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The Flowering Peach

The Flowering Peach
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Clifford Odets
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 89
Pub. Date: 1954
ISBN-10: 0822204118
ISBN-13: 9780822204114
Cast Size: 4 women, 7 men, 4 animals which may be played by women or men

About the Play:

The Flowering Peach is a full-length drama by Clifford Odets. It comically re-imagines the Biblical legend of Noah and his family debating the coming Great Flood – and then struggling to survive it on the ark they have built. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

The Flowering Peach, as described by Brooks Atkinson, is: "the story of mankind living out its destiny under the benevolent eye of God. There were giants on the earth in those days of the Deluge. In spirit Noah was the greatest. It is Mr. Odets' mood not to put him on a pedestal but to characterize him as the worried head of a family of ordinary individuals – a peevish though loving hero who feels himself close to God…the story of how Noah persuades his skeptical family that God has given all of them a mission, how they bicker, yet do the job obediently, how God helps them solve the most prodigious problems, how they scamper into the ark when the rains fall – all this, told with sympathetic humor in the form of a folk fable, ought to be enough to delight and move any theatregoer. In the second act the voyager concludes triumphantly with the grounding of the ark, the flowering of the peach, and the departure of the family in their several ways to replenish and fructify the earth. It is a triumphant conclusion, but after a long series of quarrels and sorrows that symbolize the eternal questioning of God's children."

The Flowering Peach premiered in 1954 at the Belasco Theatre on Broadway and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His last finished play, it was revived at the Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in 1994. While the play is rarely performed professionally, it has been performed in middle school, high school, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 female, 7 male, 4 animals which may be played by any gender

What people say:

"Mr. Odets' play is a beautiful one. His finest, in fact." — The New York Times

"…folk poem … a retelling … of the famous Biblical journey to Ararat … a genuine folk gaiety, as warm as it is impudent, takes over the stage." — New York Herald-Tribune

"There are hundreds of laughs." — New York Journal-American

About the Playwright:

Clifford Odets (1906-1963) was an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. Known primarily as one of the great American playwrights, he also wrote or co-wrote 18 movies for film and television. He came from an Eastern European, Jewish immigrant background. Raised in New York City, he became one of the original acting members of the prestigious The Group Theater, which was committed to producing realistic, contemporary American plays for American audiences and it achieved the goal – 20 new American scripts produced in the Group's 10-year existence.