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On Borrowed Time

On Borrowed Time
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Paul Orborn
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 71
Pub. Date: 1969
ISBN-10: 0822208474
ISBN-13: 9780822208471

About the Play:

On Borrowed Time is a full-length fantasy by Paul Osborn. An old man chases Death (called Mr. Brink) up a tree so he can spend more time with his grandson, in Paul Osborn's fantasy based on L.E. Watkin's novel of the same name. Particularly suitable for schools and play contests.

On Borrowed Time is a simplified, single-set version of the well-known fantasy showing how Death is chased up an apple tree by a boy and his grandfather. Gramps is idolized by his young grandson, Pud, who models his every action after the old man. But Gramps' salty expressions and rough behavior are frowned upon by both the strait-laced Aunt Demetria and Granny, so Aunt Demetria comes to live with them, hoping she can steer the boy in the right direction. Death, in the form of Mr. Brink, comes to claim Gramps but is forcibly sent about his business. Still, he manages to take Granny instead and later returns for Gramps, who outwits Brink by trapping him up an apple tree, thus suspending Death throughout the universe. Aunt Demetria, who can't see Mr. Brink in the tree, tries to prove that Gramps is insane in order to get legal possession of Pud. Matters come to a climax when one of the townspeople tries to take Gramps to an institution and is shot. But the victim refuses to die, and the others plead with Gramps to release Brink so that the world can resume its normal cycle. At this moment, Brink tricks Pud into climbing the tree, and the boy falls, fatally injuring himself. In order not to be separated from Pud, Gramps allows Brink to come down from the tree and willingly goes with him to the gates of Eternity where he is greeted by his beloved Granny, scolding him as usual.

On Borrowed Time premiered in 1937 on Broadway at Longacre Theatre and established itself as a beautifully written and extremely charming prize of the stage. It has been revived twice on Broadway since its original run, remains a popular choice for community theatre productions, and is an ideal choice for high school drama contests and festivals.

Cast: 3 women, 1 men

What people say:

"On Borrowed Time thoughtfully contemplates the necessity of death while providing a tender portrait of an old man’s abiding love for his grandson." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Paul Osborn (1901-1988) was an American playwright and screenwriter best known for writing the screen adaptation of East of Eden, as well as for writing South Pacific, The Yearling, The World of Suzie Wong, and Sayonara. His original comedic play, Morning's At Seven, became one of his most enduring original works. Another popular, frequently revived Paul Osborn play is On Borrowed Time, which was made into a famous MGM film.

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