Naomi in the Living Room & Other Short Plays: A Collection of One-acts

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Dramatists Play Service Inc, 1998 - Performing Arts - 273 pages
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DESIRE, DESIRE, DESIRE. Another Tennessee Williams parody, from the author of For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls. Blanche DuBois, her nerves shot, is stuck in a house with a slobby Stanley Kowalski, who keeps yelling "Stella!" Stella left for a lemon Coke six years ago and never returned. Blanche tries to seduce a young census taker, but is interrupted by Big Daddy and Maggie from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A "tart" from The Iceman Cometh shows up as well, irritating Blanche by saying "pipe dream" instead of "illusion." Stella comes back briefly, but departs again, leaving Blanche and Stanley stuck together for eternity. (5 men, 3 women.) ONE MINUTE PLAY. Written for a one-minute play festival at American Repertory Theatre. A young man tells his suicidal, despairing thoughts to a cheerful woman who chooses to ignore them. (1 man, 1 woman.) JOHN AND MARY DOE. John Doe introduces his idealized family: his wife, Mary, and their three children. His happy portrayal keeps turning truly dark, as he reveals that his wife has been murdered and dismembered by their insane next-door neighbor, Tommy Psycho Babbit. Then he takes it back, says he's made it all up, and that everything is fine. Mary looks normal, but from time to time her mouth falls off and her eye pops out. John kills his children in a rage, then says he didn't really. Mary and John go to sleep and hope Dr. Kevorkian comes in the morning. (3 men, 2 women.) GYM TEACHER. An overly macho gym teacher addresses a co ed class of seventh graders, saying inappropriate things and eventually forcing the unlucky class to play a game of "bombardment" (hitting members of the other team with volleyballs), but this time played with bowling balls. (1 man.) THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW. A raucous Woman Singer, dressed in sequins and boa, keeps bursting into noisy song in a doctor's office. Mr. Wilson is there to see the doctor about an allergy, but the doctor and his nurse insist he has a venereal disease and call up everyone he knows. A public service announcement. (2 men, 2 women.).
 

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User Review  - quantum_flapdoodle - LibraryThing

A collection of short (and very short) plays by the master of wit. These range from truly delightful to just sort of OK. Some of them are more like SNL skits than plays, and a couple of them really ... Read full review

Contents

Kitty the Waitress
25
Funeral Parlor
39
Canker Sores and Other Distractions
53
Woman StandUp
65
DMV Tyrant
75
Gym Teacher
85
1900Desperate
91
One Minute Play
99
The Hardy Boys and the Mystery of Where Babies Come From
151
Medea coauthored with Wendy Wasserstein
163
Aunt Dan Meets the Madwoman of Chaillot
177
Desire Desire Desire
189
Cardinal OConnor
207
The Book of Leviticus Show
215
Entertaining Mr Helms
229
The Doctor Will See You Now
239

Women in a Playground
105
Phyllis and Xenobia
111
John and Mary Doe
117
Not My Fault
129
Words on Fire
253
An Altar Boy Talks to God
265
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

Reared in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, Christopher Durang spent his childhood acting out plays that he based on television and movie characters. His 12 years in repressive Roman Catholic schools as well as traumatic elements in his home life became the basis for the dark humor of his later plays. Known as one of America's angry young playwrights, Durang has focused his satirical wit on Hollywood's myth-making cinemas, the Catholic church, contemporary psychoanalytic practices, and the problems of individual and family identity. Although he has enjoyed only limited success on Broadway, he has become a major voice off-Broadway and in America's burgeoning regional and university theaters. Durang developed as a playwright during the early 1970s while working under Robert Brustein at the Yale Repertory Theatre. Much of his work during this period brought him little critical attention. However, in 1976 his satirical play, A History of the American Film, was read at the O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. The following year the play was premiered at the Hartford Stage Company, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, and the Arena Stage in Washington. By the close of the decade, the play had become a regional theatre favorite. Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All for You opened in 1979 at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in New York as a companion piece to works by David Mamet, Marsha Norman, and Tennessee Williams. The play begins with a simple catechism delivered by a seven-year-old student but soon turns into a deadly confrontation between the nun, Sister Mary Ignatius, and a number of her former students. The play, which is concerned with censorship, won the coveted Obie in 1980. The wildly humorous The Actor's Nightmare served as a curtain raiser for the controversial Sister Mary Ignatius when these two plays were presented in 1981 at off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons. Beyond Therapy opened off-Broadway in 1981 and enjoyed a less successful run the following year on Broadway. This screwball comedy concerns two people who are seeking meaningful relationships but who are hampered by the efforts of their respective therapists. The story shows the patients sorting it out and learning to live beyond beyond therapy. As with other Durang plays, it has enjoyed strong regional support. The Marriage of Bette and Boo, first produced in 1973, was rewritten to open at the Public Theatre in 1985. A brilliant and satirical dissection of the modern American family, the play is Durang's most autobiographical work. Durang himself played the role of Matt, Bette and Boo's son, in the New York production. The play, which earned an Obie, enjoyed critical and popular success and has been viewed as an important breakthrough in Durang's career.

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