Composers and their stage works 


The Nice and the Nasty

A Hyperbolic Potboiler. Mark O'Donnell.
8 men, 3 women. Unit Set

Food Technology, a giant conglomerate, is being run by Cathexa Heitz, daughter of the aged founder, Hobart Heitz, (who has retreated to his enormous estate with his second wife, a teenaged ex-porn star) with the advice and counsel of the ruthless Blade Crevvis (who has an adjoining skyscraper torn down because it reflects the sun in his eyes). Into Cathexa's life comes an ingenuous young scientist, Junius Upsey, who has invented a cellophane helmet that converts the sun's rays into nourishment, thereby obviating the need for conventional food. Cathexa and her father are taken with Junius and his invention, but Blade (who is secretly plotting to destroy mankind) definitely is not - which leads to the frantic hilarity that ensues as Blade and his evil assistant, Smurgison, seek to remove this obstacle to their nefarious plans. Happily all works out for the best, thanks to the last minute intervention of a deus ex machina and the diligent efforts of a 10-year-old reporter, who has become the most popular anchorman on TV because "everybody trusts a kid."
ISBN: 0-8222-0815-6

Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music

Play. Lee Blessing.
2 men, 2 women, 1 boy (around 15). Exterior.

Eve Wilfong, who lives over the "Nice People Dancing To Good Country Music Bar" is paid a visit by her niece Catherine Empanger, a novice nun who's been asked to leave her convent. It seems Catherine suffers from a curious compulsion to yell obscenities at the wrong moment, and even, on occasion, bark like a dog. Roy, an honest if simple fellow from the bar downstairs, wants to court Catherine whether she's a nun or not. Eve feels she should give her niece the benefit of her experiences with men before allowing her to venture back into the mad modern country world. What follows is not simply comic and well-observed, but romantic and affecting as well.
ISBN: 0-8222-0816-4

Night and Day

Play. Tom Stoppard
M7 (8, 20s (Black), 40s, 50s (Black)) F1 (30s). A living-room, hall and stairs.

The action takes place in the imaginary African state of Kambawe, which is undergoing a civil war against a dictatorial President. The main subject of the play, however, is British journalism the relationships and competitiveness between rival journalists. Underlying both themes is that of the freedom of the press and, more widely, freedom itself. Presented at the Royal National Theatre starring Diana Rigg.
ISBN 0 573 11308 4

Night and Her Stars

Drama. Richard Greenberg.
7 men, 2 women, flexible casting. Unit Set

Herbert Stempel is the first winner of the big money quiz show 21 and the man who took a dive for the scandal's more famous victor, Charles Van Doren. Orchestrated by 21's producer Dan Enright - a television devil incarnate, an abstract force of evil who persuades both Stempel and Van Doren to cheat - we watch both of the exceptionally gifted contestants fall from grace and analyze each of their weaknesses. Stempel sells his soul for an attempt to be an actor; Van Doren tries to break away ftom his life governed by strict rules and expectations from a family with ideals he struggles to meet. Enright, also serving as the play's glib, seductive narrator, has the uncanny ability to reveal each of the contestants' vulnerabilities and he manipulates them to a profitable end, the audience siding with him at every scheming turn. At the end of Congress' probe into the scandal, Charles Van Doren confesses his guilt as Stempel throws his head back and sobs the bitter laughter of revenge as well as defeat. Van Doren retreats to his father's country house and, in a touching moment, like a stroke victim recovering his use of words, identifies all of the species of trees that surround the house, as he reconnects to his family.
ISBN: 0-8222-1500-4

