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The Cave

The Cave
Your Price: $14.95 CDN
Author: Tim Kelly
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 18
Pub. Date: 1977
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0822201917
ISBN-13: 9780822201915
Cast Size: 12 performers (flexible casting)

About the Play:

The Cave is a one-act dramatic comedy by Tim Kelly. An improvisation portraying a rag-tag ensemble of archetypes pitted against each other that takes the audience on a journey from playful mood to cryptic message, ancient pictograph to the great Unknown, and then back again. Particularly suitable for schools and play contests.

The Cave explores themes of fear and exploration, theatre and reality, survival and betrayal. When the audience enters, the curtains are open and the stage empty. Slowly the cast enters, wondering what it's to perform. The audience members will recognize essential elements of the human condition in these mysterious players: The Sayer, The Searcher, The Cynic, The Cheat, The Warrior, The Hunter, The Dreamer and The Fearful One. To warm up, they do pantomime scenes from their "great success," The Black Death. Then they discover three cards marked "Sea," "Cave," and "Future." They reject the sea (too cold) and the future (too far) and opt to create life in a dark cave, which sparks their fear of the unknown and speaks of the nature of human conflict. The Hunter and The Warrior journey forth in search of prey but return empty-handed, as even the animals have fled the hostile terrain. Then the warrior discovers a "strange tribe" with the unheard-of gift of laughter, and a "great winged thing" invades the sanctuary, causing panic. A decision must be made whether to leave or stay – and the vote is to venture forth, despite what might lie ahead. Everything is here from a touch of Pirandello to Story Theatre, and the play requires nothing in the way of "production" except imagination.

The Cave was originally performed at the Crystal Theatre in San Diego and later presented in Los Angeles. The play is regularly performed in middle school and high school theatre productions.

Cast: 12 performers (flexible casting)

What people say:

"Kelly's work lends a bright note uniquely its own to the [L.A.] theatre scene." — Los Angeles Herald-Examiner

"Kelly can balance wit, humor and piercing intellectuality with amazing dexterity." — Point West Magazine

About the Playwright:

Tim Kelly (1931-1998) is often regarded as the most-published playwright in America, with over 300 titles to his credit under both his real name and at least four pseudonyms (Vera Morris, J. Moriarty, Robert Swift, Keith Jackson). Many of his plays, like Les Miserables, M*A*S*H and The Uninvited, are adaptations of novels, films. or television series, although he also wrote a host of parodies a well as original scripts and musical libretti. While his plays have been performed off-Broadway and by such companies as the Royal Court Rep, the Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC) and Seattle Rep, he is best known for writing for university, community and school theatre.

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