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Three Plays (Henley)

Three Plays (Henley)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Beth Henley
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 116
Pub. Date: 2002
ISBN-10: 0822218755
ISBN-13: 9780822218753

About the Play:

Control Freaks has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

L-Play has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

Three Plays is a collection of one-act plays by Beth Henley. Contains three long one-act plays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Crimes of the Heart. Control Freaks portrays the savage repercussions of the secrets and shame that lurk in our hearts. L-Play is twelve different scenes done in different styles. The only unifying factor is that all the scenes start with the letter "L". In Sisters of the Winter Madrigal, the idyllic aspirations of two sisters clash against the violent realities of life in a medieval rural town.

Control Freaks: Carl Willard has just brought home his fourth wife, Betty. Her presence annoys his sister, known only as Sister (a troubled woman who struggles with three personalities: Sister, Spaghetti and Pinkie), who now finds she has to share the household with two people rather than one. Carl and Betty have big plans to open up Furniture World. All they need is Sister's signature on the papers, and the building will be theirs. Paul, the owner of the building, is invited over to sign the papers and have cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Sister decides to "set her cap" for Paul because she wants Carl to see that "she can get a man." Betty doesn't like this plan because she is secretly and very sexually involved with the seductive Paul. Murder, mayhem and memories unfold as these four desperate characters vie for ultimate control. (Premiered in 1992 at Center Theater in Chicago; Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

What people say:

"Nothing in the previous work of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley quite prepares one for the stunning singularity and depth that permeates her latest work, Control Freaks." — LA Village Voice

L-Play is a fascinating study of style, character and rhythm. The play is written in twelve scenes. Each scene has a unique style and is a mini play in itself. The element that unites these pieces is that each scene title begins with the letter "L." The scenes include: "Learner," a young student struggles to gain the affection of his beloved through poetry; "Lunatic," an isolated woman fights going mad, goes mad, and after circling the edge finds redemption; "Leaving," a piece performed in masks in which a granddaughter seeks to find the secrets of her dying grandmother's life; "Loser," a small-town guy tries to get his best friend to hit on his girlfriend to test her loyalty. The final piece, "Life," is primarily a dance where the primitive family of Ones encounters the Shoe who presents them with the terrible joy of life. (Premiered in 1996 at the Unicorn Theatre as part of the Berkshire Theatre Festival; Cast: 3 female, 3 male)

What people say:

"…a curious, challenging, funny, and at times, mesmerizing evening of theatrical musings…refusing to conform to soothing, sentimental narratives. Ms. Henley's brand of Southern Gothic humor – dark as a box of bittersweet chocolates – is enticing and deliciously impolite…." — Daily Hampshire Gazette

Sisters Of The Winter Madrigal: Not every fairy tale has a happy ending. Calaih and Taretta, the orphaned daughters of Joshua the Cow Herder, live together in a hut outside a medieval village. Calaih, a girl with beautiful long red hair, roams the hills with her cow and falls desperately in love with Stephan, the Shoemaker's son. Taretta, the older sister, is the village siren who is the most ravishing seductress in the land. Fortune changes for the two sisters when the nefarious High Lord proclaims he will marry Calaih because he is obsessed with her glorious hair, and Taretta falls ill with a menacing disease that has her romantic admirers giving her a wide berth. (Premiered in 2001 at the Los Angeles Theatre Center; Cast: 3 female, 3 male)

What people say:

"Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Beth Henley exhibits a toothy edge with her one act, Sisters Of The Winter Madrigal, a trenchant black comedy in the stilted guise of a fairy tale…Recommended!" — LA Weekly

About the Playwright:

Beth Henley is an award-winning American playwright, screenwriter, and professor best known for her play Crimes of the Heart (Pulitzer Prize in Drama and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best American Play). Her plays have been produced on Broadway and continue to be well-received and widely popular, both in professional and regional theatres throughout the United States as well as internationally and translated into twelve languages.