Night Dance

Drama. Reynolds Price.
4 men, 3 women. Unit Set

Night Dance opens in 1945. Genevieves husband, Wayne, is due home any day now from World War II which has recently ended. Porter, who has made the Navy his life, is already home, enjoying Roma's cooking and catching up on the news. Neal had not qualified to go to war and remained at home, running the store, and running interference between the two important women in his life. Taw has returned to teaching and, much to Roma's dismay, has not borne a child. The war took it's toll on the town, but one more phone call leaves Neal to tell of Waynes death, by uninformed sniper fire, to Genevieve and to Wayne's father. Genevieves despair overtakes her as she takes her own life, but not without appearing to Neal before her soul departs, in a beautiful farewell to friendship and life. What Neal does not see, but Genevieve achieves is her loving reunion with Wayne. The loss of both his friends forces Neal to enter into an adult part of his life he tried to avoid, but the tragedy helps draw his family closer together.
ISBN: 0-8222-0819-9

Night Manoeuver

Drama. Howard Korder :
2 men. Unit Set

Lou, a 26-year-old auto parts clerk, rents a shabby urban bachelor pad. His 18-year-old brother, Tim, is crashing there. Getting to know each other's ways, the brothers trade slurred, desultory banter that touches on sex, booze and the almost mythical exploits of their older brother, Monty. At one point, in a great monologue, Lou recounts how he lost his virginity at 12 years old to Monty's girlfriend while on an inflatable horse life preserver in a pool. The conversation turns to Tim's late night whereabouts: Does he have a girl? What's he doing hanging around the park until late at night? Is he really innocent? It is finally revealed that Tim is doing drugs and Lou is a small time drug dealer. Though starting off as Lou leading his younger brother through a crash course in survival, by the end of the play, Tim has taken control of the situation. The brothers pair off for a showdown of sibling rivalry halfway between life and death and Abbot and Costello, but no longer just a little brother, Tim takes advantage of Lou's drug contacts and set up a deal for himself.
ISBN: 0-8222-1485-7

Night of the Dunce

Drama. Frank Gagliano.
6 men, 2 women. Interior.

Roads End Branch of the public library is a decaying, ominous place, where no one comes to borrow books any more, despite the efforts of the staff to keep it a going concern. But the tension that hangs in the air affects them too, and they bicker amongst themselves, egged on by the scheming young temporary staff member who has wormed his way into the head librarian's confidence. Then mysterious phone calls are received, shadowy figures lurk outside and a pair of unknown young men drop in and prowl aimlessly about the stacks. The head librarian, Mrs. Vickers, is willing to believe that their interest is reading - until the moment of seizure suddenly threatens and the two young men turn out to be members of a gang of toughs calling themselves the Dunces. Their purpose is to take over the library and destroy it. Surrounded and besieged, Mrs. Vickers and her staff wage a seesaw battle to protect what they have and hold back the tide of ugliness which threatens to engulf them. In the end the night of threatened evil continues unresolved, but the courage and resourcefulness which have come forth to stave off destruction remain resolute as the lights dim and the defenders wait uncertainly for the attack which is sure to come.
ISBN: 0-8222-0822-9

'Night, Mother

Marsha Norman
Drama 2F Interior set

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, explores the final hour in the life of Jessie, a young woman who, quite simply, has decided that life is no longer worth living. In the living room/kitchen of a small house which she shares with her mother, Jessie sets about tidying the house and making lists of things to be looked after while her mother's sense of desperate helplessness begins to build. In the end she can only stand by, stunned and unbelieving, as Jessie ends her profound unhappiness in one fatal, stunning and deeply disturbing moment.
ISBN: 0 8222 0821 0 

Night Must Fall

Play. Emlyn Williams
M4 (young, 50s, old) F5 (28, 35, 50s). Interior setting.

Danny has already murdered one woman, and there is little doubt that he will soon murder another - the aged owner of the house. He gradually insinuates himself into her affections in a skilful manner, for Dan is a dashing young assassin, a completely self-centred psychopath with no feelings and a vast imagination, who is perpetually acting, for his own edification, the part of the murderer. Period 1935
ISBN 0 573 01843 X

Night of the Assassins

(in Latin-American Plays). Jose Triana. Trans S. Doggart
m 2f. Drama. Single interior set.

