Composers and their stage works 


Heart of a Dog.

Play. Alexander Chervinsky, adapted from the novel by Mikhail Bulgakov. Translated by Michael Glenny
M 18 (middle-age) F5, doubling possible. Various interior and exterior settings.

Banned initially, this satirical and allegorical attack upon Marxism, Leninism and the Bolshevik revolution was eventually published in Russia in 1986. Philip Philipovich's latest experiment is to transplant organs from a human to a dog and so create a 'New Man'. Coarse and vulgar, 'New Man' aggressively asserts his rights and even obtains State backing for killing his enemies, the cats. 'A thoroughly entertaining and stimulating couple of hours.' Scotsman

Heart of a Dog

Play Mikhail Bulgakov, Adapted by Frank Galati. 9 men, 5 women (several roles may be doubled). Unit Set

The action centres on the difficulties encountered by Professor Preobrajansky, an innovative medical practitioner who specialises in sexual rejuvenation (by organ implantation), in his running battle with the management committee of his apartment house - who want the Professor to give up some of his many rooms. Fortunately the professor (who counters their demands by insisting that he needs even more space) has been able to enhance the sex lives of some quite highly placed people (with occasional side effects, such as having their hair turn green) and his life has been protected and enriched by such rarities as fresh meat and French wines. But when the professor takes in a stray dog, Sharik, and transplants human testes and a pituitary gland into his scrawny body, his troubles begin to multiply. Sharik not only learns to walk upright and talk, but becomes "Comrade Sharikov", the head of the Moscow Communal Property Administration in charge of exterminating homeless cats. He also spouts Marx and Engels, guzzles the professor's vodka, breaks wind at the dinner table, pinches the maid, and refers lovingly to his benefactor as "Dad" -much to the latter's annoyance. Eventually Preobrajansky, his patience at an end (and convinced that once a cur, always a cur), performs a reverse operation, returning Sharik to his former state - and confounding the authorities when they come in search of the contentious "Comrade Sharikov".
ISBN: 0-8222-0507-6

The Heart Outright

Play Mark Medof : A sequel to this author's renowned success When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder?
3 men, 1 woman. 2 interior

In the first act, subtitled The Dirty Picture Man, Stephen (Red) Ryder, the reluctant 19-year-old hero of the original play, is now a 27-year-old Vietnam veteran who has lost a hand in the war. Part owner and manager of a movie house in Austin, Texas, which has recently begun to show porno films, he recounts, in an engrossing and revealing monologue, the events of his present life - his numbing, sometimes disquieting duties as concessionaire and general factotum in the cinema; his involvement with a local religious cult; and the still lingering doubts about his manhood which have remained with him ever since, eight years earlier, he had found himself thrust, almost accidentally, into the role of a hero. The second act, subtitled Terminal, takes place four years later, when Stephen returns to his former home in New Mexico to attend his mother's funeral. There he encounters people from his past: his former sweetheart, Angel, once a waitress in the diner where the events of the first play took place; his avaricious, brutal stepfather, Ray, who tries to browbeat him into signing over half of his late mother's property; and a former high school classmate, Dickie, now the night manager of the local bus terminal, who still carries around a newspaper account of Stephens bravery and secretly wants to challenge him. In the ensuing confrontations, each of these characters reveals more about himself, or herself, than each might have wished, but each in his own way also comes to terms with what he or she has become in the years since the fateful night of terror when the legend of Stephen "Red" Ryder first came into being.
ISBN: 0-8222-0506-8

Hearts Beating Faster

Drama. Ralph Pape. 2 men, 3 women. Unit Set.

An idealistic young woman, Carol Ann Gates, has spent most of the 1980s in a forlorn quest for love and self fulfillment. After several years in Los Angeles and New York, she accepts an invitation from her older sister, Melanie, to stay with her and her daughter, Patricia, in their native Oklahoma. En route, she misses her connecting flight and encounters Ray, a handsome young man who believes their meeting is no accident and offers to' drive her home. She accepts his offer and invites him to stay with her family. While there, Ray has a series of volatile exchanges with John, Melanie's former lover who has re-appeared after six years ...and also finds himself falling in love with Patricia, who returns his feelings. He reveals to her that he is on a "mission of great importance," the impact of which only becomes clear in the play's penultimate scene. HEARTS BEATING FASTER takes the audience on a compelling journey through the lives of five incredibly vivid characters, whose fears and dreams mirror the changes that have been taking place in this country - and in ourselves - over the last dozen years.
ISBN: 0-8222-1584-5

