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Open Admissions

Open Admissions
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Shirley Lauro
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 88
Pub. Date: 1984
ISBN-10: 0573618461
ISBN-13: 9780573618468
Cast Size: 7 female, 4 male

About the Play:

Open Admissions has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues and Female/Male Scenes.

Open Admissions is a full-length drama by Shirley Lauro. A black college student challenges the system that is allowing him admittance but not doing much beyond that to better his prospects – and the white teacher who is sympathetic but unwilling to help begins to question the system's effect on her.

Open Admissions depicts the travails of a professor at a second-rate college, including an unsupportive husband. Usually cast with as a racially and ethnically mixed cast, it explores equal opportunity in college admissions. Calvin Jefferson, a sophomore at an urban college not unlike New York's City College, reads at the fifth grade level but always gets Bs. He is only dimly beginning to understand is that it will take more than a sheepskin to make him competitive in the real world. It will take basic skills he lacks. Calvin begs his speech teacher, an overburdened, underpaid and under appreciated victim of the system, for help. She does try but it is likely too little, too late.

Open Admissions premiered in 1982 at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut. The play had its Broadway debut in 1984 at the Music Box Theatre where it received a Tony nomination, two Drama Desk nominations, a Theatre World Award, The Dramatists Guild Hull-Warriner Award, and was adapted by Shirley Lauro for a CBS TV Special. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 7 female, 4 male

What people say:

"Packs a punch!...explosive confrontation...Open Admissions has had a profound effect on its audiences, leaving some viewers in tears, others stone silent...a devastating play...a no-win confrontation that shows us the full dimensions of a contemporary tragedy." — The New York Times

"Powerful." — ABC TV

"Open Admissions ... merits more than just an A for relevance. Shirley Lauro has written a thoughtful, sometimes comic, and ultimately moving drama about an inner-city black youth's collision with a well-meaning educational policy that can have dire consequences." — Christian Science Monitor

"A small masterpiece." — New York Magazine

"Shirley Lauro's Open Admissions is funny but infinitely more, it is poignant." — The New York Post

About the Playwright:

Shirley Lauro is an American author, playwright and screenwriter. She came to national attention with her Broadway play, Open Admissions. Her play A Piece Of My Heart has enjoyed over 2,000 productions around the world. She has received major fellowships from the Guggenheim, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts.

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