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Banana Man and Other Plays

Banana Man and Other Plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Don Nigro
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 125
Pub. Date: 2005
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0573632219
ISBN-13: 9780573632211
Cast Size: 1 to 3 actors

About the Play:

Banana Man is a one-act comedy by Don Nigro. "Buster Keaton" and "Samuel Beckett" as imagined by Don Nigro have a get-acquainted meeting in a restaurant to discuss the movie they are both working on. A young waitress with theatrical ambitions has no idea who either of them are.

Banana Man is a funny and moving play about the quiet, absurd heroism of two apparently very different but very great artists. In New York, in the summer of 1964, an aging Buster Keaton appeared in a short experimental film written by Samuel Beckett, the one time they collaborated. In this play, set in an Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village that summer, two gentlemen named "Buster" and "Samuel" attempt to communicate with each other, with the unlikely help of a chatty young waitress with theatrical ambitions, who mistakes Buster for Moe from the Three Stooges and Sam for his agent. (Cast: 1 woman, 2 men)

The collection Banana Man and Other Plays also includes eight more short plays and monologues by Don Nigro. The plays include:

Balloon Rat: Anna, a young German woman, tells us about the mysterious events that took place in her old apartment in Munich, where she lives with her little girl and a cat, when a large but demonically clever rat seems to be moving around at night among the blown up balloons left on the floor after her daughter's birthday party. A funny and touching monologue about a compelling young woman coming to terms with time and mortality. (Cast: 1 female)

Barefoot in Nightgown by Candlelight is a popular choice for high school drama festivals. Cath is an orphan, sent to a girls' boarding school in the country, a big old house where she is very lonely until two of the other girls, Alicia and Belle, creep into her room one night, blow on her face to awaken her, and initiate her into a dangerous midnight game of Mistress and Slave. But over time the dares gradually become more dangerous, more erotic, more cruel, more sinister. An excellent Halloween play. First produced at Shadowbox Cabaret in Columbus and by the Grey Wing Stage Company in New York. (Cast: 3 female)

Great Slave Lake: Two women, Gretchen and Margaret, sit on their next door front porches in a small Ohio town in the autumn of 1938 and talk about their husbands, both named Clyde, each a brother of the other woman, who have mysteriously disappeared on a fishing trip to Canada a few months earlier. Mysterious, complex, frightening, and funny. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

Ida Lupino in the Dark: A sofa in a darkened room. In this very funny ten minute play, Minnie sits in a darkened room, her face illuminated by the eerie glow of snow on an unseen downstage television set, surrounded by junk assembled by her philandering artist husband, creating in her head a bizarre imaginary film. Minnie's sisters, Sherry and Caitlin, attempting to understand the reasons for Minnie's apparent nervous breakdown, are pulled into her demented old imaginary movie, and discover what finally pushed her over the edge. A densely packed and funny ten minutes or so of nostalgic movie lunacy and betrayal. Includes dramaturgical note. (Cast: 3 female)

Mooncalf: Rebecca, a woman in her seventies, is writing a letter to her son, Ben, although she speaks the letter to the audience. She tells him the increasingly grotesque and horrible story of the very cold night in which her cow gave birth to a calf, but because her husband Clarence says he won't go out in the cold for a cow, the calf freezes to death, and they are forced to engage in increasingly unhappy efforts to get the weak cow back into the barn. But the cow keeps staggering back out to be with the frozen calf, until Clarence, in a rage, goes out to shoot it. But the silver lining, says Rebecca, is that now we got all the hamburger we can eat. A complex, funny and horrifying little tale that might explain why Ben never writes back. (Cast: 1 female)

Narragansett: In the year 1874, Ada looks over the rail of a boat in Narragansett Bay and tries to make sense of her life, obsessively returning in her mind to her experiences twenty years earlier, when she was governess for the children of Nathaniel Hawthorne on a trip to Italy. Memories of her love for their beautiful but doomed daughter Una, their demonic son Julian, and of a monstrous hairy creature like a huge badger that keeps crawling in her window at night, mix with eerie recollections of the ruins of Rome as she attempts to prepare herself for the cold water beneath her. A haunting monologue about the sadness of time, the mixed joy and horror of desire and memory, and the relationship of love to death. A powerful piece for a skilled actress. (Cast: 1 female)

The Tale of the Johnson Boys: In this powerful one act, two boys, John and Henry Johnson, tell the true story of their capture by Indians near the Ohio River in the late 1790s, and the bloody and terrible events that resulted. It is the defining experience of their lives, and the play is a haunting and complex allegory of violence, compassion, and ambiguous betrayal. First produced in New York by the Grey Wing Stage Company. (Cast: 2 male)

Wild Turkeys: In this short, powerful, poetic monologue, Miranda, age 16, tells of being both fascinated and horrified by the grotesque wild turkeys that have been coming down from the woods on foggy mornings. She has a terrible premonition that they are messengers of death who've come to take the child that is growing inside her. But this terrifying vision is what helps her decide if she wants to keep her child. (Cast: 1 female)

About the Playwright:

Don Nigro is a prolific American playwright with over 400 works touching on a wide variety of themes including murder mysteries (the Inspector Ruffing series), American history (the Pendragon County plays), Russian life and culture, art and artists, and more. His work has been produced around the world and translated into ten languages. He has twice been a finalist for the National Repertory Theatre Foundation's National Play Award, and has won a Playwriting Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as grants from the Ohio Arts Council.

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