Composers and their stage works 


How I Got That Story

Play: Amlin Gray. : 2 men. Open Stage.

The scene is "Ambo Land" (Vietnam) where a naïve young Reporter from Dubuque encounters the Historical Event a second actor who portrays some 21 characters, including several anxious to cover the war in all its aspects, the Reporter plunges into the surreal madhouse that it has become, interviewing foul-mouthed G.I.s; a teenage prostitute; the sinister lady ruler of the country; a Buddhist monk about to immolate himself, and many others (all played by the Historical Event) in a brilliant kaleidoscope of interlocking scenes. He joins a combat patrol; goes off on a bombing mission; is injured by shrapnel and, in the end, becomes so radicalized that he spurns his job and "goes native." Deeply ironic, the play coalesces its graphic horrors and unsettling revelations into an ingenious mosaic which, for all its wild humor, constitutes a crushing indictment of the mass insanity which is war.
ISBN: 0-8222-0539-4

How I Learned To Drive

Comedy/Drama. Paula Vogel. 2 men, 3 women (flexible casting). Unit Set.

A wildly funny, surprising and devastating tale of survival as seen through the lens of a troubling relationship between a young girl and an older man. How I Learned to Drive is the story of a woman who learns the rules of the road and life from behind the wheel.
ISBN: 0-8222-1623-X

How Much, How Much?

Play. Peter Keveson. 5 men, 3 women. Interior.

Set in a shabby apartment on New York's West Side, the play centres on an attractive teenage boy who is rescued from a possible mugging by the very nice young daughter of shiftless parents and brought home by her for dinner. As it develops, the young man has both a knapsack full of money and some rather unique ideas about how to make more - stimulated by his knowledge of the Mafia, for which his father is a well paid lawyer. Drawing the girl and her unlikely family into his scheme, which involves producing aspirin tablets and pornography (two low overhead, high profit items), the boy soon has them all on the way to fortune. But his real intention, to impress his father and to make him stand up to the Mafia chieftain in whose control he has long been, fails to be realised. When the pressure mounts the father falters, leaving his son shaken and perturbed, but surely wiser in the very cynical ways and questionable goals of this world.
ISBN: 0-8222-0540-8

How the Other Half Loves

Comedy. Alan Ayckbourn
M3 (30s, middle-age) F3 (30s, 40s). Two merged living-rooms.

In this suburban trio of married couples, one couple is at the top of the social ladder. One of the other couples is attractive and upcoming, despite the fact that she is an utter slob and he is a boor; and the third pair is socially hopeless but earnest. The action takes place at two dinner parties given on consecutive nights. The single set, representing two living-rooms, is almost a character in itself.
ISBN 0 573 11166 9

How To Say Goodbye

Play. Mary Gallagher. 1 man, 3 women, 1 boy. Unit set

The action of the play is set in Cleveland on the day before young Conor Staiger is to undergo an operation which he will not, for long, survive. Then, in flashbacks, we meet Conor's parents, Marty and Casey, whose marriage has not proved strong enough to stand the strain of their son's tragic illness. At first it was Marty, the happy-go-lucky "flower child" who seemed the irresponsible and immature partner, while Casey was the well-adjusted and purposeful one. But, as Conor's condition worsened, it was Casey, feeling helpless and defeated, who escaped to California and a new life, leaving Marty to find the residual strength to deal with their shared crisis. Coming back from Conor's operation, Casey also has a reunion with her best friend, Phyllis, who, still unmarried and living at home, senses that it is loneliness, rather than despair, which is the greatest evil. And, in the end, when Casey refuses to give up her new life, it is Phyllis who moves into the disrupted marriage and takes her friend's place - joining the very much changed Marty in sharing the sad but necessary task of helping Conor through the agony of his final months.
ISBN: 0-8222-0542-4

How's the World Treating You?

