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Bad Habits

Bad Habits
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Terrence McNally
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 95
Pub. Date: 1990
Edition: Revised
ISBN-10: 0822214350
ISBN-13: 9780822214359
Cast Size: 2 female and 6 male

About the Play:

Bad Habits has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Female/Female Scenes, and Female/Male Scenes.

The volume Bad Habits is the collective title for a pair one-act comedies by Terrence McNally. An evening of two one-act plays, both set in a nursing home. In Ravenswood, a doctor seeks to cure several elderly patients of their ills by encouraging complete freedom. In Dunelawn, drugs are offered as the solution. The plays may be presented separately, but title Bad Habits can only be used if they are performed together as an evening of entertainment.

Bad Habits is a pair of brilliantly satirical plays that offers a biting and hilarious study of events in two very singular sanitariums. In the first play, Dunelawn, we are in an expensive retreat for the unhappily married, where the wheel-chaired director, Dr. Pepper, dispenses a definitely unique sort of marital guidance. His theory includes complete indulgence in such "bad habits" as smoking, drinking and sexual promiscuity – which seems to work wonders for his patients, whose wacky case histories are each examined in hilarious detail. In the second play, Ravenswood, the approach is quite the opposite. Here the saintly Dr. Toynbee injects his straitjacketed charges with tranquilizing drugs to calm such urges – but again the catalogue of aberrations revealed in his patients is subjected to close, and enormously funny, scrutiny.

Bad Habits premiered in 1974 off-Broadway at the Astor Place Theatre. The production was a hit and transferred to Broadway at the Booth Theatre and won the Obie Award as Distinguished Play for the season. 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: Dunelawn and Ravenswood can be performed by the same cast, as each calls for 2 female and 6 male.

What people say:

"…really funny…goes to prove that laughter is the best medicine." — The New York Times

"Terrence McNally gets funnier and funnier. His Bad Habits is a twin bill and it's funny enough for two theatres." — New York Daily News

"…the best comedy so far this season…." — Variety

"…inspired madness of the highest order." — Cue Magazine

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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