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And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Biz Staff Pick!
Author: Paul Zindel
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 130
Pub. Date: 1971
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0822200430
ISBN-13: 9780822200437
Cast Size: 5 female, 2 male

About the Play:

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Female/Female Scenes and Three-Person Scenes.

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is a full-length comedy by Paul Zindel. The Reardon sisters are all unhappy teachers, with sharp tongues, questionable behaviours, and cutting remarks. The three estranged sisters are meeting after the death of their despotic mother. It doesn't take long for tempers to flare, and truths to be revealed. And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little is a biting, touching and often wildly funny play with four juicy female roles.

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little centers on the lives of the three Reardon sisters. Their father having deserted them in their childhood, the sisters have grown up in a house of women, dominated by their mother, who is only recently dead. But time has erased the tender closeness of girlhood. The sisters, now adults and all high school educators (Paul Zindel himself was once a high school teacher), have come to a crossroads. Having barely survived a scandalous incident at the school where she teaches, the youngest sister Anna suffers a nervous breakdown. Catherine, the assistant principal at the school, finds solace in a bottle in the childhood apartment the two unmarried sisters now share. When the only married sister, Ceil, a big shot superintendent in the education department arrives to convince Anna to convalesce in a mental institution, the simmering resentments of the last decade are pushed to the forefront. The three sisters outdo one another in various forms of unpleasant behaviour. Catherine has no reason to aid Ceil, especially since Ceil married Catherine's boyfriend. Anna knows something is up but is too fascinated by her own health to pay attention to those two. And besides, Anna thinks Catherine is the one who needs help, since she drinks too much anyway. Should Anna be committed? Is it in her best interest or is it just easier for Ceil if she doesn't have to care for her? Is it selfish of Catherine to want to keep her at home? Who is strongest in this fight of wills – and does Catherine really need another cocktail? The situation is exacerbated by the intrusion of a well-meaning but pushy neighbour upstairs and her husband, whose unexpected arrival impels the action towards its shattering conclusion – in which all the pathos, humour and searing honesty of the play combine with overwhelming effect. 

And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little was originally produced at the then-new Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles in 1967, and in 1971 opened on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 5 female, 2 male

What people say:

"In Paul Zindel we seem to have that rarity – a playwright who can write intelligent, sensitive, entertaining plays for a wide public." — Newsweek

"It is funny and fierce and, well, absolutely extraordinary." — Boston Globe

"…he has created three parts that most actresses would trade their souls to play." — Hollywood Reporter

"Paul Zindel's And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little ... is a boisterous tour de force. A dramatic comedy about three neurotic sisters ... Zindel's whacked-out drama is a performer's gold mine." — Los Angeles Times

About the Playwright:

Paul Zindel (1936-2003) was an American playwright, author, and educator, who turned tales of troubled teenagers into a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and a string of young adult novels. He was discovered in the mid-1960s by Charlotte Zolotow, who had seen a television production of his play, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds and decided that he must try his hand at young adult fiction. Paul Zindel went on to become a pioneer in the genre and has received numerous accolades and citations for his young adult novels. Several of his books have been named ALA Best Book for Young Adults and New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year.

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