Composers and their stage works 


The Dining Room

Play. A. R. Gurney
57 characters played by M3 F3 (minimum). A dining-room.

Three men and three women portray a wide, diverse range of characters - from little boys to grandfathers, from giggling girls to housemaids - in this brilliantly structured play which enjoyed a very successful run off-Broadway and was given its British premiere at Greenwich Theatre in 1983. The action takes place in an upper middle-class American dining-room, the hub of social family life, comprising a mosaic of interrelated scenes, sometimes funny, sometimes touching, sometimes rueful, which together create a profound study of the decaying mores of the American WASP.
The play is set in the dining room of a typical well-to-do household, the place where the family assembled daily for breakfast and dinner and for any and all special occasions. The action is comprised of a mosaic of interrelated scenes - some funny, some touching, some rueful - which, taken together, create an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper-middleclass WASP The actors change roles, personalities and ages with virtuoso skill as they portray a wide variety of characters, from little boys to stern grandfathers, and from giggling teenage girls to Irish housemaids. Each vignette introduces a new set of people and events; a father lectures his son on grammar and politics; a boy returns from boarding school to discover his mother's infidelity; a senile grandmother doestit recognize her own sons at Christmas dinner; a daughter, her marriage a shambles, pleads futilely to return home, etc. Dovetailing swiftly and smoothly, the varied scenes coalesce, ultimately, into a theatrical experience of exceptional range, compassionate humor and abundant humanity.
ISBN: 0-8222-0310-3
ISBN 0 573 11536 2

Dinny and the Witches

Fantasy: William Gibson. 8 men, 6 women. Exterior.

"This play is a fairy-tale," states William Gibson in his notes to the New York production, "and all fairy-tales are dreams in which the hero goes forth on a pilgrimage through life; this one is no exception. Dinny is just the average American young man. He has only one fault; he is foolish, greedy, gullible, vain, confused, inconsiderate, lustful, ignorant, selfish, incompetent, lazy, immature, obtuse, frightened, cocky, and chronically self-deceived. He wants everything in the world, and expects it in the easiest way possible. He believes he deserves only the best, and will settle for nothing less. Nevertheless, he is our hero ...Reader, forgive him - he might have been you."
ISBN: 0-8222-0311-1

Diplomatic Baggage

John Chapman : Farce 5M 5F 2 Interior sets

One of John Chapman's most enjoyable farces in which he weaves an hilarious plot around Barry Lima who, due to the indisposition of his senior, has to step into his shoes at a minute's notice and deal with the signing of an Anglo-French treaty. This involves a trip to Paris and as well as having to cope with the French minister, he finds he has a bevvy of beautiful secretaries and chambermaids on his hands. The arrival of his wife and uncle, an aged rogue, do nothing to ease the situation and the fun runs fast and furious from beginning to end.

Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land.

Two plays. Tom Stoppard
M8 (young, middle-age) F2 (young, middle-age). A committee room in the House of Commons.

Dirty Linen concerns the investigation of a Select Committee into the moral standards of the House of Commons - a somewhat unconventional investigation, rendered not less so by the presence of an ultra-sexy secretary whose clothes have a trick of whisking off in the hands of various members. NewFound-Land is a duologue between two Home Office officials, with a tour-de-force speech on America by one of them.
ISBN 0 573 11109 X

The Disappearance of Katie.

Comedy. Don Cherrett and Evan Thomas
M7 (teenage, 20-40) F5 (20-40,70, 1 Pakistani). A living-room.

Janis Villiers looks forward to celebrating her 25th wedding anniversary but events seem determined to wreck the occasion. Her daughter Lucille is besotted by fiancé Bingo; husband David appears to have forgotten their anniversary and, to cap it all, a much-treasured wedding present is stolen. With a dash of intrigue and mistaken identities, the plot bounces along in this bubbling comedy which provides excellent cast opportunities for a wide variety of characterization.
ISBN 0 573 11535 4


Play. Phyllis Nagy
M5 (20s, any age, middle-age, 40s) F3 (25, 30s, middle-age). Various simple settings.

This starkly modern play concerns Sarah Casey, a twenty-five-year-old travel agent who has never been outside New York City. She goes missing after leaving a bar, where the last person to see her was Elston Rupp, a man who works in a thrift shop and dresses in his clients' clothes to assume different identities. Was Sarah killed, or did she merely 'disappear' to escape her anonymous existence in a big, lonely city?
ISBN 0 573 01747 6


Play Charles Marowitz. 9 men (doubling possible). Unit Set

The story begins in the mid-1950s at the institute in Rangeley, Maine, which the famed scientific innovator Wilhelm Reich has established after fleeing from Hitler's Germany. He is visited by a Dr. André from the Sigmund Freud Archives, who wants to interview him about his early association - and later falling out- with the master. As their conversation progresses it becomes apparent that Dr. André has also begun to harbour doubts about many of Freud's theories but his request to stay on at Rangeley and work with Reich is less than enthusiastically received - for reasons which become apparent as the action of the play, through flashbacks, explores the development, and disintegration, of Reich's singular career. We learn of his early apprenticeship under Freud, and of his gradual disagreement with many of the older man's concepts; and of his years in Vienna and Berlin, when his radical theories about primal energy. and the liberating force of the human orgasm first brought him into conflict with the medical/scientific establishment. His initial acceptance, and later rejection, of communism is also explored, as is his controversial use of his "orgone box" to treat cancer patients, a practice which, eventually, results in his trial and imprisonment by the United States Government. As the play ends Reich, fatally broken and slipping into paranoia, is visited in his penitentiary cell by spectres from his past, including President Eisenhower and, in particular, Sigmund Freud, who, at last, concedes Reich's brilliance, but also cautions him that radical thought will continue to be resisted as long as political and economic power remains in the hands of the uninspired and the ill informed - and that a great man's closest disciples, as they seek progressively to make their own voices heard, will invariably become his most dangerous and destructive detractors.
ISBN: 0-8222-0313-8  

Disco Pigs

(edition includes Sucking Dublin)
Enda Walsh : 1m 1f. Comedy/drama. Minimal set.

