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Office Hours

Office Hours
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Norm Foster
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 1996
Edition: Second Scene
ISBN-10: 0887546978
ISBN-13: 9780887546976
Cast Size: 2 women and 3 men (with doubling)

About the Play:

Office Hours is a full-length comedy by Norm Foster. Six separate stories are unfolding in six separate offices on one Friday afternoon. In true Norm Foster style, it makes us laugh at our humanity, cleverly linking a TV news producer, a pair of Canadian movie producers, a rather unsavoury agent, an entertainment lawyer, a horse track owner. and a psychiatrist. This highly acclaimed theatrical comedy is a madcap race towards quitting time. Particularly suitable for schools.

Office Hours is a biting look at how people get by in the modern world. On a Friday afternoon we follow six different story lines set in six different offices in a big city, each unrelated to the next yet somehow connected by small details. This diabolically clever work is divided into six individually titled segments: "The Reporter," "The Pitch," "The Agent," "The Visit," "The Dismissal," and "The Analyst." The play's 16 characters are all intent on holding their lives together by keeping reality at bay, and the denials are achingly funny. A strong-willed female boss and a demoted TV news reporter; a slimeball agent caught cheating red handed by his wife; an insecure producer rejects the idea that his "original" script about a young Englishman raised by apes to become lord of the jungle just might have been done before; an entertainment lawyer has an eventful lunch with his parents and his domineering mother insists that she is not authoritarian; a 200-pound jockey refuses to admit the obvious; a psychiatrist is dealing with the jumper on the ledge outside her office window and she is eager to get him inside so she can leave on a much anticipated vacation! It's a wild ride with an ending that sends the audience into a collective howl. This is where Norm Foster always excels. Take your audience to a place of comedy, then put an emotional twist in where it's least expected.

Office Hours premiered in 1996 at Theatre New Brunswick in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It is now massively popular with community theatre groups looking for something amusing and "different." It has also become a regularly produced play in schools because, like Almost, Maine by John Cariani, it can accommodate a large cast, but doesn't require that cast to all appear onstage together at any point. This allows for maximum participation while making rehearsals significantly less taxing than your average show.

Cast: a minimum of 2 women and 3 men (with doubling) portray 16 roles, but you can cast as many as 5 women and 11 men.

What people say:

"Office Hours takes place in six different city offices at approximately the same time on a Friday afternoon. Throughout the play, which features a large cast of 16 [Sydenham High School] students, the stories that take place in each of those offices are intertwined." Kingston This Week

"It's so meticulously plotted, so intricately complex that to drop the most innocent of clues could rob you of fun... Securely connected to the mendacity of our imperfect lives, Foster takes us to the undertow of the workplace. Here, emotional and intellectual harassments aren't necessarily cooled by the legislated niceties of so-called political correctness. Taking a stab at the dark underbelly of office politics, Foster takes us to a frighteningly recognizable world."The Spectator (Hamilton)

"A briskly paced and extremely funny dark comedy. The audience was almost on the floor in tears."Calgary Sun

"A witty script. the laughter was almost continuous. A night of live theatre that will be long remembered." — The Country Chronicle

"When it comes to writing funny lines, Foster's up there with the best." — Telegraph Journal

About the Playwright:

Norm Foster is considered to be Canada's most produced playwright, with more than fifty-five critically acclaimed plays performed throughout North America and the rest of the world. Frequently compared to American playwright Neil Simon, Foster pens plays that are known for their humour, accessibility, and insight into the everyday tribulations of life. He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama-Logue Award for his play, The Melville Boys which would go on to be produced across Canada and in the United States, including a well-received run Off Broadway in New York. It would become his signature play, and the one which would bring his name to the forefront of Canadian theatre.

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