Composers and their stage works 


Joined At the Head

Drama. Catherine Butterfield.
4 men, 5 women (flexible casting). Unit Set

Maggie Mulroney is on a promotional tour for her novel Joined at the Head when she gets an invitation to visit her old high school flame, Jim, and his wife (also named Maggy) who is dying of cancer. The two women strike up an immediate friendship not withstanding the total disparity in their characters: Maggie the novelist is intensely self-examining and analytical while Maggy, even in the throes of her illness, retains a warm and giving response to the world and others. Maggie acts as the play's narrator from time to time, commenting upon the process of her writing while also shrewdly dissecting her relationship to her former boyfriend's wife. As Maggy's illness becomes the central question in all their lives, Jim and Maggie begin to confront their own assumptions about mortality, ambition and what it means to make a truly lasting impression in this world. In this riveting portrait of self-awakening, art and life come fluidly to interact as Maggie's instinct for the fictitious collides with a new-found yearning to relate to life with the immediacy of her newest, closest friend.
ISBN: 0-8222-1334-6

Joking Apart

Play. Alan Ayckbourn
M4 (20s, 30) F4 (20s). A garden.

Charming, naturally successful in everything, Anthea and Richard almost unconsciously but ruthlessly dominate the lives of those with whom they are associated. Over twelve years Sven, Richard's partner, is virtually nudged out of the firm. Brian, who works for Richard, is ineffectual; Hugh, the local vicar, whose wife is on drugs, falls hopelessly in love with Anthea. The play ends with Anthea's daughter awaiting her eighteenth birthday; perhaps a new reign may be beginning ...
ISBN 0 573 11204 5


Comedy T.J. Spencer. 12 men. Four simplified settings.

It is the author's fanciful notion that, when Jonah was cast overboard during the tempest at sea and found himself safe in the fish's great belly, he also discovered that he wasn't alone there. He learned that he had a captive companion. It was no less a personage than Ulysses, the conqueror of Troy. He had been living in the fish contentedly for several hundred years. Fortunately, Ulysses had managed to learn some Hebrew and since they had very different viewpoints on things, they were able to engage in lively arguments. Although the Greek adventurer admired Jonah's vigorous prose style, he himself preferred poetry and he thought the prophet's idea of God was nonsense. He didn't believe in the Greek gods either, and his theory was that it was the poets who dominated man's destiny by writing tales of his great deeds. There was another fellow in the fish's insides, a madman to whom Ulysses had given the name of Thersites. When, however, the three escape and reach Ninevah, the madman turns out to be just a troubled industrialist who had modern ideas about doing business on credit. The sailors from Jonah's ship turn up in Ninevah too, and there is quite a reunion. But Jonah remains a little disillusioned because Jehovah spares the city, leaving his predictions looking a little silly.
ISBN: 0-8222-0600-5

Joseph Andrews

Comedy. P. M. Clepper, from the novel by Henry Fielding
M7 (20s, 50, middle-age) F10 (18, 20, 45, middle-age). Extras. Various simple settings.

Fielding's novel recounting the adventures and misadventures of the handsome footman and the simple parson is dramatised for an easy-to-stage production, requiring a minimum of props and settings. Robbers, grasping innkeepers, love, jealousy, rivalry, personal misunderstandings, revelations of unexpected relationships-all find their places in the exuberant story. Period about 1740
ISBN 0 573 11209 6

Josephine: The Mouse Singer

Play. Michael McClure. Basedd on a story by Kafka.
6-7 men, 6-7 women. Unit Set ,

Josephine is a mouse - but she is also a singer, a creative artist who seeks to be exempted from the nagging demands of the workaday world. Unfortunately the powers-that-be deny her request, despite the fact that Josephine's singing mesmerises the other mice, and particularly, Baby, a young male mouse who falls in love with Josephine and wants to marry her and produce little mice. But Josephine wants only to sing, which points up the conflicts which she, as an artist, must deal with. in her relationship with the public, with society at large and in her personal life. In the end there seems to be no satisfactory resolution of her problem, no reconciliation possible between the public and private Josephines, so she simply vanishes - trading an untenable present existence for future enshrinement in the fervent, if inaccurate, memories of her loyal fans.
ISBN: 0-8112-0755-2

Journey To the Day

Play Roger O. Hirson.
5 men, 4 women, 1 boy. Interior.

