Composers and their stage works 


Play: Lewis John Carlino

1 man, 1 woman. Bare Stage.

As the Long Island Press comments "Playwright Lewis John Carlino has drawn a gripping and completely fascinating portrait of a man and woman, trapped in an unreal and yet hauntingly real world, both at the same time. They are actors, caught up in their hate-love game, standing on a rehearsal stage living out their fears, and their fantasies with almost uncontrollable vengeance. Desperation demands they play on. Carlino calls them simply "The Actor" and "The Actress" They appear early for a rehearsal on a bare stage. They begin to go over lines for a new play. It is immediately apparent that they have been lovers but that a strange anxiety has invaded this love. Soon they decide to try a bit of "improvisation" It is then that the hate-love world, riddled with fear and insecurity, comes forth. Reality turns on and off like the footlights. One minute he is acting out a "scene" about a mythical Irish uncle seducing the local barmaid. The scene changes almost nightmare style and they are both reliving a very real and dreadful episode in their own lives. They seem always trying to bring life into focus. It is a desperate struggle for them." But a struggle which, in the end, purges them of the nagging repressions and fears which have poisoned their psyches, leaving them free at last to face and know themselves and the world to which they must relate.
ISBN. 0-8222-0373-1

Exit the King. Play. Eugene lonesco. Translated by Donald Watson
M3 F3. A throne room.

King Berenger has only the duration of the play to live. His kingdom has shrunk to the confines of his garden wall, his nation reduced to the six within his throne-room. Once, it seemed, he ruled over an immense empire now he cannot command even the movements of his own body. Like Everyman, Berenger has lived from day to day, and there is now no more time.
ISBN 0 573 01123 0

The Exorcism. A Ghost Story. Don Taylor
M2 (38, 40) F2 (30s). A cottage.

Dan and Margaret have come to spend Christmas with Rachel and Edmund in their renovated seventeenth-century labourer's cottage. Later, as Rachel plays the piano, she suddenly gets a sinister feeling of déjà vu. Shortly afterwards, the electricity fails and the phone is out of order too. It is the start of a series of macabre events which mount relentlessly to a bizarre and terrifying climax culminating in a tragic report coming from the TV into an empty brightly-lit room.
ISBN 0 573 11120 0

An Experiment with an Air Pump. Play. Shelagh Stephenson
M3 F4. A room.

1799-On the eve of a new century, the house buzzes with scientific experiments, furtive romance and farcical amateur dramatics. 1999 - In a world of scientific chaos, cloning and genetic engineering, the cellar of the same house reveals a dark secret buried for 200 years. Shelagh Stephenson's daring and thoughtful play, inspired by the painting of Joseph Wright of Derby, was joint recipient of the 1997 Margaret Ramsay Award.

Extremities. Play. William Mastrosimone
M I (young) F3 (young). The living-room of an old New Jersey farmhouse.

Helen Mirren and Kevin McNally starred at the Duchess Theatre, London, in this drama about a young woman who is attacked in her own home by a rapist. She manages to overpower the man and imprisons him. When her roommates return, they have to try to talk the victim out of her ultimate revenge. (NB. This play contains violent scenes and explicit language.) '... all the tensions of the classic thriller ... an extraordinary humanity...' Daily Mail
ISBN 0 573 60875 X

Drama. Tim Blake Nelson. 5 men, 3 women, flexible casting. Unit Set.

In a small Oklahoma town, an innocent girl, Ainsley, marries a just-released convict with whom she's corresponded for 3 years. Jack's never told her why he went to jail, and with his new-found religion he says it doesn't matter: providence has seen to it that he would marry a good woman and raise a family. The clues are all there for Ainsley, but she's never been in love before. so when Jack has to wear an electronic surveillance device, she doesn't question it. It's just after Jack's parole officer stops by and tells Ainsley, in Jack's absence, that Jack went to prison for beating a girl and killing her unborn child, that Ainsley realises she's pregnant. Interwoven with the above plot is a future story line: a young girl has been found dead in a nearby lake, her belly slit open and her eyes gouged out. A 14-year-old named Tom witnessed the murder and has become mute because of it. Or, did he do it? Eventually he hangs himself. The police investigate the murder and feel sure the murderer was Jack, but when interrogated by the police, he denies he's done anything wrong. Finally giving up trying to believe in God and Jack, Ainsley goes to Oklahoma City for an abortion. After the procedure, she runs into the young boy, Tom. Feeling lonely and hopeless, she asks Tom to drive her to the lake where she was conceived and born. He does, and we see them share a tender moment of intimacy: Ainsley takes out her glass eye and lets Tom put it back in for her. Behind the clearing we see Jack, waiting for her, clearly aware that she's just aborted their child.
ISBN: 0-8222-1575-6

Sam Shepard, based on The Blue Bouquet by Octavio Paz. 3 men, 1 woman. Unit set

A dishevelled man wakes from a sweat-drenching nightmare, furiously shaking his shirt and pants free of possible small jungle creatures, and hastily dresses to face the utterly dreamlike reality of remote Mexico, a torpid limbo. Henry is a lost soul from the American middle-class, middle aged and alone, a superfluous stranger to a wife he left hundreds of scattered miles away in snowbound Michigan, and now alone in a squalid, vine-shrouded "hotel" amid snakes, lizards and ghosts.

The owner of the makeshift inn, one-eyed Viejo, warns him to stay put for his own safety, but on a brief, circular walk through the underbrush he is set upon by a peasant named Amado. The predatory figure bears a machete and a slender knife which he will use to cut the eyes from Henry's head, he tells the incredulous American, in order to present this penitent, macabre offering of "a bouquet of blue eyes" to the bewitching Consuela.. The fervour of Amado's obsessed mission, his dizzying persuasiveness, and his menacing wit and insight, push Henry's sanity to its limits. In a duel of ironic pathos, humour, cruelty and metaphor, each man examines what has taken him from the woman he loves and what desperate sacrificial price might reunite him with her. At the point when the gracefully haunting Consuela appears before Henry only to dismiss his brown eyes, the sole road out of the tangled tropical forest seems indistinct but at last possible.
ISBN: 0-8222-1678-7