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Becky Shaw

Becky Shaw
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Gina Gionfriddo
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 082222402X
ISBN-13: 9780822224020
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Becky Shaw has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female/Male Scenes.

Becky Shaw is a full-length romantic comedy by Gina Gionfriddo. A newlywed couple fixes up two romantically challenged friends: wife's best friend, meet husband's sexy and strange new co-worker. When an evening calculated to bring happiness takes a dark turn, crisis and comedy ensue in this wickedly funny play that asks what we owe the people we love and the strangers who land on our doorstep.

Becky Shaw is an amusing and cleverly constructed comedy about ambition, the cost of being truthful, and the perils of a blind date. The fast and funny dialogue navigates between five distinctively perverse and disingenuously dysfunctional characters. Newly-married Suzanna and Andrew set up Suzanna's lifelong best friend, the sharp-tongued money manager Max, with Andrew's romantically-challenged, seemingly fragile co-worker, Becky, thinking they are helping them find love; however, what they doesn't anticipate is the chaos that ensues from bringing together a brutally honest businessman and an emotionally-fragile college dropout. From the moment that Becky arrives overdressed for her blind date with straight-talking Max, it's clear the evening won't go to plan. Despite good intentions, the blind date goes so badly that it ends at a police station. As their friends attempt to navigate their way through a complex emotional jungle, Suzanna and Andrew are forced to confront the instability of their marriage, and Suzanna is thrown into further turmoil by her caustic mother Susan's clear-eyed observations about the family. The moral ground shifts time and time again as crisis and comedy ensue, and a series of events are set into motion that forever change everyone's lives. Gina Gionfriddo's masterful play is a biting comedy with sharp, witty dialogue and a carefully crafted yet unforced story arc. Character-driven, Becky Shaw is a comic tale of tangled love lives and a subtle but acerbic comedy of manners.

Becky Shaw premiered in 2008 at the famed Actors Theatre of Louisville as part of the annual Festival of New American Plays. Its New York premiere in 2009 Off Broadway at Second Stage Theatre. It was a Finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Gina Gionfriddo's comedy of bad manners, a tangled tale of love, sex and ethics among a quartet of men and women in their thirties, is as engrossing as it is ferociously funny, like a big box of fireworks fizzing and crackling across the stage from its first moments to its last… deftly plotted, scabrous and sharp-witted… One of the great pleasures of Becky Shaw is the way the moral ground keeps shifting underneath your feet." — New York Times

"The characters in Gionfriddo's blind-date-gone-bad black comedy share the potential to revolt…They're also subversively funny – and improbably charming. Grade: A." — Entertainment Weekly

"…scathing, class-conscious comedy… Becky Shaw exerts a hypnotic pull, thanks in large part to the wonderfully witty dialogue and complex characterizations." — New York Post

"Blithely cynical and devastatingly funny … witty observations on the emotional damage inflicted by neurotic people in the name of love… Gionfriddo is some kind of genius." — Variety

"The perfect nourishment for theatergoers starved for a dramatic conflagration or two…Gionfriddo's creations talk with rat-tat-tat ferocity… the laughs flow freely." — Associated Press

"It remains sharp and funny to the end, and presents its characters with the irony and wit of a latter-day Jane Austen ... the dramatist lays bare these tangled relationships with great wit and insight, and the dialogue fairly fizzes along." — Daily Telegraph (London)

"Sharp and sassy American comedy ... it is dazzlingly written and studded with rapier-sharp lines." — Financial Times (UK)

"Every line is a poisoned dart and every character is an assassination. It's tough on them but sublimely funny for us: Gionfriddo's play has the moral subtlety of Jane Austen but it yanks its characters' illusions down with the off-kilter ease that's usually the trademark of access-all-areas TV satirists like Larry David or Tina Fey." — Time Out (London)

"Becky Shaw, another new play, is a ferociously funny comedy of outrageously bad manners by American Gina Gionfriddo. From the start, you're riveted." — Mail on Sunday (London)

About the Playwright:

Gina Gionfriddo is an American playwright and accomplished television writer (Law & Order, Cold Case, and House of Cards). Her plays Becky Shaw and Rapture, Blister, Burn were both finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. She has won an Obie Award, the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide, the Helen Merrill Prize for Emerging Playwrights, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In addition to writing, she has taught playwriting at Brown University, Providence College, and Rhode Island College.

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