Three siblings plot to kill their parents in this controversial masterpiece by Jose Thana. In the game-playing scenarios the siblings invent, they play the parts of the parents, policemen and judges. This play provides a dramatic allegory of the political situation in Cuba in the 1960s, with its call to revolution echoed in the childrens' need to overcome their fear and turn convention upside down. 'Utterly compelling' The Scotsman.
ISBN 1 85459 249 1

The Night of the Iguana

Play. Tennessee Williams
M8 (1 Black) F6. A roofed veranda.

Shannon, a minister defrocked for blasphemy and seduction, is now a travel guide in Mexico. Coping with a group of Baptist women furious because he has taken them off the advertised route and slept with a girl in the party, he arrives at a ramshackle inn run by a brash and 'rapaciously lusty' proprietress. The confrontations among these ill-assorted characters lead to Shannon's final degradation and to a general acceptance that personal fates must be accepted, and life endured. Period 1940

The Night of the Iguana

Drama. Tennessee Williams.
8 men, 6 women. Exterior.

Within the broken down environs of a cheap Mexican resort hotel there is a mood of pervading loneliness and despair as intrusive as the Equinoxial storm that stirs sudden lightning flashes and gushes through the tattered room. The desolation, the emptiness are in the people: the tough, sex-starved widow who runs the hotel; the neurotic, defrocked minister, and the gentle maiden lady from New England. Thrown together in this squalid setting their human needs become explicit, and from their conflicts comes the realisation that life must be endured and that the spirit will somehow survive even beyond the limits of anguish. The play is chiefly concerned with the relationship of the Reverend T Lawrence Shannon and Miss Hannah Jelkes, the sad, fortyish lady who travels the world with her grandfather ("the oldest practising poet in the world"), painting quick portraits for a fee, while the nonagenarian recites poetry to hotel guests. Rev. Shannon, having been relieved of his cloth for sexual irregularities, has landed at the Costa Verde hotel, near Acapulco, on the verge of one of his periodic mental breakdowns. The proprietress, an old friend, is prepared to offer him a bed and will, in fact, share it with him if he wishes. But then Miss Jelkes and her grandpa arrive, penniless but prepared to offer their services to the guests in return for lodging. There is a strange and immediate rapport between the discredited cleric and the lonely artist. The play's most poignant moments - scenes of enormous compassion - grow out of the understanding of these two people, their mutual need for companionship and roots, their final moments of nobility in small gestures of unselfishness to aid one another.
ISBN: 0-8222-0823-7

The Night of the Tribades

Drama. Per Olov Enquist. Translated by Ross Shideler.
3 men, 2 women. Open Stage.

The action takes place on the stage of the Dagmar Theatre, in Copenhagen, where Strindberg and his estranged wife, Siri, are preparing the first performance of his short play The Stronger. With Siri is her friend Marie Caroline David, an alcoholic actress whom Strindberg accuses of having a lesbian attachment to his wife. As the rehearsal progresses, the lines of the play being read are cleverly shaded to reflect the bitterness of Strindberg's personal situation: his frustration as an artist; his dismay at the loss of his wife's love; his enmity toward his rival. Ranging from fiery outbursts to moments of high humour, the play builds an uncanny and overpowering portrait of the tortured genius, while achieving a poignancy and sense of truth which are theatre at its finest and most vivid.
ISBN: 0-8222-0824-5

Night of the Vixen

Play. Derek Lomas
M4 (20s, 30, 50) F2 (20s, 30s). A cottage living-room.

Suspense drama and horror are contained within a framework of realistic, fast-paced dialogue. The Syndicate close in on Owen Voss on his first day out of prison. Where did he hide the heroin haul? Or if he sold it, where is the money? Gordon and Barbara are the first to arrive at Gordon's remote country cottage where the drugs are believed to be hidden. When Pentecost and his bully boy, Johnson, turn up the pressure is really on.
ISBN 0 573 01694 1

A Night on the Tiles

Play. Frank Vickery
M4 (20s, middle-age, old) F3 (20s, middle-age). A backyard.

