Welfarewell

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Samuel French, Inc., 2010 - Crime and age - 84 pages
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Dramatic Comedy / Characters: 1m, 7f, Larger Cast Possibilities /Simple Set Winner of the 2009 Samuel French Canadian Playwriting Competition Esmerelda Quipp is 80, still of sound mind, but her body is beginning to come unglued, as she puts it. Having spent her working life as an actress, age pushing her gradually out of the business, she now faces the fact that her meagre government pension is insufficient to support her, even with her minimal needs. When she is arrested for attempting to bury her dead cat in her landlord's yard, she finds that there is some sense of community, not to mention free room and board, within the prison system. She devises a plan to get herself sent back to jail; she robs a bank. But a well-meaning public defender gets the charges against her dropped. Esmerelda Quipp is undeterred! Using money she gets from returning stolen wine bottles to a recycling depot, she buys a toy gun at the local dollar store, and commits armed robbery. Knowing that she will be convicted because she will plead guilty, she assumes that she can spend the rest of her days living free, hanging out with other women, and being fed decently in a women's prison.But the system that has failed her also wants to forgive her because of her age and general health, and the public defender wants to use an insanity plea to get her off. How will Esmerelda convince the legal system she should be incarcerated, literally, for life?
 

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