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Playwrights for Tomorrow

Playwrights for Tomorrow: A Collection of Plays, Volume 3

Copyright Date: 1967
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 352
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  • Book Info
    Playwrights for Tomorrow
    Book Description:

    Five writers are represented in this third volume of a series of collections of plays by dramatists who have participated in an experimental program conducted at the University of Minnesota by the Office for Advanced Drama Research. Dr. Arthur H. Ballet, editor of the series, is the director of the program. The plays in this volume are Five Easy Payments by John Lewin, Where Is de Queen? by Jean-Claude van Itallie, The Great Git-Away by Romeo Muller, With Malice Aforethought by John Stranack, and I, Elizabeth Otis, Being of Sound Mind by Philip Barber. As Dr. Ballet explains in his introduction, the program of the Office for Advanced Drama Research provides a testing ground for promising playwrights by giving them a chance to have their plays actually produced. Publication of the plays makes them available to larger audiences and to further critical appraisal.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6120-6
    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 professional...

  4. Five Easy Payments A SHORT PLAY
    (pp. 9-50)

    The stage is dark. The Chorus huddles in a tight group. Dim light on Edgar and Phyllis’ bed. Edgar turns restlessly in his sleep.

    The nightmare book of Edgar Mompesson. Entry for Thursday, six forty-five A.M. First there was a station. A shed by a track. There were people on the platform. Then a roaring and a clanging as a black train filled the hollow of the eye. When it had gone there were only black stumps where the people had been standing, (lights up on Chorus)

    Hail to the light. I come on Thursday morning

    To clean the House...

  5. Where Is de Queen?
    (pp. 51-78)

    In the dark we hear a loud child’s wail. Then in half-light we see a man asleep on a huge child’s chair. Dream figures float around him. The setting is a nursery. A couple of regular-sized children’s chairs, identical in shape to the one the man is on, are around a small table. The Nursery, however, is not a realistic one; it is the environment of the man’s dream. There are areas of the stage which are dimly lit or half hidden, as in a forest, where some of the dream characters can hide when the man is only partly...

  6. The Great Git-Away
    (pp. 79-164)

    As the play is about to begin, Carrousel Jones, a rotund fellow, dressed in corduroy, comes down the main aisle of the theatre. He chats with members of the audience until the houselights start to dim. Then he gets up onto the stage and begins to tune an old beat-up guitar, which has been placed by the left proscenium. Finally, he strikes a chord. The houselights go out and a spotlight hits him. He bows to the audience.

    Thank you, folks. My name’s Carrousel Jones, (strums guitar) Name of the show’sThe Great Git-Away. (another strum) Now, was I you,...

  7. With Malice Aforethought A LIVING-ROOM COMEDY IN THREE ACTS
    (pp. 165-248)

    A room in Dorinda’s apartment. Enter Dorinda, Mrs. Headway, and Norah.

    It’s no use trying to console me. Help me. I’m merely his sister, I have no powers of persuading him. But, being his wife, you must.

    Naturally, but on this subject he is adamant. He has his duty as your husband’s executor.

    To plague me with paupery? To reduce me to indigence with an allowance not even sufficient to keep Norah in nosedrops? To badger me with a budget, to subpoena my bills and hold an inquest over every canceled check? Is that his legal duty as executor?


  8. I, Elizabeth Otis, Being of Sound Mind
    (pp. 249-346)

    At rise, Mrs. Otis is sitting in her throne chair. Mrs. Cooms, the housekeeper, a sharp-featured woman in her seventies, wearing a large apron over a nondescript dress, is pushing a dustmop about, right. Up left, Mary Campbell, the mother of Mrs. Otis, is hoeing an imaginary garden. But Mary is as Mrs. Otis remembers her seventy-five years ago, a vigorous woman in her forties, in a gray gingham dress and sunbonnet, with black gloves on her hands. Mrs. Otis is watching her.

    When I’m dead, I’ll be dead.

    No heaven?

    Can you see me playing a harp? I only...