Composers and their stage works 


Anna Christie

Tragic Comedy. Eugene O'Neill. 8 men, 2 women (plus a few extras). 2 Interiors/1 Exterior

After years of neglect and abuse, first as a foster child and then as a prostitute, Anna Christie arrives in the brutal New York docks of the twenties to look for her father, Chris Christopherson, an old seaman. The two are reunited, and despite Anna's resentment and Christopherson's bad conscience, they quickly come to a prickly, but tender regard for one another. Anna's worldly past is clear to others but she is careful to keep her father ignorant of it. To help Anna's recovery from the illness which drove her back to him, Christopherson moves her into the cabin of the coastal barge of which he is now captain. For Anna, life on the coastal waters brings a sense of cleansing and rebirth, and with it a wry tolerance of Christopherson's endless tirades against 'Dat ole davil Sea'. Anchored in the outer harbour of Provincetown, Mass. they save the lives of four sailors adrift from the wreck of their ship. Anna falls in love with one of the survivors, Mat Burke, a huge roistering Irishman. As Mat and she become closer, Christopherson rails ever more violently against the sailors and the sea. He is relieved when Anna refuses Mat's offer of marriage, only to be thrust into despair when she reveals to both men that her refusal arises from the shame of having been a prostitute. In a tempestuous final act, Mat comes to the barge to kill Anna but finally, and with ambivalence, offers to marry her.
ISBN: 0-679-76395-3

Anna Karenina

Helen Edmundson
4m 3f, doubling. Drama. Minimal set.

Helen Edmundson's hugely successful stage adaptation for Shared Experience Theatre Company of the classic novel by Tolstoy, which won the Time Out Award for the Outstanding Theatrical Event of 1992.
ISBN 1854592866

Anna Lucasta

Drama. Philip Yordan. 9 men, 5 women. 2 Interiors.

The Lucastas, working people in a coal-mining town, are selfish people whose daughter, Anna, has left home to lead what they consider a "life of shame" in the city. Rudolf, the son of a friend of the family, comes to visit them at his father's suggestion. He has several hundred dollars in his pocket and is eager to marry. The family decides the youth is a hick, but that this is a chance to get Anna married "respectably." Rudolf, however, is rather an attractive fellow, and when Anna comes home, she is fascinated by him, though she is still in love with her sailor boyfriend, Danny. Anna gradually awakens to what it means to be treated kindly by a fine young man. For Anna is not degenerate, but a high-spirited girl driven from home by her father's puritanical cruelty. Without telling Rudolf about her past, she agrees to marry him. But on her wedding day, Danny turns up. Anna, believing that a life with Rudolf is impossible, returns to her haunts in the city. Rudolf realises he loves Anna more deeply that ever and he sets out and finds her. He makes her realise his love for her and they go off together.

Anna Weiss

Mike Cullen
1m 2f. Drama Simple set.

This explosive and gripping play about the phenomenon of False Memory Syndrome is frighteningly topical. It exposes our need for unquestioning faith in each other as the three characters plummet into an abyss of mutual mistrust. First performed at the Traverse Theatre, 1997.
ISBN 1854593889

Anna's Room

Play. Ellen Dryden
M2 (young, 30s) F3 (20s-30s, middle-age). An attic room.

Anna moves into a flat with a female friend, Prue, to escape from the restraints of a suffocating relationship. In the old attic room which she adopts as her study, Anna is presented with a ghostly series of women through the ages. Through these, the visits of her doggedly devoted boyfriend, her flat-mate's self-seeking and manipulative brother and Prue's mother, Anna contemplates her life and what she wants from it in this 'Twentieth-Century Woman's dilemma'.
ISBN 0 573 01601 1

Anne of Green Gables

Play. Sylvia Ashby, from the novel by L.M. Montgomery
M4 (30s, middle-age). F5 (20s, middle-age). 3 boys, 4 girls (12). Some doubling possible. Various interior and exterior settings.

