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Elegy for a Lady

Elegy for a Lady
Your Price: $13.95 CDN
Author: Arthur Miller
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 0822203561
ISBN-13: 9780822203568

About the Play:

Elegy for a Lady is a one-act drama by Arthur Miller. Follows a conversation between a shopkeeper and a wealthy man searching for a gift for his dying mistress. Confidences and secrets are shared in an intimate exchange through which we question how well we ever really know the ones we love. Especially recommended for school and contest use. Paired with its companion one-act Some Kind of Love Story with which it constitutes a full evening of theatre as two halves of a double-bill titled "Two-Way Mirror", this play can also be presented independently with equal effectiveness.

Elegy for a Lady is a philanderer's conversation with his conscience – and his heart – even if it takes the form of a man confessing all to a shopkeeper. Neither actor is named in the script. A middle-aged Man enters a small boutique, hoping to find a suitable gift for his young mistress, who is facing a grave operation. Unaccountably he quickly finds himself confiding in the Proprietress, speaking without hesitation of the pain he feels at having his telephone calls to his loved one unreturned, of his fear that her condition may be fatal. The Proprietress consoles him, suggesting that perhaps she wants to spare him, that she needs to face her ordeal alone and without added burden that his involvement would impose. As they speak spectres of other deep-seated concerns arise: the difference in age between the Man and his mistress; his unfulfilling marriage; the emptiness of material success without love to enrich it; the void that might have been filled had there been the possibility of children; the frustration of being unable to make a true and total commitment to another person. It is almost as though the Proprietress might be – or has become – the absent mistress. As the play ends the Man and the Proprietress embrace, two strangers grateful for the small miracle which, if only for a brief moment, has let them share closeness always hoped for but seldom achieved. A haunting and evocative study of loss, and the pain of love and rejection, by one of American theatre's master writers.

Elegy for a Lady as first presented in 1982 by the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut, where it was combined with Some Kind of Love Story under the title "2 by A.M."; the combination of these two plays has also been presented as "Two-Way Mirror".

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

About the Playwright:

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City and studied at the University of Michigan. With a career that spanned over 50 years, he wrote more than thirty plays that transformed American Theatre and proved to be both the conscience and redemption of the times. His probing dramas won him the Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, two Drama Critics Circle Awards, and an Obie.



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