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The Day They Shot John Lennon

The Day They Shot John Lennon
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: James McLure
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 67
Pub. Date: 1984
ISBN-10: 0822202794
ISBN-13: 9780822202790
Cast Size: 2 female, 7 male

About the Play:

The Day They Shot John Lennon has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Male Scenes.

The Day They Shot John Lennon is a full-length drama by James McLure. The Beatles singer and songwriter John Lennon was shot and killed on December 8, 1980 in front of his Manhattan apartment house. The following day, New Yorkers gathered in spontaneous vigils to mourn and pay tribute. James McLure builds his play from the interactions of strangers, at times humorous, moving, or even menacing, as they struggle to understand the larger significance of the event. The Day They Shot John Lennon is a powerful tribute to the life of an artist gone too soon.

The Day They Shot John Lennon follows a diverse group of New Yorkers who assemble in the street in front of the Dakota apartment building where John Lennon was shot to death and, in doing so, places a personal face on the worldwide outpouring of grief. Comprised of a deftly blended series of encounters between strangers gathered to pay tribute to their slain idol, and it is from the interwoven stories of a cross section of these people that the author builds his play. Included are a young hot-shot advertising executive and a legal secretary who were both at Woodstock; a group of high school students preoccupied with romantic disputes and entanglements; a pair of Vietnam vets turned-petty-thieves; an elderly retiree from a neighbouring building who mistakenly thinks that the murder victim was Jack Lemmon; and a young black aspiring stand-up comic who, in turns out, is the son of the old gentleman's doorman. Through the interaction of these people, sometimes humorous, sometimes moving, sometimes menacing, the author points up the larger significance of the event which has brought them together – the shock wave which was felt across the nation by this further evidence of the violence and ugliness lurking in our communal soul. Touching and timeless, heartbreaking and hopeful, The Day They Shot John Lennon captures the sense of shock and uncomprehending loss which followed that awful event.

The Day They Shot John Lennon premiered in 1983 at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 female, 7 male

What people say:

"…we're transported right back to that December 1980 day of mourning when the songs of an era took on sad, new ironies, and when no one could think of the right words to express an inexplicable loss." — The New York Times

"…the play focuses in on society's often cruel and unjust ills, which today's audiences will recognize as being as meaningful now as they were then." — St. Augustine Record

About the Playwright:

James McLure (1951-2011) was an American playwright and actor best known for his two one-act plays that reached Broadway. He became interested in acting in high school, performing in Shakespearean plays. He obtained a BFA degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and subsequently studied at the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Santa Maria, California. He was a participant playwright in The Missoula Colony, a writers workshop of the Montana Repertory Theatre and the only playwright to contribute to the Colony in every year for the first 15 years of its existence. He also wrote original screenplays for Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Twentieth Century-Fox.

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