Composers and their stage works 


Come As You Are.

Four Playlets. John Mortimer
M2 F2 or M8 F7. A bedroom, a living-room, a basement apartment, a flat.

The characters in all four plays are in their twenties to forties and can either be played by the same four artists or by separate casts. The first, Mill Hill, calls for 2 Men and 1 Woman, the remainder, Bermondsey, Gloucester Road and Marble Arch, call for 2 Men and 2 Women each. These four plays are linked by their themes of sexual entanglements and by their central or suburban London settings.
ISBN 0 573 01052 8

Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

Comedy-drama. Ed Graczyck
M1 (17) F8 (17, 30s, middle-age). A five-and-dime store in Texas.

In a small-town dime store in West Texas, the Disciples of James Dean, now middle-aged, gather for their twentieth reunion. The ladies' reminiscences mingle with flash-backs to their youth; then the arrival of a momentarily unrecognised woman sets off a series of upsetting and revelatory confrontations. The action takes place in 1975 and, in recall, 1955.
ISBN 0 573 60764 8

Come Back for Light Refreshments After the Service.

Play. Julie Day
MI (any age) F5 (19, mid 30s, 40s, early 70s) Various simple interior and exterior settings.

Beth is in the kitchen preparing food for her father's wake - real sandwiches, cakes, etc., that the audience are invited to partake of as they become the visiting mourners. After nursing her father for five years before he died, she plans to sell the house and go back-packing despite the disapproval of others. This play about relationships and understanding garnered rave reviews and an Edinburgh Fringe Award for excellence.
ISBN 0 573 60130 5

Come Blow Your Horn.

Comedy. Neil Simon
M3 (21, 33, 60) F4 (205-50x). A bachelor apartment.

Harry Baker should be a happy man, but his sons are a daily trial. Alan is a playboy with a penchant for beautiful girls and now Buddy, formerly so timid and obedient, has joined his brother in dissipation, unsuccessfully experimenting with the fair sex while his parents become more mystified and irate. Alan suddenly redeems himself by settling down, and Buddy, having learned how to handle women, determines to take over Alan's role as the family playboy.
ISBN 0 573 60713 3

Come Down Burning

Drama. Kia Corthron. 3 women, 1 girl, 1 boy. Interior.

Skoolie lives in a clean, tiny shack at the top of the big hill, across from the small grocer. She doesrA have the use of her legs and uses a cart built close to the ground to get to the store, and around the house where her appliances are cut close to the floor. Her sister, Tee, is living with her, again, with her three small children. Though Tee is welcome, it is a hardship to support everyone on Skoolies income from plaiting hair and occasionally performing abortions. As time goes on, it grows increasingly difficult for Skoolie to handle the extra people; last time Tee came to live, two of her children died from lack of food. Tee is very simple in the way she looks at the world, sometimes too much so, which causes a familiar family antagonism between the women - a caring, but at-odds view on how to better their lives. When Skoolie discovers that Tee is again pregnant, she tries to convince her to give up the baby. Tee loves her children and though at first does not want to think about it, knows that she doesn't want to jeopardize the three living ones to possibly bury another. Bink, Skoolies life long girlfriend, comes to visit and get her hair done. She also asks Skoolie to perform an abortion; she and her husband are not ready for children. She follows Skoolie's advice, does not eat, does as she's told and the abortion is clean. Tee tries harder to be in charge of her life and her children's lives. When she notices a mark on her daughter's arm, put there by a neg. ligent teacher, she wants to confront the teacher herself, but Skoolie, knowing Tee's social skills are not good, confronts the teacher for her, winning a small victory for them all, but making Tee feel more inadequate. Failing at taking care of her children, Tee tries to take care of her own abortion, but tragically fails at that too. Skoolie comes home in the afternoon to find her sister dying. While she tries in vain to keep Tee from slipping away, Skoolie knows she must again bear the burden of taking on and taking care of a loving but sorrow-filled family.
ISBN: 0-8222-1392-3

Come Slowly, Eden

Drama. Norman Rosten. Subtitled "A portrait of Emily Dickinson" 5 men, 2 women. Open stage with platforms.

The story is of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), that strange New England lady who hid from the world and wrote her passionate, glorious poetry in secret. The play opens shortly after her death. Her sister Lavinia has discovered her poems in a bureau drawer: small packers of paper tied neatly together with ordinary sewing thread. With the help of Mr. Higginson, a literary critic of the time who had earlier befriended Emily, the poems and letters she left behind are used to reveal this contradictory woman whose life on the surface appeared to be one of puritanical denial, yet whose writing showed a human being hungry for love and personal fulfillment. The play is a search. We weigh clues in her poems and letters, and in the memories of Lavinia and brother Austin, as we reconstruct Emilys life. We see he as a carefree girl at home, and as a young lady in growing conflict with her father; we witness her meeting with the minister who was to have such a crucial influence upon her. We follow the torment of her love for this man who was unattainable and watch her slow withdrawal from the world It becomes clear that Emily was a creature before her time, subject to her day's social conventions but rebelling against them; cherishing an impossible romance but refusing to settle for less; and, more important, pouring her joy and anguish into her poetry. That poetry is . embedded in the narrative as jewels within a crown. The play is an unsolved mystery, and at the same time a portrait - tantalizing and unique - of a woman who lived by her own rules, and left her wisdom to puzzle and delight posterity.
ISBN: 0-8222-0228-X


Play. Trevor Griffiths
M 11 (20 -50s, middle-age). A classroom.

