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Playwrights for Tomorrow

Playwrights for Tomorrow: A Collection of Plays, Volume 4

Mary Feldhaus-Weber
Barry Pritchard
Arnold Powell
Copyright Date: 1967
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Playwrights for Tomorrow
    Book Description:

    This is the fourth in a series of volumes which offer collections of plays by dramatists who have participated in an experimental program conducted at the University of Minnesota under the auspices of the Office of Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.). Dr. Arthur H. Ballet, editor of the series, is the director of the O.A.D.R. This volume contains three full-length plays and one short play. They are The World Tipped Over, and Laying on Its Side (one act) by Mary Feldhaus-Weber, Visions of Sugar Plums by Barry Pritchard, The Strangler by Arnold Powell, and The Long War by Kevin O’ Morrison. Mary Feldhaus-Weber is a St. Paul poet who has chosen to work in the theatre. Mr. Pritchard, a former playwright in residence at Theatre St. Paul, now writes for television and films in Hollywood. Mr. Powell is a teacher and theatre director at Birmingham-Southern College in Atlanta, and Mr. O’Morrison pursues an acting career in the Broadway theatre. As Dr. Ballet explains in his introduction, the program of the O.A.D.R. is designed to give promising playwrights a testing ground for their ideas, skills, and talents by providing them with a chance to have their plays actually produced and, whenever possible, the opportunity of working with the producing groups. He points out that a number of the writers associated with the O.A.D.R. have subsequently moved into the mainstream of contemporary American theatre. Publication of the plays will, it is hoped, bring them to the attention of larger audiences and stimulate further critical appraisal.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6135-0
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[iv])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [v]-2)
    (pp. 3-8)
    Arthur H. Ballet

    In 1963, with financial aid and encouragement from the Rockefeller Foundation and with the blessings of the University of Minnesota, the Office for Advanced Drama Research (O.A.D.R.) was created. Our purpose has been to make the funds and talents of an active theatre community in Minneapolis–St. Paul and suburbs available to playwrights.

    The assumptions under which this program has operated are basic: that living theatre must encourage new writers and must not depend solely on either “classics” on the one hand or the established “success” on the other; that between the smash hit and the disastrous failure of the...

  4. The World Tipped Over, and Laying on Its Side A PLAY IN ONE ACT
    (pp. 9-28)


    Think . . think . . think about the world tipped over and laying on its side. Think of all the pain since the world began . . the death of the white Christ . . the death of the black Christ . . the death of the black-and-blue Christ. That’s why we’re here, Muck. Because the world is laying on its side.


    I don’t understand what you are saying. Say it again.


    We’re here to build a concrete arch to hang the world on . . so it won’t fall down. We’re here to...

  5. Visions of Sugar Plums
    (pp. 29-104)

    About 7:30 P.M. a week before Christmas. An editorial office where the company magazine, or “house organ,” for a large Madison Avenue firm is written, designed, and edited. There are advertising posters and display signs about that indicate the name of the company: T.I.C. Two men, both well dressed but disheveled, are working busily on the upcoming issue of the magazine. One of them, Al Hubbard, sits at a long table talking to his wife on the telephone while making identifying marks on the backs of photographs to be used in the magazine. As he finishes marking each photo he...

  6. The Strangler A NEW CHOKE ON AN OLD GAG
    (pp. 105-232)

    At rise: Nothing. Pause. Andrew, a very old man with great dignity, long white hair, mustache, beard, and a slight limp, enters left and crosses down center leaning on a cane. He is wearing felt bedroom slippers, formal trousers, and a smoking jacket. A stagehand, carrying a chair, follows him on and stands waiting while Andrew fusses about trying to find the exact center of the stage. Finally Andrew, with the cane as pointer, indicates the spot on the floor and turns full front, posed authoritatively until the stagehand places the chair behind him.


    (Placing the chair and stepping...

  7. The Long War
    (pp. 233-343)

    A piping tune is heard—a wistful tune, full of gaiety, courage, and rue. At the rise, the piper is discovered leaning against the Herm. He is Diagoras the Poet. It is just before dawn. In the street below him a charm vendor cries at a drunken passerby.


    (like “Fish—get your fresh fish!”) Havoc! Havoc and woe! Buy a charm, sir, a charm against your Fate . . (pursuing him off) A charm against headaches—a charm against your wife . .

    (Leogoras and Alcibiades enter from the other side, followed by the slave Polydor. The two....