Written by an award-winning young Irish playwright, Disco Pigs was first performed in Cork before an extensive tour to the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and a run in the West End. Pig and Runt are two 17-year-olds who share everything: birthday, language, world view and that moment when pop songs and life-changing orgasms flash by and last forever. 'Poignantly funny, full of sound and movement, this electric two-hander is phenomenal' Sunday Times (Ireland).

The Disintegration of James Cherry

Play Jeff Wanshel. 7 men, 5 women. Unit Set

After announcing at the outset that what follows is his "nightmare," young James Cherry leads us through a series of hilarious and revealing episodes from his life. Awful things keep happening to those around him, and for some reason it always seems to be James Cherry's fault. His grandparents fall downstairs to their deaths; his father is eaten by crocodiles; his sister leaps off the roof. When James goes off to the big city to pursue an acting career his roommate is devoured by the pig he keeps as a pet; his car is eaten by a large truck; he accidentally shoots his agent during the course of an audition. And through it all James Cherry, innocent, earnest, agreeable - and perhaps doomed without knowing it - goes on trying to piece together the bizarre elements and people of his existence into something reasonable and acceptable. But as his knowledge of what he is up against grows he can only go deeper and deeper into his nightmare and on to the disintegration which inevitably awaits.
ISBN: 0-8222-0314-6

Distant Fires

Play. Kevin, Heelan. 6 men. Exterior.

Thomas, a black construction worker, has just been asked to fill in for the injured foreman of his crew. He takes the responsibility seriously because he hopes it will help him earn a rare union job for which he's the only black crewman eligible. Meanwhile, Beauty, a white co-worker, confides to his friends that he's also up for the union job that Thomas wants but that he didrA do as well as Thomas in the bricklaying competition. Resenting the way Thomas wields his new authority, his black crew members accuse him of selling out. Foos, a disillusioned alcoholic who's about to lose his job for constantly bucking the management, is his most embittered adversary. In an impassioned monologue he describes a run-in with the police during a race riot the night before; mistaking him for another man, the police humiliated and harassed Foos who had only gone out to get some ice-cream. When the construction site manager tells Beauty he gets the union job instead of Thomas, Foos' predictions of white favouritism come true. The final confrontation between Beauty and Thomas remains unresolved as both men feel diminished by the implacable, entrenched system of racism that neither of them can continue to abide, but must if they are to work.
ISBN: 0-8222-1304-4

The Disorderly Women.

Play. John Bowen
M6 F7. Composite set.

One of the classical myths that the modern theatre has found to be more relevant to our time is that portrayed in The Bacchae of Euripides in which Pentheus, the King of Thebes, denies the god Dionysus and is then torn limb from limb by the 'dancing women', who are the god's followers. In this play the author presents the myth as a tragic story, in which a good man, attempting to perform good acts, is destroyed by his denial, both in himself and others, of what is instinctive, irrational and destructive.
ISBN 0 573 11105 7

Divine Right

Peter Whelan : Drama 18M 11F, doubling possible Flexible staging

Set in the year 2000, Peter Whelan's epic new state-of-the-nation play examines the debate over the fuure of the monarchy in 21st century Britain. When the heir to the throne renounces his rightful succession, his eighteen year old son must determine his own future with the monarchy seeming increasingly out of place in a scared Britain. With the help of his brother, the young prince secretly slips away from his minders and travels around the country, searching for clues to help his dilemma. Meanwhile, the Republican movement in parliament is growing at an alarming rate, with powerful support coming from both Left and Right In one of the most fiercely contested political debates of a generation, the Labour Government and the opposition Conservatives tackle the concerns of the people as the fate of an entire nation hangs in the balance.
ISBN: 0856762229

Divorce Southern Style

Comedy. Jennifer Jarrett. Also called Winter Chicken. 3 men, 4 women. Interior.

Divorced for 15 years, and running low on cash, Eleanor Bander decides reconciliation with her ex-husband (whose second wife died the year before) is her best hope. To lure him within striking range, she tells him that their daughter is about to be married - hinting that it is a forced situation - when the truth is that the daughter is merely engaged again (for the fifth time) to her long-standing fiancé. The ex-husband, Walter, not only arrives, but brings along his current flame, a former classmate who was Eleanor's competition from high school days. As the plot thickens, which it does with growing hilarity, Eleanor's friends and neighbours become involved in the action, culminating in a surprise birthday party where the truth, at last, comes out. But Walter is prepared to forgive and forget, and falls easily into Eleanor's trap. So easily, in fact, that Eleanor is the one who now has second thoughts - deciding that it is better, after all, to stay single, and broke, than to resume the bickering which drove her away from Walter in the first place.
ISBN: 0-8222-1265-X