Heathen Valley

Play. Romulus Linney. 4 men, 2 women. Unit set

Set in the 1860s, the action of the play centers on the desire of the Episcopal Bishop of North Carolina to bring the word of God to a valley so remote and untamed that brothers marry sisters and the people live lives of brutal violence and grinding poverty. Accompanied by an ex-convict named Starns, who once lived in the area and knows its ways, and a young orphan boy, Billy, the sometimes overbearing bishop sets about bringing order and decency" to the valley. Returning to civilization to raise funds, he leaves Starns behind as his deacon, and before long Starns, aided by Billy, has indeed worked wonders - transforming a wild woman and her deranged lover into a respectable married couple, leading the grizzled mountaineers in hymns, and building a church which, to allay local superstitions, has no corners. When the bishop returns he is amazed, but also disturbed that perhaps earthly pleasures are replacing the poverty which is more befitting for beholding the glory of God. He also announces that he has decided to renounce his calling and embrace the Roman church - which leaves Starns bereft of his illusive authority and, ironically, powerless to halt the slide of his now questioning flock back to the easy and evil ways of old.
ISBN: 0-8222-0508-4


Comedy. Eric Chappell
M4 (30s, 50) F2 (20s, late 30s), 1 F voice. 2M extras. A living-room/terrace.

Assumed identities, breakneck pace and hilarious mishaps of farce mix with the tension and startling plot reversals of a thriller in this clever, amusing play. The Spencers arrive for a peaceful holiday in a luxurious Spanish villa, closely followed by actor Howard Booth and his girlfriend. Unfortunately, Sam and Howard have matching holdalls which have become mixed up. Yet a third, identical holdall, full of money, brings the sinister Raynor to the villa ...
ISBN 0 573 01800 6

Heaven Can Wait

David Cosgrove, from an idea by Simon Hart : Light Drama with music 4M 1F Interior set

Take a trip back in time to 3rd February 1959, and the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. The Winter Dance Party featuring Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens is just ending and the boys leave for that fateful flight on the day the music died, securing their place in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. With their pilot Roger they find themselves at the Celestial Soda Fountain in the company of the barmaid Stella. Soon the truth becomes all too clear: each of the boys has some unfinished business to address within themselves before the path to eternity is complete, and along the way the characters raise the roof to cosmic heights with all their greatest hits.
ISBN: 0 85676 254 7

Heaven on Earth

Play. Robert Schenkkan. 4 men, 2 women. Exterior

Bobby lives with his maternal grandmother, Martha, in Waylon, Texas, where not much goes on and work is hard to come by. Martha has worked for 30 years in the local beauty shop, and has raised Bobby since her daughter and son-in-law's death in a car accident, which Bobby, as a young boy, survived. Even after he'd grown and moved away, Bobby would return to Martha after each financial failure and drunken stupor. But it was always a tough living arrangement since Martha maintained incredible optimism and total belief in God, and Bobby rejected religion, was always pessimistic and remained angry over his parents' death. Bobby's latest business adventure has him set up a used appliance shop right on Martha's front lawn - used appliances and paraphernalia litter the yard. The business goes nowhere, sending Bobby into another tailspin and more fights with Martha over whether God will help him through another tough time. After taking a part-time job as a guard - and getting fired from it - Bobby challenges Martha to a duel: If God produces a miracle in 24 hours, he will change his ways; if not, Martha must give up religion. Within just a few minutes, the face of Jesus appears on one of the abandoned refrigerators. Martha's good friend Jesse witnesses it, but also knows it's not a real miracle. She keeps quiet while watching Bobby parade the phenomenon, and market it like crazy. Martha, at first delighted by her very own miracle, becomes increasingly upset as she loses her job, and any sense of privacy, to the mobs and the cameras. Jessie finally calls Bobby's bluff and turns off her porch light - the real reason the face appeared, coupled with some well-placed trees. Bobby's trumped-up world collapses, but with a little help from a stranger and Martha's regained world, Bobby sheds some of his anger, Martha relaxes in her views and they come together with a better understanding that believing in themselves and each other will make their lives full again.
ISBN: 0-8222-1306-0