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Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: Tad Mosel
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 27
Pub. Date: 1961
ISBN-10: 0822205572
ISBN-13: 9780822205579
Cast Size: 2 women, 2 men

About the Play:

Impromptu is a one-act comedic drama by Tad Mosel. Four actors find themselves on a stage without a clue as to what play they have to perform. Impromptu will take your audience on a thought-provoking journey as the actors struggle to perform a play with neither script nor director; learning about themselves and each other along the way. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

Impromptu brings together four unsuspecting actors sitting on a darkened stage, awaiting the arrival of the stage manager who has called them together. Lacking his authoritative presence they are merely characters in search of a play to become part of, for their own personalities seem unformed and shallow next to the full-blooded figures they are used to playing. They are also "types," and each of them has absorbed most of what he is from what he pretends to be on the stage. As they wait, the stage lights come up – but still no one appears to tell them what they are to do. They find themselves in a play they know nothing about and, once they see an audience, have to improvise their way along. Because the four neither believe in themselves nor dare to allow their real feelings to show, they find the task impossible. Ernest, the "leading man," exercises the prerogative of star billing and assumes command. He plunges ahead, assigning roles to himself and his colleagues – Winifred, who always plays the "leading lady's best friend"; Lora, the struggling ingenue; and Tony, the juvenile lead. Will they be able to drop the acting and begin feeling and communicating for real? The "drama" unfolds in a mixture of truth, fantasy and well-rehearsed situations, but as they are trying to figure out what to do, in subtle progression, we learn more about the real personalities behind these theatrical facades. Impromptu is a classic one-act allegorical comedy-drama of life in The Theatre.

Impromptu was written in 1948 while Tad Mosel was studying at Yale Drama School. It has become one of the most frequently produced one-acts in the American Theatre and is regularly performed in high school and college theatre productions as a showcase of student talent.

Cast: 2 female, 2 male

About the Playwright:

Tad Mosel (1922-2008) was an American playwright and a leading writer of original scripts for early live television dramas such as Playhouse 90, Omnibus, Goodyear Television Playhouse, and Chevrolet Tele-Theater. He was known – along with Paddy Chayefsky, Gore Vidal and Rod Serling – for making dramatic plays a staple of network broadcasts, but it was a play he wrote for the theatre, All the Way Home, that earned him a Pulitzer Prize.

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