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The Violet Hour

The Violet Hour
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Richard Greenberg
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 78
Pub. Date: 2005
ISBN-10: 0822219972
ISBN-13: 9780822219972
Cast Size: 2 female, 3 male

About the Play:

The Violet Hour is a full-length dramatic comedy by Richard Greenberg. A young publisher has staked his future on his next book. But which writer will he choose? As he struggles between his best friend's disjointed epic or his lover's autobiography, a mysterious, paper-spewing machine arrives and spits out manuscript pages predicting the future of the publisher and everyone else. The Violet Hour is a sophisticated comic fantasy about fate, ambition and time.

The Violet Hour is about the waywardness of destiny and how it tarnishes the golden and the gifted. It's April 1st, 1919, and fledgling independent publisher John Pace Seavering is setting up his office: a couple of dilapidated rooms in a romantic Manhattan tower. Despite being from a wealthy family, John has only enough money to publish one book, and finds himself besieged by two authors. Denny McCleary, John's brash and gifted college friend, has produced an immense manuscript so unruly it lives in a trio of crates. Denny, who comes from a poor family, has a surprise imperative: He's fallen in love with the captivating heiress Rosamund Plinth, and the only way her father will allow the marriage is if Denny shows some promise – and a book contract would do the trick. On the other hand, John is also being strenuously lobbied by Jessie Brewster, the popular black jazz singer who is also John's very secret mistress. She makes a veiled promise to break it off if he doesn't publish her sensational – and somewhat fictionalized – memoirs. The dilemma complicates itself even more when a strange machine arrives at the office. This machine is spewing out stacks of pages from books not yet written while John's hapless assistant, Gidger, strives vainly to stem the flood. What's written on these pages shows John very clearly how important his decision really is as the consequences of publishing or not publishing each book become clear. A magical, haunting and inspirational story about the choices we make, the accidents that happen, and that moment, the violet hour, in which it is impossible to tell the difference.

The Violet Hour premiered in 2002 at South Coast Repertory (SCR) in Costa Mesa, California and ran on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre in 2003. It has been performed in regional college, and community theatre, productions ever since.

Cast: 2 female, 3 male

What people say:

"A wonderful new work…of serious whimsy, of glittering style and dark substance… The Violet Hour balances heights of wit with depths of feeling." — New York Times

"May just be Greenberg's finest…The play is continually amusing, but also deeply touching." — Variety

"Richard Greenberg's luminous, mysterious, emotionally churning tragicomedy, The Violet Hour, is a wondrous piece of work…This is the kind of bewitching play that makes theater a world unto itself." — Chicago Sun-Times

About the Playwright:

Richard Greenberg is an American playwright and television writer, known for his subversively humorous depictions of middle-class American life. One of the most produced playwrights of his generation, he has had more than 25 plays premiere on and off-Broadway and has won the Oppenheimer Award for a debuting playwright, the first PEN/Laura Pels Award for a mid-career playwright and has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

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