Composers and their stage works 


Faust: Parts I & II

Goethe. Trans C. Weisman & adapted by Howard Brenton
13m 8f, doubling. Drama. Flexible staging.

The RSC commissioned this new version of Goethe's famous epic from the playwright Howard Brenton, and while cutting the length considerably, it succeeds in retaining the scope and linguistic daring of the original. Written to be performed in two parts of two and a half hours each, it can be cut to make one long play. Premiered by the RSC in 1995. 'A powerful theatrical event ... the translation is vigorous, colloquial and often very funny' Guardian.
ISBN 1854592041

Fear and Misery of the Third Reich

Play. Bertolt Brecht Translations: John Willett, music by Harms Eisler, Eric Bentley and Paul Kriwaczek
About 90 characters M and F. Interior and exterior settings.

The twenty-four scenes of this play could be regarded as separate playlets covering the years from 1933 to just before Hitler's entry into Vienna. Each is preceded and linked by a short verse, forming a sort of kaleidoscope of life under the Nazi dictatorship. The whole forms a horrifying picture of darkest tyranny, but is lightened by the occasional gleams of defiance.


Play. Patrick Meyers. 5 men. Interior.

The action is set in the mechanized control room of a modern feedlot, a sterile, computerized place which resembles the flight deck of a rocket ship. Four men, three swaggering cowboys and a sensitive young college student, are about to begin their night's vigil, tending the dials and gauges which regulate the flow of feed to the cattle pens below. One of the cowboys, a super-macho Vietnam veteran named Billy Fred, is convinced that Gene, the college boy, is a "faggot" and, while the other men are off-stage, he taunts him unmercifully. The tension between these two builds quickly toward the breaking point but, when it comes, it does so with an unexpected reversal as Gene, drawing a revolver, turns the tables on Billy Fred. Holding him at bay he ridicules his stupidity and his vaunted masculinity and, after confessing his homosexuality, plunges the stage into darkness and taunts his tormentor - after which Billy Fred is oddly cowed and submissive, as though some nagging fear had been exorcised. When the other men return they are oblivious of what has happened, still secure in the mindless male . heartiness which, we are now aware, neither Gene nor Billy Fred will know again.
ISBN: 0-8222-0395-2

Feiffer's People. Sketches and Observations

Jules Feiffer. 3-4 men, 3-4 women.

Made up of brief sketches, monologues and playlets which are wildly funny yet bitingly acerbic in the sharp observations which they provide on the state of the union and the modern world in general. No specific casting or staging requirements are designated, and producing groups are invited to give full rein to their creative imaginations in selecting, arranging and mounting the various excerpts which will be shaped into their own presentation of Feiffer's People. This could be a curtain-raiser for a longer play; part of an omnibus program; half of a double-bill; or, because enough basic material is provided, even a full-length program. Staging can range from an open area with stools to a series of stylized settings, and it will be readily apparent that the imaginative use of lighting and appropriate music will add much to production values. But the intrinsic merit - and joy - of Feiffer's People lies in its complete freedom of form. It provides the essential ingredients for a revue-type program of richly comic dimension, and magically suggests a variety of means for bringing this to life theatrically. It is the starting point for a creative theatre experience which will be shared by all as they participate in the' excitement, and sheer fun, of using the stage as a forum for projecting a wry and perceptive world-view, encyclopedic in its awareness of human frailty but always softened by the gentle balm of laughter.
ISBN: 0-8222-0396-0

Female Parts.

One-woman plays. Dario Fo and Franca Rame. Adapted by Olwen Wymark
F I . An open stage.

These four short plays were first performed in Italy in 1977. They were first performed in Olwen Wymark's English adaptation at the Royal National Theatre, London, in 1981 with Yvonne Bryceland playing the part of the woman in each.

In Waking Up, a young woman factory worker sleeps in late. In her anxious search for her house keys, she reconstructs the various phases of her day, demonstrating how trapped she is - by her husband, her baby, her work and her home.

In Woman Alone, a housewife is locked up at home by her possessive husband-a paradoxical and comic interpretation of a woman used as a sexual object.

The Same Old Story is a hilariously scatological fairy story. It describes the sexual relationship of a woman who is subordinate to the man and who refuses this subordination, while carrying the child she does not want.

Medea takes its cue from the Euripidean tragedy, but here Medea kills her children in a howl of rage, in the painful awareness that children are the links of a chain which society hangs round the neck of women 'like a heavy wooden yoke that makes us easier to milk and easier to mount'.

Female Transport.

Play. Steve Gooch
M4 F6. Various simple settings.

Play based in pre-victorian times where convicts were sent to Australia in order to colonise it. The play focuses on 6 particualar female covicts aboard 'Sydney Cove'. They are placed in awful conditions and struggle to survive. It is the women versus authority as the battle to save their dignity and voice their opinion continues. One of the girls falls in love with a young cabin boy, and Nance, a strong politically minded women barely survives after going against all authority and standing up for what she believes is right. The girls are all very different and all are trying to fit into the pecking order. In the end, as the crew and ship fall to pieces the girls become stronger and form a bond far greater than the crew will ever have- friendship and trust.

This is an account of six women in nineteenth century London, sentenced to be transported to a life of hard labour in Australia. During the six-month voyage, and while cramped below deck, they come to learn of the bias of a male-dominated society, represented in the play by the crew of the prison ship, that has lead to their sentence. 'A funny play, carried by racy vigour.' Evening Standard 'A compelling play.' Financial Times
ISBN 0 573 69185 1


Play. Caryl Churchill
22 characters, can be played by a cast of 6. Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Fen tells the story of a poverty-stricken group of potato pickers working on a farm in the Fens. It traces the fortunes of one of the gang's workers, Val, and how she leaves her family for Frank, a farm labourer, against a general backdrop of greed and commercialism. '... will establish Miss Churchill without question as a playwright who expresses the complexities of the world through the lives of individual women brilliantly.' Wall Street Journal

The Fever

Play: Wallace Shawn. Winner of the 1991 Obie for Best Play. : 1 M. Interior

The narrator of this blistering monologue lies ill and alone in a dreary hotel room in a poverty-stricken country. A political execution is about to take place beneath his window. Far from the glib comforts of his own life, he struggles with memories and his own conscience, which are challenged by the misery and poverty of the people below.

With compassion, eloquence, and ruthless self-scrutiny, the playwright discovers that having good intentions toward the dispossessed is not enough. As the narrator reminisces and agonizes over his own responsibility for the down-trodden, he reaches the inevitable conclusion that the politically correct are guilty themselves unless they take action. At the play's conclusion, the narrator has succeeded in defining his own guilt, but is uncertain whether or not he has the personal courage to join in the struggle. Aghast at his own weakness, he longs for forgiveness and the strength to earn it.
ISBN: 0-8222-0398-7

A Few Good Men

Play. Aaron Sorkin
M14 (wide range of ages) F1. Extras. Various simple settings.

Two marines are on trial for their complicity in the death of a fellow marine. Their lawyer makes a valiant effort to defend his two clients and, in so doing, puts the whole US military mentality on trial because the defendants were following orders and are willing to go to jail if need be to maintain the marine honour code. Period 1986
ISBN 0 573 69200 9