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The Mineola Twins

The Mineola Twins
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Paula Vogel
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 55
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 0822216221
ISBN-13: 9780822216223
Cast Size: 2 female, 3 male and 2 non-speaking roles

About the Play:

The Mineola Twins has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

The Mineola Twins is a full-length comedy by Paula Vogel. A pair of sisters are at utter opposite ends of the political (and bra size) spectrum on everything from abortion rights to the benefits of multiculturalism. Hilarious and absurd yet startlingly familiar, The Mineola Twins is a razor sharp satire about domestic upheaval in times of political progress and in the rise of conservatism.

The Mineola Twins tells the story of the women's movement and the rise of conservatism as seen through the life of twin sisters, Myra and Myrna, from Mineola, New York, who are played by one actress. In Mineola, people live in the suburbs, go play bingo, go to the PTA, and salute the flag. Mineola is so dull, people keep their blinds UP because nothing ever happens on a Saturday night. Myrna is the "good" twin, wholesome and straight-as-an arrow, traditional in her conservative ways; Myra is the "bad" twin, rebellious and unabashedly promiscuous, and much too liberal for her time. They are identical except that, as her first suitor notes, Myrna is ''stacked.'' A comedy in six scenes, four dreams and (at least) six wigs. There are two ways to produce this play: 1) with good wigs; or 2) with bad wigs. The second way is preferred. Spanning the Eisenhower Administration through Nixon and Reagan/George H. W. Bush years, The Mineola Twins follows the growing and eventually insurmountable chasm between the two sisters, examining what happens when the person you expected to fight at your side becomes your own adversary and greatest threat.

The Mineola Twins was first staged 1996 at Perseverance Theatre written during Vogel's residence in Juneau, Alaska. It premiered in 1997 at The Providence New Play Festival hosted by Trinity Repertory Company, and opened Off-Broadway in 1999 by the Roundabout Theatre Company at the Laura Pels Theatre.  The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has enjoyed many successful productions at fringe festivals, colleges, and community theatres.

Cast: 2 female, 3 male and 2 non-speaking roles (alternate casting 2 female; one playing both twins and the other the twins' partners, and 1 male playing each of their sons)

What people say:

"Ms Vogel's script is most ingenious…The sisters' opposition, neatly representing the schism between right and left in the United States, is self-destructive, and each subliminally longs for connection with the other…As the nightmare spins itself out, fears of nuclear attack, sexual predation and familial estrangement meld in a way that haunts even as it teases." — The New York Times

"The political and cultural divides of American life are roundly decried even as they are exuberantly spoofed in Paula Vogel's The Mineola Twins, a bright cartoon of a play…Vogel's text is…like The Carol Burnett Show with a political consciousness…its go-for-broke adventurousness is endearing, and it's…divinely funny." — Variety

"…floating above the ostensible story of twin sisters who take opposite paths in life is an allegory of the last half century of our crazed and splintering sociopolitics, while deep down are hints of a buried prototype…one of those '50s teen chick-exploitation flicks contrasting a 'good' and a 'bad' girl…Vogel succeeds in creating an event that's at once frothily light and almost bewilderingly dense…one liners are dropped casually in and left to detonate, key bits of narrative are elliptically jumped over. Between trying to catch the jokes as they whiz by and filling in the data blanks, you get an effect like that of an intellectually provocative video game: The effort it takes is repaid by the fun you have keeping up with it." — Village Voice

"The Mineola Twins … bursts forth in its glory…a funny, perceptive, biting take on The American Woman. Vogel was never more political and never more on target." — BackStage

About the Playwright:

Paula Vogel is an American playwright and university professor. One of the most widely produced and honoured playwrights writing in the English language, her work has garnered numerous awards and prizes including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Susan Smith Blackburn Award, New York Drama Critics Award, Obie Award, AT&T New Plays Award, among many others, as well as fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. She is currently the Eugene O'Neill Professor and Chair of the Department of Playwriting at Yale University.

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