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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 (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 2009
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0573616736
ISBN-13: 9780573616730
Cast Size: 7 female, 18 male

About the Play:

The Time of Your Life has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues, Female/Male Scenes, and Male/Male Scenes.

The Time of Your Life is a full-length drama by William Saroyan. The world is hovering at the edge of war in 1939. Times are hard. 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. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

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 mysteriously wealthy young man 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 sultry, pure-hearted streetwalker Kitty Duval, seek attention and perhaps answers. Joe, a lover of the common man and the cherish-each-moment philosophy, 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. He gallantly buys all the papers from a newsboy. He supports Tom, a naive gofer who runs errands for him. He's respectful toward the streetwalkers, particularly the one Tom is in love with, Kitty. He's patient with the tall-tale-spinning Kit Carson. 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, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 7 female, 18 male

What people say:

"Here is a period piece that has not outlived its usefulness. William Saroyan's 1939 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, written in the depths of the Great Depression as World War II was brewing overseas, speaks clearly from the troubled time of its life to the troubled time of ours. Inevitably some of its aspects take on new, disturbing implications, and some cause regret for lost innocence." — Backstage

"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. Hailed as one of America's Greatest Playwrights, in 1939, he 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." He achieved great popularity in the thirties, forties, and fifties through his hundreds of short stories, plays, novels, memoirs, and essays. He has been described as "one of the most prominent literary figures of the mid-20th century."

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