A perceptive, entertaining and highly comical play from the author of One O'Clock From the House. Gareth and Shirley's wedding day does not get off to an auspicious start. Gareth, egged on by his cocky, good-looking brother Kenneth, has a post-stag-night hangover so bad that he can barely speak, the bride is three months' pregnant and Granddad, confused after getting stuck in the outside loo is unsure whether Shirley is marrying Gareth or Kenneth!
ISBN 0 573 11350 5

Night Seasons

Drama. Horton Foote.
7 men, 6 women. Unit Set

The play takes place in Harrison, Texas, jumping back and forth between 1923 to 1963. Following the Weems family as it grows up, we watch its members find their places in society. Of the main characters: Mr. Weems is a banker with a heart. He cannot easily stand up against his wife, but puts money away for his daughter, Laura Lee, to do with as she wishes, knowing everyone tries to run her life. Mrs. Weems is a busybody who can't see how emotions guide people's decisions so she thwarts them by interaction or ignorance. Their son, Sherman, grows up to be the banker his father never was - a banker who is doesn't consider another person when it comes to money. He is in a bitter marriage, but won't leave because his wife has threatened to expose his adultery, thereby threatening his career. Laura Lee only wants to love, and to get away from, her family, mostly her mother. On bad advice, Laura Lee never married and though she doesn't live in regret, she feels the loss of the two men she loved. As an adult all she wants now is a house, but everything she tries, everywhere she turns, she is told no, money comes first and she has no control over her own finances. In an almost final blow, her brother Sherman sells the house she wants to another buyer because the price was, in his opinion, too high for Laura Lee, but not for his other buyer, who got it for an even lower price. Laura Lee had the money and asked Sherman to arrange the sale through the bank. But her family has always sabotaged chances for independence, especially where money was involved, and this time was no different. At the age of 60, Laura lives in an apartment with her mother, bitterly agreeing to live there until she can find a house for them both. When she learns her brother and mother agree that two old women should not move into a house, Laura collapses and soon dies. Mrs. Weems, at 93, finally, has an inkling of what her life has been when she says that living that long is her punishment. What's left of the Weems family seems to fade into the landscape.
ISBN: 0-8222-1482-2

Night Watch

Suspense. Lucille Fletcher.
5 men, 4 women. Interior

Unable to sleep, Elaine Wheeler paces the living room of her Manhattan townhouse, troubled by unsettling memories and vague fears. Her husband tries to comfort her, but when he steps away for a moment Elaine screams as she sees (or believes she sees) the body of a dead man in the window across the way. The police are called, but find nothing except an empty chair. Elaine's terror grows as shortly thereafter she sees still another body - this time a woman's - but by now the police are sceptical and pay no heed to her frantic pleas. Her husband, claiming that Elaine may be on the verge of a breakdown, calls in a lady psychiatrist who agrees with his suggestion that Elaine should commit herself to a sanitarium for treatment. From this point on, the plot moves quickly and grippingly as those involved - Elaine's old friend and house guest Blanche, the inquisitive and rather sinister man who lives next door and the nosy German maid, Helga - all contribute to the deepening suspense and mystery of the play as it draws towards its riveting and chilling climax.
ISBN: 0-8222-0826-1


Play. Norman Robbins
M3 (20, 35, 40) F4 (24, 36, 71). A living-room.

Marion Bishop, an elderly writer, is dying. Katherine looks after her in a most caring way, while coping with her mentally retarded brother. When Katherine takes some leave, Laura, an experienced nurse, comes to take care of Marion. A series of mysterious phone calls and the appearance of Raymond, Marion's rapacious nephew, set off a nightmare situation. Deceit, suspicion, blackmail and incriminations are subtly woven into a web of crime which is completed by a dramatic confrontation scene with an ingenious twist.
ISBN 0 573 11306 8

Nightmare: the Fright of Your Life

Horror thriller. Roger S. Moss
M2 (20s, 50s-elderly) F2 (20s, 40s-elderly). A converted chapel.