The setting is a schoolroom near Manchester where an evening class of budding comics congregate for a final briefing from their tutor before facing an agent's man from London. Telling jokes for money offers an escape from the building site or the milk round. But the humour is a deadly serious business that also involves anger, pain and truth. How and why are laughter engineered? What dark secrets within us trigger mirthful responses to shaped remarks about sex, ethnic groups and physical disabilities'?

Comfort and Joy

Comedy. Mike Harding
M6 (20s, 50s, elderly, 70s) F6 (late 20s-early 30s, 50s, elderly) or M5 F5 with doubling. A front room.

It's Christmas. Relatives you hardly ever see and who are now very different from you arrive at your house for the festivities. No-one receives a present that is at all appropriate. Culinary disasters abound. Long-buried resentments rear their ugly heads as the alcohol flows and tongues are loosened. Comfort and Joy, Mike Harding's comedy, is painfully - but always amusingly - familiar.
ISBN 0 573 01772 7

Comes A Day

Drama. Speed Lamkin. 8 men, 5 women. Unit Set

The central issue is the dour fate of an unhappy small-town family, which had once been rich but has lost everything through the husband's weakness. His wife is embittered and contemptuous; he is lost in a drunken attempt at forgetfulness; his young son treats the father with scorn, and they are counting on the pretty daughter to restore their fortunes by marrying wealth. A pleasant but unambitious youth is rejected and the richest young man in town becomes engaged to the daughter. The young man reveals himself as an unpleasant character, but it's not until he really goes wild that the mother is willing to admit that her daughter shouldn't marry him. The daughter goes off to marry the man she really loves, and the mother is left behind to pin her saddened hopes on her son.
ISBN: 0-8222-0231-X

Coming of the Age In Soho

Play. Albert Innaurato. 4 men, 1 woman, 2 boys. Interior.

The scene is a loft in the Soho section of Manhattan, where a blocked writer named Bartholomew Dante (but called Beatrice) has fled to escape his wife of fourteen years and to come to terms with his art and his homosexuality. But his eagerly sought tranquility is interrupted by a series of unexpected visitors: first a young runaway, Di, who is escaping from prep school and uptight family; then an astonishingly precocious teenager with a German accent (Puer) who informs Beatrice that he is his son by a German terrorist with whom Beatrice had a brief but intense fling; and finally his estranged wife, Patricia, a Mafia-connected lawyer who is running for Congress and wants Beatrice back so as not to lose the Catholic vote. Caught in a sometimes poignant, sometimes hilarious crossfire of temptations and demands, Beatrice struggles to sort things out, for himself and the others, arriving, in the end, at a resolution which is filled with wisdom, rich with humor, and touched with nobility - all at the same time.
ISBN: 0-8222-0232-8

Coming of the Hurricane

Drama. Keith Glover. 7 men, 1 woman. Unit Set

Upon the still smouldering ground ravaged by the Civil War stands Crixus, fabled survivor of countless boxing matches-to-the-death during slavery. Now middle age and a newly freed man, Crixus works as a store clerk in a small general store in Maryland, but he faces an uncertain future, unprepared for a life of freedom and haunted by restless phantoms of his past. Crixus desires only to provide as best he can for his young wife Kazarah who is close to delivering their first child. Crixus' inarticulateness concerning his feelings towards Kazarah threatens to drive her into the arms of Cayman, a dashing immigrant Jamaican Boxer, who is younger and more prosperous. Cayman is on the eve of challenging John "the Hurricane" Blaine to a bare knuckle boxing match. "The Hurricane" is an ex-confederate soldier who has sworn to retrace the paths of famous battles of the Civil War fighting against opponents at the battle sites themselves. The projected fight between Cayman and the Hurricane is delayed enabling Cayman to challenge Crixus to a match. Crixus refuses at first but is ultimately swayed by pressure from Kazarah, who believes the money from fighting will do wonders for the future of their child. Crixus accepts, not knowing Cayman intends to throw the fight and make a killing on bets at the contest. The fight goes on as planned and Crixus wins. His future looks bright as he is able to buy the store where he works, but soon the store is burned to the ground by vandals. An enraged Crixus sells himself for money to challenge "the Hurricane" to a fight at Antietam with everything at stake.
ISBN: 0-8222-1490-3

The Common Pursuit

Play. Simon Gray
M5 Fl (all young, ageing 15 years). Various interior settings.

The story begins at Cambridge University, where a group of talented undergraduates decide to start a high-minded literary magazine to be called The Common Pursuit, in honor of their mentor ER. Leavis, a famed professor of English. Stuart, the initiator of the project, is to become editor, aided by his inamorata (and future wife) Marigold, while the others will contribute their literary or management skills. The action of the play then moves ahead, in a series of deftly constructed scenes, to follow ; the fates of the characters over the next twenty years, as the magazine falters and, one by one, they compromise their integrity to the pursuit of success and fall victim to the disillusionment which comes when youthful a ideas prove hollow. Their stories encompass sexual torment, adultery, treachery, deceit, success, failure and death, but all told with such dazzling wit and compassionate understanding that, in the end, the play leaves us not only enlightened and entertained, but also moved and saddened by the hard choices which life in our time can force upon even the most promising among us.
ISBN 0 573 01696 8