Composers and their stage works 


Play David Henry Hwang. 2 men, 1 woman. Interior

F.O.B. (meaning "Fresh of the Boat") is told in a style which moves quickly between myth and reality, with the characters occasionally speaking directly to the audience. Grace and Dale are cousins, living in the Los Angeles area and attending college. Dale is fully American, second generation. Grace is first generation and holds the customs of China in higher regard. The arrival of Steve, an exchange student and a newcomer from China, fresh off the boat, forces them to confront a number of conflicting feelings about America, China and themselves. Dale is very confrontational with Steve, mocking his English and manner. And in turn Steve is defiant and even provocative. Grace tries to keep the conflict from escalating but finds herself increasingly drawn to Steve. Grace decides to go with Steve to a school dance and an uneasy truce, of sorts, is reached between Dale and Steve.
ISBN: 0-8222-0413-4

A Collaborative Piece. Jean-Claude van Itallie. Music by Richard Peaslee. 4 men, 4 women. Open Stage.

The action begins, once upon a time, in the Village of People Who Fish in the Lake, where everyone longs nostalgically for the Golden Time when happiness and harmony reigned supreme. In quest of what has been lost the haughty king sends a traveller off in pursuit of the beast that is stifling the kingdom - a search filled with uncertainty and lurking terrors. As she progresses in her journey the traveller is beset on every side, and her task grows more complex: how will she find the beast; how will she recognise him; how will she kill him? Scenes of high humour alternate with those of dark menace as she presses on, building inexorably into a brilliant and evocative mosaic which, in the end, distills and expresses the very elemerits of the life force itself.
ISBN- 0-8222-0376-6

Play. Mark O'Donnell. 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

Consisting of nine related sketches, with each performer playing a variety of roles, the play highlights the trials and tribulations of growing up in modern America. The episodes range from a hilarious "secret society" ritual where two teenage boys initiate another (somewhat reluctant) boy into their select number, to a gently humorous examination of college students being very adult about things intellectual while fumbling a bit in their relations with the opposite sex; to a young bride panicked by the thought of actually going off to live with her new husband; to a marvelously perceptive study of young couples who periodically "freeze" in mid-conversation to tell the audience how secretly miserable they really are. Each scene is, in fact, a self-contained, complete playlet (perfect for scene work) but, taken together, they blend into a rich and dramatically vivid mosaic in which the whole is a great deal more than the sum of its parts.
ISBN: 0-8222-0377-4

Faint Voices (in Greatest Hits) : John MacKenna
4m 4f. Short drama. Minimal set.

A lyrical and ghostly evocation of the life and loves of the young Irish poet, Francis Ledwidge, who died in the First World War. As a landless labourer, Ledwidge's poems were not enough to win him the daughter of a prosperous family. A haunting piece of theatre.
ISBN 1854593528

A Fair Country. Drama. Jon Robin Baitz.
6 men, 2 women. Unit set.

Harry Burgess is a US Information Officer stationed in Durban, South Africa. The location is particularly hard on his wife, Patrice, and their sons, the teenager Gil, and Columbia journalism student Alec who now studies in the US. Patrice is on the verge of a complete breakdown as Durban, its politics and people make her - and Gil - miserable. Harry is offered a rather cushy cultural affairs job in the Hague if he'll provide his superior with the names of some South African radicals with whom Alec is friendly. Harry can not do this. When Alec comes for a visit, however, everything falls apart. A recent, violent, bloody incident between Patrice and the latest in a long line of maids, has again resulted in the South African police hauling the maid off to jail. This infuriates Alec, who cannot stand the way Blacks are treated, and causes the extremely sensitive Gil to lose himself in fits of crying and confusion. When Alec convinces Gil to return to New York with him, Patrice herself goes on the attack against her sons and husband. Harry is left with fewer and fewer choices as to what to do to save his family. He starts by convincing Alec to stay for the rest of the vacation, and tries hard not to betray his trust, but when Act Two opens in the Burgess' apartment in the Hague, we wonder. In their new home, not much has changed. Alec has first tried to visit some old friends in South Africa only to learn that they are either dead or in prison. He has also been permanently expelled from the country - "for his own safety" - it seems. The family now learns that Harry turned the requested names over in exchange for the new post and that Alec is now forever in danger of losing his life. Shocked, Patrice refuses contact with anyone, as Alec, his girlfriend, and Gil leave the Hague and the family. Harry is left alone in the living room as Alec says goodbye, telling his father that he has just "killed" him. The play ends as it began, at an archaeological dig, where Patrice has tracked Gil, whom she hasn't seen in six years. Alec has indeed been killed and Harry has just passed away. As poachers prowl the campsite, Gil and Patrice scream out to them that they have nothing. As painful as it all is, and has been, they now only have each other.

