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The Time of Your Life

The Time of Your Life
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: William Saroyan
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0573616736
ISBN-13: 9780573616730
Cast Size: 7 women, 18 men

About the Play:

Winner of the 1940 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the 1939 Drama Critics' Circle Award

The Time of Your Life is a full-length drama by William Saroyan. A group of wistful dreamers, pining lonely hearts, and beer-hall-philosophers inhabit a dive bar in San Francisco, developing friendships and romances. A rich tapestry of human life, The Time of Your Life is a twentieth century American masterpiece.

The Time of Your Life is set in a 1939 San Francisco where the shadow of the newly-built Golden Gate Bridge and impending war darken the door of a run-down bar, optimistically named 'Nick's Pacific Street Saloon, Restaurant and Entertainment Palace.' The bar is filled with characters from all walks of life, each of whom has a dream and a hope for how they might capture it. Central to the play is the figure of Joe, a wealthy gentleman who sits at the same table every day, drinks champagne, and makes curious enquiries of the various figures who enter the bar. Some, like a talented piano player and an enthusiastic comedian, are given a chance to show off their talents. Some, like eccentric old-timer Kit Carson and faded beauty Kitty Duval, seek attention and perhaps answers. Joe acts as a central focus for the play's characters, who are shown kindness and an opportunity to discover whether their dreams are really within their grasp. The Time of Your Life presents a slice of American life that is filled with hope and heartache that is as palpable today as it was when the play premiered.

The Time of Your Life opened in 1939 at the Booth Theatre in New York City. After becoming the first play to win both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best American Play, it spawned three Broadway revivals, a successful 1948 film adaptation, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity, including a star-studded Royal Shakespeare Company production in Stratford and London in 1983. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 7 women, 18 men

What people say:

"One of the most enchanting theatrical works imaginable." — New York Herald Tribune

"Gleeful, heartbreaking, tender and hilarious, probing and elusive." — New York Post

"A remarkable play which blazes forth like a brave beacon: warming and full of fire." — The Daily Mail

"The Time of Your Life ... you'll be held and moved by Saroyan's unique view of the world ... It's a play and an author worth rediscovering." — The Daily Mail

About the Playwright:

William Saroyan (1908-1981) was an internationally renowned American writer, playwright, and humanitarian. He achieved great popularity in the thirties, forties, and fifties through his hundreds of short stories, plays, novels, memoirs, and essays. In 1939, William Saroyan was the first American writer to win both the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Time of Your Life. He famously refused to accept the Pulitzer Prize on the grounds that "Commerce should not patronize art."

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