Frank and Jenny Gilman think they have found their dream house: a converted chapel in a quiet country village. The dream soon turns into a nightmare, however, as they are attacked by intruders who seem, for some reason, to be interested only in the contents of the deep freeze. Frank and Jenny investigate and the true horror of their situation soon emerges in this taut and exciting, yet often blackly hilarious, horror thriller.
ISBN 0 573 01842 1

Nine Armenians

Drama. Leslie Ayvazian. 5 men, 5 women. Unit Set

Three generations of an Armenian/American family yell, dance, carry food around, play tambourines, rollerblade, cry, scream, laugh and support each other. When daughter, Ani, 21, travels to Armenia, she learns more of her history and troubled heritage. When she returns, she learns much from her recently widowed grandmother, Non, who teaches her how to incorporate this new knowledge into her life. In doing so, Ani empowers her mother, who embarks on her own pilgrimage to the homeland. These are kind-hearted people,, embracing life even as they discover their historical tragedies.
ISBN: 0-8222-1602-7


Comedy Melchior Lengyel.
6 men, 3 women. Interior.

The modern Classic, long a great favourite on the European stage, is familiar to American audiences through the motion picture version starring Greta Garbo. It is also the basis for the successful Broadway musical comedy, Silk Stockings. As long as East and West fail to meet, this comedy of a beautiful young Russian girl in sinful Paris will go on being as fresh and stimulating as tomorrow's headlines.


Play. Horton Foote. 6 men, 7 women. Unit Set

Having been exempted from military service in World War I, Horace Robedeaux is back home in Harrison, Texas. He and his wife Elizabeth, along with their infant daughter, are now settled in a new house built for them by Elizabeth's father, Mr. Vaughn. While their fortunes have improved, the nation reels from a spreading 'flu epidemic which soon reaches Harrison and infects Mr. Vaughn and Horace. During Horace's illness his daughter also contracts the 'flu and dies bringing to the young parents a sadness which even the armistice can do little to allay. In time Elizabeth becomes pregnant again, and the play ends with brightening prospects for all: the nation is finally at peace; Horace and Elizabeth are blessed with a healthy baby boy; and even Elizabeth's wayward. younger brother, who had been of deep concern for Mr. Vaughn, shows signs of finally coming to terms with the responsibilities of adulthood.
ISBN: 0-8222-0828-8

Nixon's Nixon

Play. Russell Lees.
2 Men. Interior.

It is the night before President Nixon is to announce his resignation, and he has summoned Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to the Lincoln Sitting Room. Kissinger arrives, expecting to find his President preparing to resign. But Nixon is in the process of wrestling with that very decision. Unstable, nostalgic, garrulous and paranoid, Nixon leads his Secretary of State on a journey through the high moments of his administration. The journey borders on the surreal as Nixon pressures Kissinger into re-enacting crucial scenes: Kissinger plays Nixon, Nixon plays Brezhnev, Kissinger plays Kennedy and Mao - the scenarios become dizzying. Meanwhile, Kissinger is subtly working to convince Nixon to step down. If he does, Kissinger can pursue his geopolitical goals - and his own quest for historical glory - unencumbered by a weakened President. Nixon, however, can't face the lonely aftermath of such a decision; he imagines himself "wandering some hellish golf course, waiting to die." As the evening and the drinking progress the two concoct a plan to provoke an international crisis that would allow Nixon to leave office a hero. Kissinger muses, "Sometimes I stare in the mirror. What's happening behind those eyes? I'm astonished. Mystified." Then adds, "I like it." Nixon confides he no longer stares in the mirror, although he did on the way up. He not only stared, he talked to himself. "'You sly dog,' I'd say. And we'd share a secret smile. But then I fell. I fell like Satan tossed from heaven."