The play is about six mental patients in group therapy at a state hospital, with the psychiatrist who directs their sessions, and with their mutual journey toward the day of recovery. The development of each character, from the first sullen, groping session, builds scene by scene to the final meeting of the group. The patients begin to understand one another and their own problems. Even Martha, the girl who chooses to remain mute, registers an awareness of a world outside herself. We meet the religious girl stained by guilt, the abrasive extrovert, the frustrated mother, the confused kook, the mama's boy. The psychiatrist is doubtful of his assignment at the outset but his dedication and concern bear fruit when he is able to send one of his patients home for a trial visit - a milestone for all of them in their journeys toward the day of eventual recovery and reinstatement to society.
ISBN: 0-8222-0601-3

Journey's End

Drama. R. C. Sherriff
M 11 (young, 40s, middle-age). A dug-out.

Second Lieutenant Raleigh, the new officer assigned to C Company, is welcomed by everyone except, apparently, Captain Stanhope, who reveals, later, that Raleigh was at school with him and hero-worshipped him. What neither of them knows is that if 'Stanhope went up those steps into the front line without being doped with whisky, he'd go mad with fright.' The drama of the personal relationships between the men is played out against the larger tragedy raging around them. Period 1918
ISBN 0 573 04003 6

A Jovial Crew

Richard Brome, adapted by Stephen Jeffreys : Comedy
Flexible casting (doubling possible) Bare stage/Flexible staging

Written in 1641, A Jovial Crew was the last play to be performed before the outbreak of the English Civil War and the deep divisions within English society form a distinctive backdrop for Jeffreys' sparkling adaptation of Brome's comedy, a special commission by the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in Stratford upon Avon and London during 1992-1993. Rachel and Meriel, the two daughters of wealthy landowner Oldrents, become fascinated with a passing group of beggars and together with their two lovers Vincent and Hilliard and Springlove, the house steward, they run off to accompany the begging crew for what they envision is a life of carefree abandon.

With music specially written for the play by Ian Dury and Mickey Gallagher, A Jovial Crew is a unique theatrical experience and a wonderful alternative to a Shakespearean production.
ISBN: 0 85676 162 1

The Joy of Going Somewhere Definite

Comedy/Drama. Quincy Long. 4 men, 2 women, 1 man or woman (flexible casting). Unit Set

Three out-of-work loggers, fueled by alcohol, God and song, set forth from a Northwoods' bar one night on a misguided errand of merry. Raymond, Merle and Junior have met a stranger in the bar even drunker and lonelier than they are, and, after accidentally shooting him, decide to reunite the poor fellow with his estranged wife somewhere north of the border in Canada. Hampered at every turn by misunderstanding, confusion, stupidity, drunkenness, desire and mistaken identity, the chivalrous loggers resolutely attempt to do the right thing, while achieving precisely the opposite. In the end, wild certainty yields to a chastened amazement over what man won't do for a little peace.
ISBN: 0-8222-1673-6

The Ju Ju Girl

Aileen Ritchie

First performed by the Traverse Theatre Company, Edinburgh, THE JU JU GIRL tells of two women, connected by a blood line, a century apart, each embarking on a journey of self-discovery.

1929, Rhodesia. Catherine, the daughter of a Scottish Missionary, waits at a train station for her future husband. Together they intend to carry on the tradition of her father before her - the conversion of the 'The Dark Continent' and its people to Christianity, banishing their spiritual beliefs and leaving the power of the juju behind.

1999, Zimbabwe. Kate takes a train journey into the country of her grandmother's youth. Leaving a restless life in Scotland, she comes to Africa in search of adventure and meaning, fuelled by her grandmother's stories of the past, the people and their juju.
ISBN 1 85459 462 1

Julie Johnson

Drama. Wendy Hammond.
1 man, 2 women, 1 female teen, 1 male teen. Unit Set

Julie seems to be having a breakdown. Her two teenage children can't get her to stop crying so they send for her best friend, Claire, to help. Julie has, over time, become completely disillusioned with her life as a New Jersey housewife and mother: although she dearly loves her children, she is in a loveless marriage, with an abusive policeman husband; she's a high school dropout and feels her life is one big nothing. After Claire and her children get her through this bad period, Julie picks herself up and decides to start her life over. She kicks her husband out and for the first time, she and the kids are on their own. After, a few very rocky days, Claire shows up and asks to move in with them because she, too, has left her husband. The two women begin an odyssey of odd jobs, education and self improvement. The mutual support and lifelong love soon turns into an affair between the two. Julie eventually falls deeply in love with Claire, but Claire cannot readily accept the relationship. She's afraid of what people will think, including Julie's children. The road to bettering themselves splits and Julie soars. With the encouragement of. a school professor, she becomes proficient with computers, eventually winning a scholarship. With Julie's rise, Claire is left behind, and as close as the women are, Claire decides she must return to her husband. Julie, on the other hand, is now what she's always wanted to be: a full woman, loving mother, and whole human being.
ISBN: 0-8222-1416-4