Mathew Cuthbert and his sister Marilla decide to adopt a boy to work on their farm, Green Gables, but the orphanage sends a girl by mistake - the young, befreckled, warm, witty and charitable Anne Shirley -and their lives are changed forever. This concise yet detailed adaptation is humorous and bittersweet; a refreshing, contemporary telling of a classic story.

The Anniversary

Play. Bill MacIlwraith
M3 (20s, 30s) F3 (19, 30s, 50s). A living-room.

Mother keeps a tight hold on all three of her sons with gifts, threats and ruthless exploitation of their weaknesses. But as the family is unwillingly brought together to celebrate Mum's wedding anniversary (regardless of deceased Dad), revolt is in the air. One son gathers the courage to tell Mum he is moving to Canada; another breaks the news of his impending marriage. Mum finds her long ascendancy is broken at last. The play was filmed starring Bette Davis and Sheila Hancock.
ISBN 0 573 11007 7

Anniversary Waltz

Comedy: Jerome Chodorov and Joseph Fields. 7 men, 5 women. Interior

On their 15th Anniversary, a happy husband makes one wine-inspired mistake. He announces to his in-laws the romancing he and their daughter enjoyed before they were legally bound. The information is received with violent results by outraged grandparents and blasé children. The payoff comes at the hilarious second-act curtain. The 13-year-old daughter chooses to tell on air an audience of several dozen million people just what started all the trouble at home. From then on troubles mount, tempers rise, until everything explodes riotously and the play ends on a warm and tender note, all the family having gained a little more understanding of each other.
ISBN. 0-8222-0050-3

Another Part of the Forest

Drama. Lillian Hellman. 8 men, 5 women. Interior.

The play takes place in the 1880s. Marcus Hubbard, rich, despotic and despised, made a fortune during the Civil War by running the blockade - and worse. In his family life he is equally injurious: one son he bulldozes while the other he holds in contempt for his frailty. By Marcus's side stands his mentally deranged wife and, finally, Regina, the adored daughter - amoral, conniving, and beautiful as an evil flower. Marcus, it would seem, has been on the top of the heap long enough and someone must depose him. Turning the tables on a tyrant has always made for high drama, and when Hellman puts her brilliant talents to work on such a theme the result is a play of great theatrical intensity.
ISBN: 0-8222-0052-X

Another Season's Promise

Play. Anne Chislett and Keith Roulston. 7 men, 4 women. Interior.

After a lifetime of working the rich Canadian farmland which he inherited from his father, Ken Purves, who expanded too quickly in the good years, now finds himself caught in a web of mounting debts and shrinking income. Several other local farmers have already gone bankrupt, or have sold out to an eastern land syndicate, but Ken is determined to survive, even if it means civil disobedience and "robbing Peter to pay Paul." He is also reluctant to reveal the depth of his plight to the others in the family - his aged mother, who first came to the farm as a young bride; his wife, Helen, who is prepared to go back to nursing to help the family finances; and his son, Robert, who left home to pursue a business career in Vancouver, but who now wants to return to his roots. Robert, who is undergoing a divorce, also wants to train his son, Sandy, to take over the farm in time - the fifth generation of the Purves family to do so. In a final effort to hold onto his way of life, Ken secretly sells the farm to a land company with the understanding that he will rent it back, but even this stratagem fails to stave off the inevitable. Yet, as the play ends, a spirit of hope is rekindled as Ken and Robert makes plans to pool their resources and start over - determined to stay with the land at all costs despite the struggles and hardships which this will certainly entail.
ISBN: 0-8222-0053-8

Anorak of Fire.

The Life and Times of Gus Gascoigne, Trainspotter.

Play. Stephen Dinsdale
M 1 (20s). A railway station platform.

