Composers and their stage works 


I Am a Camera

Drama. John van Druten, adapted from The Berlin Stories of Christopher Isherwood. 3 men, 4 women. Interior

The play looks at life in a tawdry Berlin rooming house of 1930 with a stringently photographic eye. For the most part, it concerns itself with the mercurial and irresponsible moods of a girl called Sally Bowles. When we first meet her, she is a creature of extravagant attitudes, given to parading her vices, enormously confident that she is going to take life in her stride. She is fond of describing herself as an 'extraordinarily interesting person,' and she is vaguely disturbing. As we get to know her, as we watch her make frightened arrangements for an illegal operation, seize at the tinselled escape offered by a rich and worthless American playboy, attempt to rehabilitate herself and fail ludicrously, we are more and more moved, more and more caught up in the complete and almost unbearable reality of this girl. The author has placed a character named Mr. Isherwood on the stage. He serves both as narrator and as principal confidant to Sally Bowles. He is the camera eye of the title, attracted to Sally, yet dispassionate about her. Though Sally is the chief point of interest, the plight of the Jew in Germany in the early '30s is brought within focus in a few touching scenes.
ISBN- 0-8222-0545-9

I Hate Hamlet

Comedy. Paul Rudnick. 3 men, 3 women. Interior

Andrew Rally seems to have it all: celebrity and acclaim from his starring role in a hit television series; a rich, beautiful girlfriend; a glamorous, devoted agent; the perfect New York apartment, and the chance to play Hamlet in Central Park. There are, however, a couple of glitches in paradise. Andrew's series has been cancelled; his girlfriend is clinging to her virginity with unyielding conviction; and he has no desire to play Hamlet. When Andrew's agent visits him, she reminisces about her brief romance with John Barrymore many years ago, in Andrew's apartment. This prompts a seance to summon his ghost. From the moment Barrymore returns, dressed in high Shakespearean garb, Andrew's life is no longer his own. Barrymore, fortified by champagne and ego, presses Andrew to accept the part and fulfil his actor's destiny. The action becomes more hilarious with the entrance of Andrew's deal-making friend from LA, spouting the laid back hype of the Coast and offering Andrew a fabulous new TV deal worth millions of dollars. The laughs are non-stop as Andrew wrestles with his conscience, Barrymore, his sword, and the fact that he fails as Hamlet in Central Park.
ISBN: 0-8222-0546-7

I Have Been Here Before

Play. J. B. Priestley
M4 (28, 40s, 60s) F2 (28, 35). An inn sitting-room.

Dr Görtler believes that a future dimension of time can be entered in dreams, and is drawn to a Yorkshire inn in search of proof. He had dreamed of an unhappy couple coming to this inn, the wife meeting a lover, and the discovery driving her husband to suicide. To his horror, Dr Görtler sees the dream in danger of becoming reality. He warns them of the potential unhappiness and fortunately, they heed him. Written in 1938
ISBN 0 573 01194 X

I Have Five Daughters

Comedy. Adapted from Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice by Margaret Macnamara
M4 (20s, 40) F10 (teenage, 20s, 40, 50). A morning-room.

The author has adapted Jane Austen's great novel with the particular problems and needs of the amateur stage in view. The actual course of events has been, in the author's words , 'pretty drastically simplified', but the essential spirit of the novel has been delightfully retained. Period early nineteenth century
ISBN 0 573 01195 8

I Knock At the Door

Adaptation by Paul Shyre of the first of six autobiographical volumes by Sean O'Casey.
4 men, 2 women. Bare Stage.

Six actors bring the sad, pithy boyhood of John Casside (O'Casey) into quick and sensitive focus. His strong, resigned mother, his impetuous, groping sister, the friends and enemies of his Dublin childhood and Johnny himself are gems of truth and beauty. Throughout, balancing pathos with humor, an image of young Sean O'Casey is slowly unveiled. There is a ceaseless struggle between the doctor, who is treating the boy's painful cataracts, and the Protestant minister, who considers it more important for the boy to be at school; Johnny being caned by the sadistic schoolmaster; and the telling interactions with his loving mother. Through it all, the people of O'Casey's crowded youth come to life with superb vividness.
ISBN: 0-8222-0547-5

I Love My Love

Play. Fay Weldon
M2 (30s) F3 (30s). Various simple settings.

