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Eleven Short Plays (William Inge)

Eleven Short Plays (William Inge)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
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Author: William Inge
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
# of Pages: 142
Pub. Date: 1990
ISBN-10: 0822205696
ISBN-13: 9780822205692

About the Plays:

A Social Event has long been a favourite of acting teachers for female/male scenes.

Eleven Short Plays is a collection of one-act plays by the great American playwright, William Inge. These one-act plays were written between 1949 and 1962 and published while Inge was at the height of his powers and riding the crest of his popularity. Exploring themes of repressed desire, loneliness, grief, and the obsession with fame, some of the plays are early versions which the author later developed into full-length plays. The eleven plays include A Social Event, which has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops.

To Bobolink For Her Spirit. A short play about Bobolink who is the ringleader of a group of dedicated autograph hunters. Outside one of New York's famous restaurants, they lie in wait for celebrities to give them a brief glimmer of glamour and love. (Cast: 2 female, 1 male, 2 girls, 2 boys)

People In The Wind. Like leaves in the wind, people blow in and out of a bus stop somewhere in rural Kansas. Emotional Elma and practical Grace run a café with limited resources as a mixed bag of passengers trickle in for service – all victims of their differing fates: a young woman with plans for stardom in Hollywood; a tragically comic drunk whose real problems stemmed from the bottle; two elderly women worrying about new household demands; the bus driver who has a heart and has seen it all; and "the cowboy" with more than a crush on the Hollywood-bound starlet. This one act, which would eventually become the first draft of his play Bus Stop, explores the chaotic effects of the American Dream and how the quest for a perfect life can make us blind to the pain of others. (Cast: 5 female, 3 male)

A Social Event. A brief but revealing satire about Hollywood shallowness. Two up-and-coming actors, who have been married only a short time, will do anything to finagle invitations to attend a high profile Hollywood social event with celebrities, even if it means going to a funeral with their maid. The couple entertainingly whine and cajole their way into the affair seeking acceptance from the popular crowd. (Cast: 2 female, 1 male)

The Boy In The Basement. A gripping play about a middle-aged man who still lives with his parents and suffers the misery of a terrible and secret shame. (Cast: 1 female, 3 male)

The Tiny Closet. A bittersweet comedy about a fussy, middle-aged bachelor in a rooming house who is upset to find that someone has been tampering with the lock on his tiny closet – and has discovered a strange secret hidden there. (Cast: 3 female, 1 male)

Memory Of Summer. A touching story of a woman who has lost her youth and replaced it with the questionable comfort of delusion. (Cast: 2 female, 1 male)

Bus Riley's Back In Town. Two young former lovers meet again. Their once-fiery love has become embers among the ruins, thanks to machinations of her disreputable father and the ongoing interventions from 'well-meaning' friends. The question now: Is the old flame still burning over the pain and bitterness of the intervening years? (Cast: 2 female, 4 male)

The Rainy Afternoon. Two little girls and a boy "play house, emulating their parents with a completeness that both alarms and reveals. (Cast: 2 girls, 1 boy)

The Mall. The mall of an out-of-season seaside amusement park becomes the setting for a series of separate encounters, all interwoven into a totality of meaning. (Cast: 6 female, 4 male)

An Incident At The Standish Arms. A wealthy young woman and the man she has picked up reveal an inner squalor that their luxurious surroundings cannot hide. (Cast: 1 female, 1 male, 1 girl)

The Strains Of Triumph. A love triangle, like a competition, has triumphs and defeats. In this one act, Tom is courting Ann on a hillside, and the two young lovers are overheard by Tom's best friend, who is the rival for the Ann's affections. (Cast: 1 female, 5 male)

About the Playwright:

William Inge (1913-1973) may justifiably be called the first playwright to examine the American Midwest and its people. He was born in Independence, Kansas, and was educated at the University of Kansas. After working as a teacher and an actor, he became the drama critic for the St. Louis Star-Times. During the 1950s and early '60s, no other American dramatist with the exception of Tennessee Williams could compare with William Inge in his prominence on the Broadway stage and in films. As Tennessee Williams tapped into the mannerisms and neuroses of the American South, Inge did much the same for the Midwest racking up a stunning track record on Broadway – four plays, four hits – and all of his theatrical successes were turned into big-budget Hollywood movies with blue-chip casts. Like Williams, he also occasionally wrote film scripts, and he won an Oscar for Splendor in the Grass.