'I was born a spotter.' Thus we are introduced to Gus Gascoigne, young, spotty, perpetually cheerful and completely bemused by anything that isn't involved with his sole interest - trainspotting. Touching, ironic and consistently hilarious, Anorak of Fire, which enjoyed a long run at London's Arts Theatre, after the Edinburgh Fringe, is a guaranteed audience-pleaser. Running time approximately one hour.
ISBN 0 573 14201 7

Another Antigone

Play. A.R. Gurney. 2 men, 2 women. Unit set

After many years of teaching the classics at a New England university, Henry Harper is not surprised by much - and particularly not by precocious students who want to re-write his beloved Greek masterpieces to reflect current socio-political concerns. So when a gifted young Jewish student, Judy Miller, announces that she intends to submit an updated, anti-nuclear version of ANTIGONE in place of the formal paper which he has assigned to her, Henry is adamant in his refusal. Unfortunately Judy (who needs the credit from his course to graduate) is as stubborn as her professor, and when she resolves to defy him and produce her play on campus, tensions begin to mount. Judy also lodges a complaint with the university grievance committee, which elicits a visit from the dean not only to plead with Henry to soften his stand, but also to warn him that accusations of anti-Semitism (however unfounded) have arisen. Before long it is evident that what is at issue, for Henry, is not just a matter of academic integrity, but of his very livelihood. Inexorably he feels himself becoming Creon to Judy's Antigone and, in the final essence, even his willingness to relent and give her a passing grade is insufficient to save him from the unhappy fate which must inevitably follow when conscience, for whatever good reasons, yields to expediency.
ISBN: 0-8222-0051-1

Another Country.

Play. Julian Mitchell
M9 (17, 40s). 1 boy. A public school library, study, dormitory, cricket field.

Julian Mitchell's much-acclaimed play is set in an English public school in the early 1930s. The two central characters are outsiders: Guy Bennett, coming to terms with homosexuality, and Tommy Judd, a committed Marxist. 'In this subtle absorbing and deceptive play, Julian Mitchell persuasively examines the seeds of tribal snobberies sown in the pre-war heyday of the British public school and reaped today in a harvest of spy scandals in top places.' Daily Mail

Another Time.

Play. Ronald Harwood
M3 F2 (some characters age over 35 years). A pentagonal hall of a small ground-floor flat, a recording studio.

In early 1950s Sea Point Town, Ike and Belle live with their son, Leonard, already a brilliantly gifted pianist who needs to study in Europe. When Ike dies, Belle is determined to further Leonard's studies whatever the cost. In Act II it is thirty-five years later in London where Leonard is a famous concert pianist. Belle and her brother and sister have travelled to London to see him, but Leonard has some shattering news for Belle.



Comedy Harry Kondoleon. A black comedy which employs absurdist theatricality to launch its satiric barbs against the foibles and follies of the privileged classes. 3 men, 4 women. Interior.

The action of the play takes place in the butler's pantry of Fay Leland's lavish seafront estate on Long Island. Parker, the flamboyant son of Fay's friend and neighbour, Craig (whose wife ran off with Fay's husband), has inveigled a job for his cash-poor friend, Wilson, as Fay's cook and butler - which is part of Parker's scheme to convince the pill-popping Fay that Craig is secretly in love with her, Craig is planning to sell his property and business and retire to Switzerland, and Parker's thought is that if he can send Fay off with him he will inherit her mansion and, at last, be able to establish himself as a "celebrity" in his own right. But problems crop up when it develops that Wilson can't cook; the Polish maid, Maya, goes "on strike"; and Parker alienates his father's black mistress by showing up at the second act costume party (where everything comes to a riotous conclusion) masquerading as Josephine Baker. Although Parker is prepared to commit murder, if necessary, it is all wasted on the other-worldly Fay, who drifts through potential catastrophe unscathed, and on his dandified father, whose avowed intention (subsequently fulfilled) is to send Parker off to a mental hospital - leaving Parker's ambitious plans in a shambles and the lives of the others safely preserved in their idleness and inanity.
ISBN: 0-8222-0056-2