Trendy magazine Femina offers two contrasting wives - country-bumpkin Anne and sophisticate Cat - £1000 to swap places for a week to compare lifestyles. Anne goes to London to run the chic apartment of Cat's advertising executive husband, while Cat journeys to deepest Devon to cook, clean and care for gentle, sexually repressed, shopkeeper Derek. Violent snowstorms mean that Cat and Derek are cut off, and when the snow ploughs eventually arrive the life-swap has become a wife-swap. A witty, finely observed study of middle-class contrasts.
ISBN 0 573 11253 3

I Never Sang For My Father

Play. Robert Anderson.
7 men, 4 women (several of the male roles are bit parts.) Area Staging

Gene is a widower, with an elderly mother whom he loves and an 80-year-old father, whom he has never loved, hard as he tried. The father has been mayor of a small town in Westchester County, self-made and highly respected. Beneath these trappings, however, he is a mean, unloving and ungenerous man, who has driven his daughter away because of her marriage to a Jew. He has alienated his son through his possessiveness, his selfishness and his endless reminiscences. Suddenly the mother dies and Gene is faced with the responsibility of having the father on his hands just at a time when he wants to remarry and move to California. There is a series of dramatic confrontations. Alice, the sister, who has defied her father, pleads with Gene not to take on the burden of the old man and ruin his life. The penurious father and son have to pick out a coffin for the mother and the final episode in which Gene tries, once again, to rouse in himself affection for his father and succeeds, but only for a moment. For it is still not possible for him to "sing" for his father - to understand and be understood, to give the love he so wants to give and to feel it all will be accepted, and appreciated, by his father, who can not love.
ISBN: 0-8222-0548-3

I Remember Mama

Play. John Van Druten
M11 (teenage, young, 40s, 50s, elderly) F15 (young, 20s, 40s, 50s) 2 boys. Three interiors and insets.

The play opens with Katrin Hanson, a young Norwegian girl living in San Francisco, reading from the manuscript of her autobiography. Then follow scenes from an important period of her life giving us glimpses of the career of this delightful, affectionate, impecunious family of Hansons. Mama, the real heroine, is responsible ultimately for Katrin's literary career, in which I Remember Mama is her first success. Period 1910
ISBN 0 573 01 197 4

I Thought I Heard a Rustling

Play. Alan Plater
M3 (20s-40s) F2 (50s). A library back room; Civic Centre room.

An ex-miner turned poet is appointed writer-in-residence at Eastwood branch library. Ellen, senior librarian, soon realises the feckless but charming Geordie is no poet. Despite this she finds him highly entertaining, much to the disgust of Nutley, an earnest young man who covets the writer-in-residence role. These three find themselves an unlikely but united strike group when the Libraries sub-committee proposes demolishing the library. '... warmth, affection and humour ... ' Sunday Telegraph
ISBN 0 573 01791 3

I've Got Sixpence

Drama. John van Druten. 3 men, 4 women. Unit Set

Everyone has to believe in something - religion preferred. Always a familiar writer with sympathy for ordinary people, Mr. van Druten starts off proving his thesis in terms of two unmarried girl roommates. One is artfully trapping a suitor into marriage. The other, who has visions of grandeur in her soul, refuses to be either cynical or ambitious, but withholds herself for a great uncalculated love.

I Was Dancing

Comedy. Edwin O'Connor. 5 men, 1 woman. Interior.

As commented on by the New York Daily News: "...Burgess Meredith gives an endearing, funny and skillful performance as a 70-year-old star hoofer who has come to the end of the road and headed home ... Or to what he thinks is home, his son's house. He has been here a year and the welcome has worn thin for he was never much of a parent, what with running out on his wife and infant son to hoof it alone around the globe. So his ungrateful boy, age 38 at the moment, wants to pry him out of his comfortable top-floor bedroom and lodge him comfortably in Smiling Valley, a home for senior citizens. Meredith, a spry fellow given to subconscious dance steps and waltzing when he is alone, doesn't want to go to Smiling Valley. He likes it where he is - and besides, his sister, Pert Kelton, the gabbiest Irishwoman alive, is already a resident of Smiling Valley and he can't stand her. Meredith has a scheme to halt the ouster by faking a heart attack and softening up his son. He confides it to his cronies, who are an odd lot. One, David Doyle, is an unlicensed doctor with a busy practice among strange cases, like a woman who got shorter and shorter until she died. Another is an affable priest who wanted -to be a jockey. The third, Eli Mintz, is an utterly mournful man, and his account of how a friend died of a blood clot after playing golf is one of the funniest soliloquies in the play."
ISBN: 0-8222-0552-1

