect Ganesh

A Perfect Ganesh
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Terrence McNally
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 97
Pub. Date: 1994
ISBN-10: 0822213796
ISBN-13: 9780822213796
Cast Size: 2 women, 2 men

About the Play:

A Perfect Ganesh has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Male Monologues.

A Perfect Ganesh is a full-length comedic drama by Terrence McNally. A quest for meaning in their lives leads two middle-aged women on a journey through India and through painful memories before returning home – with and without answers. Considered one of Terrence McNally's best plays, A Perfect Ganesh is an insightful and creative blend of comedy and drama with many enchanting characters, and a captivating plot filled with humour, warmth and a host of surprise twists and turns.

A Perfect Ganesh follows two outwardly unremarkable, very rich middle-aged lady friends, bored with their lives and routines and husbands. On their journey for inner peace, the women travel to India instead of to their more usual Caribbean vacation spots. They have chosen India as a way of healing from the deaths of their sons. Turning the pilgrimage tradition on its head, Margaret Civil and Katherine Brynne throw themselves into a rousing tour of India, each one having her own secret dreams of what the fabled land of intoxicating opposites will do for the suffering she hides within. Margaret, an uptight example of WASP prerogative, has just discovered a lump in her breast but hasn't told her friend. The more theatrical and adventurous Katharine seeks a respite from the haunting of her son, Walter, and even thinks of kissing the leprous hordes of Bombay to atone for the way she rejected him and maybe, she thinks, contributed to the gay-bashing in which he died. While there, they meet a Hindu god, Ganesha, meaning 'wisdom.' Faced with the women's despair, who but the golden elephant-headed god could intervene? Fluid in his power to assume any guise, at peace with all things, Ganesha is the spiritual center around which the play spins itself, drawing upon the tragic and the comic, the beautiful and the deplorable, until a breathtaking release arrives for both women at his hands.

A Perfect Ganesh premiered in 1993 off-Broadway at New York's famed Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) and was a was a Finalist for the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been mounted by regional, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 female, 2 male

What people say:

"…the compassion that pervades the work, the juxtapositions of the horrible and the ethereal and the bursts of raucous humor are highly reminiscent of such [Tennessee] Williams dramas as The Night of the Iguana and Suddenly Last Summer." — New York Times

"…clearly McNally's most important work to date. It is absorbing, moving, funny and, most of all, life-assertive, a play that defines its times while addressing its concerns." — New York Post

About the Playwright:

Terrence McNally (1938-2020) was an American playwright whose career has spanned six decades. Initially active in the burgeoning Off-Broadway theatre movement in the 1960s, he is one of the few playwrights of his generation to have successfully made the transition to Broadway, and, in the process, passed from avant-garde to mainstream acclaim. In addition to four Tony Awards for his plays, he received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller grant, and was a recipient of the Dramatists Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lucille Lortel Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Tony Awards' Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre Honor. He is considered one of America's great playwrights.

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