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Those the River Keeps

Those the River Keeps
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: David Rabe
Publisher: Samuel French (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 132
Pub. Date: 1994
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0573694699
ISBN-13: 9780573694691
Cast Size: 2 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Those the River Keeps has become a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Male Monologues, and Female/Male Scenes.

Those the River Keeps is a drama by David Rabe. The story concerns a former hit man named Phil, a supporting character in Hurlyburly, who takes center stage in this haunting drama about trying to escape the past. He has yanked himself out of the New York gangster scene and moved to California with hopes of becoming an actor. Those the River Keeps is considered by many to be a prequel to Hurlyburly.

Those the River Keeps is an intense psychological exploration of Hurlyburly's most dangerous and enigmatic character. After eight years in prison, Phil, a former New York mob hitman, is now struggling to forge a new life for himself as a television actor in Hollywood. He's had a few bit parts but is hardly a success, and he is largely supported by his much younger wife Susie, a waitress. Unfortunately, Susie desperately wants something in return, something Phil is not prepared or eager to give: a child. Phil is going nowhere fast when Sal, an old mobster buddy from his past, shows up, reigniting Phil's fears that he is permanently attached to the mob and escape is useless. Sal urges Phil to join him for a West Coast hit mission, and harangues Phil for being too domestic. Phil struggles between his hope for a new life and the pull that his past has on him. The title "Those the River Keeps" refers to a Mafia practice of slitting the bellies of victims to keep the bodies submerged when dumped after the killing. David Rabe uses it as the obvious metaphor for Phil's fear of being mired in his old personality and ending up like his former victims.

Those the River Keeps premiered in 1991 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 professional theatres across the US.

Cast: 2 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Commands attention." — New York Post

"A two fisted … riveting piece of theatre." — Boston Globe

"David Rabe, author of such plays as the 1972 Tony-award winning Sticks and Bones and A Question of Mercy has always been a thought-prooking playwright. In this play, he does not disappoint." — CurtainUp

About the Playwright:

David Rabe has been hailed as one of America's greatest living playwrights. Four of his plays have been nominated for the Tony Award, including one win for Best Play. He is the recipient of an Obie Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, Drama Desk Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and three Hull-Warriner Awards for playwriting, among others. He is also the author of numerous screenplays, two critically acclaimed novels and a collection of short stories.

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