Ice cream

Play. Caryl Churchill
M7 F6, may be played by M3 F3. Various simple settings.

Produced to acclaim at the Royal Court Theatre, this eighty-minute play was subsequently produced in New York as a double bill with Hot Fudge. A middle-class American couple travel to England on a genealogical search and find third cousins who are decidedly lowlife and whom they aid following a violent event. Who is the worse: the doer of evil deeds or he who enables him to continue? 'Highly comic ... works like a short, sharp shock: an acidly entertaining statement about mutual cultural incomprehension.' Guardian


Drama:. David Fishelson from the novel by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The story of a saintly, simple young man whose sheer goodness makes him the target of envy and hatred in a corrupt society. 9 men, 6 women (flexible casting). Unit Set

A young man, Leo Myshkin - called "Prince Myshkin" due to royal blood somewhere in his past - returns to Russia after 15 years in a Swiss institution where he was treated for severe epilepsy. Carrying nothing but a small bundle, he is at first taken for an idiot by the cynical, jaded society of 1860s St. Petersburg. Gradually, his non-judgmental, forgiving and almost child-like nature bewitches all who meet him, including two of the most beautiful, sought-after women in town: Aglaya, the impulsive younger daughter of the wealthy General Yepanchin; and Nastasya Filipovna, the kept mistress of Totsky, a middle-aged dandy who seduced Nastasya as an underage young girl. Growing tired of Nastasya, Totsky tries to marry her off to one of his flunkies, but the tormented, self-hating Nastasya won't go easily. At a dazzling society party to announce this unwanted engagement, Nastasya meets the Prince, who quickly perceives that she's being victimised by the men in her life. The Prince offers to marry her himself to save her from this horrible fate, moving Nastasya to open her heart to him. Suddenly there is confusion as Rogozhin, a passionate and self-destructive merchant's son, insanely in love with Nastasya, crashes the party with his gang of drunken rowdies and offers to buy Nastasya hand for 100,000 roubles. Torn between the saintly Myshkin and the unruly and dangerous Rogozhin, Nastasya chooses Rogozhin - certain that she'd only corrupt the 'pure and gentle: soul of the Prince. As the Prince chases after Nastasya and Rogozhin, Aglaya Yepanchin falls in love with Myshkin, horrifying her father. The story rapidly builds to a series of violent confrontations as the two women face off, competing for Myshkin right before his horrified eyes, and Rogozhin tries to murder Myshkin when Nastasya cannot erase him from her heart. Gradually, the people surrounding Myshkin begin to destroy him, each wanting him for themselves and not willing to share his love. When Nastasya is murdered by Rogozhin in the play's harrowing climax, Myshkin snaps and lapses back into idiocy: a victim of a society that destroys the best part of itself when it lets greed, lust and power rule.
ISBN: 0-8222-1424-5

Play. Christopher Durang, and Albert Innaurato. 7 men, 6 women, plus several bits for women. Open Stage.

Using the characters and events of The Brothers Karamazov as a springboard, the play becomes a lampoon not only of Dostoyevsky but of western culture and literature in general. Dotted with literary allusions and intellectual jibes, it pokes fun at figures ranging from Ernest Hemingway and L. Frank Baum on to Leo Tolstoy, as it turns the saga of the ill-fated Karamazov brothers topsy-turvy. The narrator of the proceedings is the famed translator, Constance Garnett, who struggles to keep the wild goings-on in perspective and under control, and, in the end, settles for conjugating the verb "Karamazov" -which, under the circumstances, makes more sense than one might suspect.
ISBN. 0-8222-0553-X