Comedy. Sam Locke. 8 men, 6 women. Interiors.

When Susan Hammarlee, an unusually pretty young divorcee, arrives in New York, she has one idea of what she's going to do in town, but all the men she meets have quite another. Susan wants to study psychology at City College - her marriage broke up because her husband left her for a woman who knew how to behave like an intellectual. However, every man she encounters thinks she should devote her evenings to him, not to study. The fact that Susan is a divorcee complicates matters for her, since all the men seem to think that makes her fair game. Harry Bohlan, a young salesman who works for a dress manufacturer, gets Susan a job modelling and the dress manufacturer, Lou Winkler, immediately falls for her - hard. As do all the buyers and rival dress manufacturers. Susan happily goes out for steak dinners with all of them, and then leaves them to go to school. Even her psychology professor isn't impervious to Susan's innocent charm. She has written a paper on the psychology of wolves in New York. The professor refuses to acknowledge that actual research has gone into the paper - until he suggests that perhaps Susan should become his assistant in a long-term research project! By this time Harry is most unhappy about all the competition he's running into. Susan's ex-husband has appeared on the scene again, Lou, Susan's boss is begging her to go to Bermuda with him - and Susan's life is all too full of eager men until she finally decides that it is Harry she loves.
ISBN: 0-8222-0379-0

Faith Healer. Play. Brian Friel
M2 (middle age, 50s) F1 (middle age). Simple settings on a bare stage.

This is now recognised as one of the masterpieces of Ireland's greatest living playwright. In the course of four monologues the stories unfold of the travelling healer Frank who has gone all over Wales and Scotland with his wife Grace, and his manager Teddy. Brian Friel weaves their versions of the healer's performance and a terrible event into haunting, magnificent art.

Fall. Play. James Saunders
M l F4 (20s, 30s, 50s). A garden in late summer.

On an Indian summer day three sisters, uncertain Kate, Marxist social worker Helen and flippant, carefree Ann, meet at the house of their mother Mary to await the death of their father. During the afternoon the three girls talk, sometimes bickering, gradually revealing the complexities of their lives. Their mother has the ability and clear sight to keep her worries in perspective. Throughout, Fox, as observer, provides comments which give depth and tone to the atmosphere.
ISBN 0 573 11076 X

The Fall and Redemption of Man. Play. John Bowen
57 characters, played by M8 F4 or M9 F3 (minimum) although more can be used. A bare stage.

John Bowen's vibrant adaptation into modem English of the Mystery Plays of Chester, Coventry, Lincoln, Norwich, Wakefield and York is intended to show 'a group of young actors presenting a Mystery Play'. Dressed simply, donning or bringing on a small item to create a new character, and acting from a pageant wagon, history is played out from the creation of Adam and Eve to the death of Jesus Christ.
ISBN 0 573 11078 6

Falling Off a Log. Comedy. Georgina Reid
M2 (25, late 20s) F3 (young, late 20s, 40s). A veranda.

When Mother unexpectedly plans a trip home from America, she is expecting to find her beloved garden in the state in which she left it. Her son Gerald's work on the garden has fallen short of her expectations, however, and the garden is now a jungle. Neighbour Pip comes to rescue Gerald with a brilliant idea; why not try a house-swop? Things seen to work out until a nosey reporter from Happy Gardening comes on the scene ....
ISBN 0 573 01684 4

Falling Short. Comedy. James Robson M7 (mid 20s, 44, 55, 60s) F4 (25, 30s). 3 extras. An office.

Tell the absolute truth for a day - a difficult task for an honourable man'? Well, publisher Giles Short is honourable, but he is also kind, with a wife, a mistress and an appointment with an execrable, but very lucrative, author. And Giles has made a bet with a dubious, ruthless entrepreneur, staking everything he owns. The next twelve hours are likely to be something of a nightmare for Giles ... and those around him.
ISBN 0 573 01763 8

False Admissions A translation of Marivaux's Les Fausses Confidences by Timberlake Wertenbaker
M5 F3. Interior settings.

Marivaux's classic comedy is set among the pre-Revolutionary French bourgeoisie and its satire on the manners of the time is biting. Here is a class for whom money speaks louder than love and even lechery must take a back seat if an inheritance is in the balance. The story hinges on unsuitable passion and how to consummate it against the odds, while its subtext - servants controlling their masters - accounts for much of its post-revolutionary popularity.