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The Heidi Chronicles

The Heidi Chronicles
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Wendy Wasserstein
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 81
Pub. Date: 1990
ISBN-10: 0822205106
ISBN-13: 9780822205104
Cast Size: 5 female, 3 male

About the Play:

The Heidi Chronicles has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Female Scenes.

The Heidi Chronicles is a full-length comedic drama by Wendy Wasserstein. Funny, touching, and written with rare grace and sensitivity, The Heidi Chronicles is a moving examination of the progress of a generation, from the socially and politically activist sixties to the success-oriented eighties – a time during which the status of American women underwent profound, and sometimes unsettling, change.

The Heidi Chronicles is a significant and celebrated play. Comprised of a series of interrelated scenes, the play traces the coming of age of Heidi Holland, a successful art historian, as she tries to find her bearings in a rapidly changing world. Gradually distancing herself from her friends, she watches them move from the idealism and political radicalism of their college years through militant feminism and, eventually, back to the materialism that they had sought to reject in the first place. Heidi's own path to maturity involves an affair with the glib, arrogant Scoop Rosenbaum, a womanizing lawyer/publisher who eventually marries for money and position; a deeper but even more troubling relationship with a charming, witty young pediatrician, Peter Patrone, who turns out to be gay; and increasingly disturbing contacts with the other women, now much changed, who were a part of her childhood and college years. Eventually Heidi comes to accept the fact that liberation can be achieved only if one is true to oneself, with goals that come out of need rather than circumstance. As the play ends she is still "alone," but having adopted an orphaned baby, it is clear that she has begun to find a sense of fulfilment and continuity that may well continue to elude the others of her anxious, self-centered generation.

The Heidi Chronicles premiered in 1988 by Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. It then transferred to Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre and went on to become a long-run Broadway success with Joan Allen (Bourne Identity) as Heidi and Cynthia Nixon (Sex and the City) as one of her friends. It won the 1989 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Tony Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Hull-Warriner Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 female, 3 male

What people say:

"…not many plays manage Heidi's feat of inducing almost continuous laughter while forcing the audience to examine its preconceptions…It's the play of the season…." — Variety

"…witty, hilarious…not just a funny play, but a wise one…I doubt we'll see a better play this season." — New York Daily News

"…a wonderful and important play." — New York Newsday

"…the writing is emotional and heartfelt, rare qualities in today's trivial theatre, and all the more extraordinary when combined with perceptive characterizations and witty dialogue." — Back Stage

About the Playwright:

Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2006) was an American playwright, novelist, and an Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University. She received the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1989 for her play, The Heidi Chronicles, often touted as a precursor to the HBO television series, Sex and the City. Over the course of her career, spanning four decades, she wrote eleven plays and is one of those rare playwrights whose work is performed regularly in schools and community theater as well as commercial venues. She was admired both for the warmth and the satirical cool of her writing; each of her plays and books captures an essence of the time, makes us laugh, and leaves us wiser.

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