Comedy. Roger Milner. 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

The first act is set in a demobilization center, where a young lieutenant has just arrived minus troops and trousers, having lost both on the train en route. No one seems to notice, least of all the blimp-like colonel, who is more concerned with ogling a sexy female corporal; seeing to it that the bar in the officers club is adequately stocked with peanuts; and, in dragooning the military band into playing at his frumpy wife's tea party. He cheerfully gives the lieutenant his own pants, standing smartly at attention in his shorts as the troops march by in review - and off to limbo in the wings. In Act Two, it is ten years later, and the scene is a coming-out party for a sixteen-year-old, and a noticeably pregnant (except to her parents) upper-class girl. The culprit is her history teacher (formerly the young lieutenant) who has spurned suggestions of remaining in the army and dreams of becoming a headmaster one day. He wants to make an honest woman of the girl, but has difficulty in getting through to her rich but obtuse father and mother - he being concerned only with obtaining a tuition refund once the bad news is out, and she having worn her evening dress backward so that people might see it better when she is dancing. Act Three, again ten years later, brings us to a far-out "suicide sanctuary," where the now not-quite-so-young man, having failed as soldier, teacher, husband and washing machine salesman, has taken refuge. He has tried to drown himself (although he swims very well), and has put his problems in the do-gooding hands of the platitudinous sanctuary operator and his ebullient wife - who has an invisible dog named Maureen. Their "help" may not make good sense, but it results in lively action and somehow points a telling moral amid the merry and continually amusing high jinks which are the delightful heart of the play.
ISBN: 0-8222-0541-6


Play: Eugene O'Neill. : 2 men. Interior

Hughie is set in the lobby of a seedy Times Square Hotel early one morning in the late 20's. Its characters are the hotel's gray, withdrawn night clerk, and "Erie" Smith, a penny-ante gambler who has spent most of his last 15 years at the hotel between periods of drunkenness. His most recent bender was prompted by the death of the title character who was the night clerk's predecessor. Erie babbles through tales of his life's imag inary successes, as well as his panicky optimism towards the futile future. The night clerk can only listen to this study in fraudulent glibness which is touching, revealing, and a telling measure of what is behind this man's delusions.
ISBN: 0-8222-0543-2

The Hundred and First

Comedy. Kenneth Cameron. 8 men, 5 women. Unit Set.

Disgruntled by the fact that his shabby, bickering family falls just short of inclusion as one of the "Hundred Neediest Cases," Francis Stockstill decides to turn to shoplifting, in the hope that he can escape to a nice, comfortable jail. But the judge, impressed that the Stockstill's destitution rates thirty Peer Group Points, eagerly sets him free. Stockstill, taking advantage of his immunity from arrest, embarks on an epic stealing spree. However, he commits the unpardonable error of pilfering from a blind news dealer who just happens to be Neediest Case number one hundred! In seeking to escape the judge's indignation Stockstill is felled by a policeman's bullet. But his end is not in vain, for his violent demise jumps his family up the Destitution Curve for a total of fifty-seven Peer Group Points, and a secure place high on the Suffering Analysis chart.

The Hungry Earth

(in South Africa Plays) Maishe Maponya
4-5m 1f. Short political drama. Flexible staging.

One of the essential texts of black South African theatre. Several sketches about the lives of victims and underdogs culminate in a hugely moving final chorus of dispossession and outrage.
ISBN 1854591487

The Hypochondriac

Molière. Trans M. Sorrell
8m 4f. Classic comedy. Single interior set.

The 'imaginary invalid', Argan, is so obsessed with his health that he fails to notice what is happening around him in his own family. His scheming wife and loving daughter are finally revealed to him in their true light by Argan's brother, who poses as a quack doctor and suggests he feigns death to test their loyalty. Original first performed in 1673
.ISBN 1854591975


Play. Terry Johnson
M3 (60s, old) Fl (20s-30s). A room.

First produced at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 1993, Hysteria was staged in this revised version at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, in 1995. 'One of the most brilliantly entertaining new plays I have seen in years: wild, weird and funny, serious, compassionate and shocking, blasphemous and reverential, intellectual and frivolous, a factual fantasy, a demented farce, a black nightmare.' Sunday Tunes 'A brilliant play ... sheer theatrical audacity incorporates authentic pain into a farcical framework.' Guardian Period 1938

Hysterical Blindness

Laura Cahill : 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

Debby is a typical Jersey girl in most ways but things are changing for her. She's becoming aware of her life and ultimately she's too sensitive for her own good. Debby and her best friend Beth regularly go out after work looking for men, but the search has lost its fun. Debby has had an attack of stress-induced blindnéss, suffered one day at work. As she tries to cope, we see the sources of this stress played our around her and we go on a journey through the life of a young woman growing up in an environment not suited to the weak This journey through Debby's life is played out in scenes that explore her relationships with her mother, her friends and the men in her life. Over time, Debby attempts to settle into her life and live it, rather than letting it live her.
ISBN: 0-8222-1715-5