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The Diviners

The Diviners
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Jim Leonard, Jr.
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 110
Pub. Date: 1983
ISBN-10: 0573608377
ISBN-13: 9780573608377
Cast Size: 5 female, 6 male

About the Play:

The Diviners has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female/Male Scenes and Male/Male Scenes.

The Diviners is a full-length drama by Jim Leonard, Jr. Set in a small Indiana town in the 1930s, this gothic prairie melodrama centers on a tragedy that befalls Buddy Layman, a mentally challenged boy who is divining for water for a local farmer. Buddy is befriended by C.C. Showers, a stranger passing through the town, which is profoundly affected by both the stranger's arrival and Buddy's tragedy. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

The Diviners is a story of faith and friendship in Depression-era Indiana. A disillusioned Kentucky preacher named C. C. Showers takes work on a farm in a fictional hamlet named Zion – population forty – where the local soothsayer is a raving teenage boy. The youth has been abnormally terrified of water since age four when his mother drowned saving him. Miraculously, Buddy seems to have been left with a gift: he can locate precious underground aquifers. Buddy is a diviner. The two become fast friends and C.C. soon finds himself acting as Buddy's mentor and teacher. He seems to be able to relate to Buddy in ways that most people can't. Shortly after settling in, C. C. reveals that he is a former preacher who has lost faith in his vocation. That knowledge changes everything. The townsfolk have been praying for a preacher. The conflict of interests soon evolves into a crisis that leads to a great tragedy. The Diviners is a splendidly complex, deeply moving play. It is in turns humorous, beautiful, and tragic; and surprisingly speaks of many present day concerns with gentle wisdom.

The Diviners was first developed and performed in 1980 by the Hanover College Theatre Group ans was the Winner of the American College Festival Award. It received its first professional production in 1980 with the Circle Repertory Company. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in repertory, middle school. high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 female, 6 male

What people say:

"The Diviners, an exceptional piece of Americana ... touched with an aura of legend, grounded in down-home Hoosier authenticity. In his debut as a professional playwright, Jim Leonard Jr. is telling a tale of the depression '30s, set in the homes, fields, and public gathering places of the mythical southern Indiana town of Zion, population 40." — The Christian Science Monitor

"The Diviners, which would be meritorious from anyone, is astounding from so young a writer.... Renders the humor and horror of the hinterlands with staggering accuracy.... Compelling." — New York Magazine

"The playwright's warmth, humor and love for humanity permeate the drama, and make it both touching and entertaining." — Variety

About the Playwright:

Jim Leonard is an American playwright, television writer and producer. He started his career in theatre: He attended Hanover College in Indiana where he wrote his first two plays And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson and The Diviners (which has become a go-to script for community theatre companies). After graduation, he co-founded the still-flourishing Bloomington Playwrights Project. He spent 20 years at New York's prestigious Circle Repertory Company (where he premiered almost all of his plays) until he began his successful career in film and television. He now splits his time between Indiana and Los Angeles.

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