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The House of Yes

The House of Yes
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Wendy MacLeod
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 59
Pub. Date: 1996
ISBN-10: 0822214725
ISBN-13: 9780822214724
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male

About the Play:

The House of Yes is a full-length comedic drama by Wendy MacLeod. Meet the Pascals. A wacked-out, upper-class family stricken with Kennedy envy, dwindling resources, and a fondness for guns. When their first visitor breaches their bizarre household, they respond with sex and violence. Their story is vile yet accessible, disturbing and yet gripping, and ultimately presents a hilarious and menacing satire of privilege, humanity, and love. The House of Yes is a wickedly funny tale perfect for anyone who has ever fallen in love with the wrong person.

The House of Yes is set in 1983, 20 years after the assassination of JFK, and introduces the peculiar members of the Pascal family of McLean, Virginia – an unabashedly self-centered lot still obsessed by the Kennedy clan. Outside their home a violent hurricane is raging symbolically. Inside the Pascal house the storm of the centurybrewing since JFK's assassinationis about to erupt. What happens when you grow up in a house that only says "yes"? It's Thanksgiving Day, and Marty's arrival home is greatly anticipated by his mother, Mrs. Pascal, his Kennedy-obsessed, boundary-ignoring, twin sister, Jackie-O, and his younger brother, Anthony. Marty brings Lesly, his new fiancée. This ruins everything. Marty's engagement is a threat to the well-being of this family and a greater threat to Jackie-O, who has always wanted her brother for herself. On top of that, Jackie-O has just recently been released from a mental hospital, Anthony dropped out of Princeton, and their mother has a serious problem handling any of this. This is also a family severely affected by the Kennedy family, whose Virginia Compound makes them neighbours with the Pascals. Mr. Pascal left his family on the very day JFK was assassinated. Jackie-O and Marty made a game out of reenacting the moment of the assassination, which became a sort of foreplay to their incestuous relationship. So, Marty just can't marry Lesly! Jackie-O convinces Anthony to try and seduce Lesly and steal her away from Marty. Marty will then have to stay at home, which suits Anthony just fine as he is immediately attracted to Lesly. The only way he finds to seduce her, though, is to convince her that Marty and Jackie-O are lovers. In a series of short scenes, Lesly spies on Marty and Jackie-O doing their reenactment of the Kennedy assassination; Mrs. Pascal catches Anthony and Lesly in bed; Lesly confronts Marty, who begs her to take him back and away from his family; Mrs. Pascal insists Lesly pack up and leave; Jackie-O pleads with Marty to stay with her; and Anthony tries to convince Lesly to take him with her instead of Marty. Finally Jackie-O goes over the edge and begins the reenactment game again, only this time with real bullets. Killing Marty with a shot to the head, she brings the play to a bloody, conclusive end. The House of Yes reminds us that we all have our secrets, some families just have more than others.

The House of Yes premiered in 1990 at the The Magic Theater in San Francisco, and was the theatre's second-longest running show. It was produced in 1995 at The Gate Theatre in London and became an award-winning film by the same name in 1997, earning a Special Jury Award at Sundance. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional repertory, fringe festival, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male

What people say:

"The layered thriller keeps its crowd at the edge of their seats, tickling their naughty side and delivering satisfaction with its deliciously climatic ending." — BroadwayWorld

"...A fascinating blend of frivolous family politics and menacing political allegory....It is wickedly funny, disturbing and vividly written....MacLeod writes funny, frightening dialogue, and she touches the nerve of our cozy, vicarious involvement with acts of public violence." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Gripping, funny and worth its reputation." — Time Out (London)

"This is a nasty, good black comedy that reveals how much America has been warped since John F. Kennedy was president for one brief shining moment that was Camelot." — Winnipeg Free Press

About the Playwright:

Wendy MacLeod is an American playwright. She is Professor of Drama and James Michael playwright-in-residence at her alma mater, Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. Best known for the critically acclaimed Women in Jeopardy!, she is the author of some two dozen plays, many informed by what drama critic Kevin Carr called a "spirit of witty and satirical, female-centric humor."

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