Composers and their stage works 


Lake Street Extension

Drama. Lee Blessing, 3 men; interior.

The estranged son of a middle-aged man returns home to find that his father has taken in a young refugee from El Salvador. Not only has the refugee moved in, but he's been given the son's room and is sleeping in his bed. As this explosive situation tests the already strained father-son relationship, we discover that the son is a male prostitute and was sexually abused on a regular basis by his average, working-class father. Throw in the secretive young man from El Salvador and the mix becomes deadly in this play rife with recriminations, secrets, seductions, hypocrisy, confessions and above all the desperate need of redemption and atonement. As played out through the images of an unbalanced father, his deeply wounded son and the young refugee, Blessing unflinchingly delves into the psyche of fathers and sons and patriarchal society in and of itself.

The Land of Cockaigne

Play. David Ives. 2 men, 4 women. Unit set

In The Land of Cockaigne, three poignant scenes depict a small family birthday party in a Midwestern yard on a summer day. Each scene presents a different angle on the group, what they say and who they may be. Is this the ideal American family, exactly the opposite, or something in-between?
ISBN: 0-8222-1470-9

Landscape of the Body

Play. John Guare. 8 men, 4 women. Unit Set

Moving back and forth in time, the action of the play is a mosaic of short scenes, monologues and original songs, all blending together into a revealing and affecting study of the American Dream gone awry. The play moves on many levels. In one sense it is a Murder/Mystery: a boy is found dead and his mother is suspected of his killing. But, as the investigation of the crime proceeds, other themes emerge and combine with it. The boy's mother has come to New York to persuade her sister to come back to their home in Maine; the sister is killed in a bizarre accident and her sibling slips easily into her persona, moving into her apartment and taking over her job; and her son loses his country innocence and becomes involved in the often ugly street life of Greenwich Village. In the end all these various strands are drawn together into a shattering climax - a forceful, moving illumination of lives first betrayed and then destroyed by illusions which, inevitably, lie always behind comprehension and control.
ISBN: 0-8222-0632-3

Large Windows On a Small World

Comedy Maurice Hill. 4 men, 4 women. Interior.

Still living with his widowed mother, at an age when most of his contemporaries are well settled into married life, Tad Snow is satisfied to pursue his job with a toy company, his chemical experiments and his busy correspondence with a sympathetic young French girl. But the time has come to exchange photos and Tad, conscious of his own rather unimpressive physique, sends off a picture of a muscular male model who lives nearby. So far so good - until his beautiful pen pal suddenly arrives from France to participate in the Miss World Subway contest, and rushes over to meet Tad in the flesh. Mistaken identity, the suspicions of a possessive mother and the disastrous efforts of well-meaning friends all contribute to the antic events which follow - but somehow things do ultimately fall into place, and all emerge happier (or at least wiser) in the end.
ISBN: 0-8222-0633-1

Largo Desolato.

Play. Václav Havel. English version by Tom Stoppard
M9 (middle-age) F3 or M7 F3. A living-room.

Professor Nettles lives in constant fear because of his refusal to denounce his work. The play's sense of the sinister gives a chilling edge to this account of life in totalitarian state by the once banned writer and president of Czechoslovakia. Stoppard's English version was premiered at the Bristol Old Vic in 1986 and seen subsequently at the Orange Tree, Richmond, in 1989. 'It is unlikely that we shall see a better play this year. Inconceivable that we shall see one more important.' Daily Telegraph

The Lark

Play. Jean Anouilh. Translated by Christopher Fry
M 16 F5. A permanent setting.

To the great lords of her time as well as the politicians of the Church expediency was God. So the Maid had to die. So to Warwick and Cauchon, her life has the somewhat artificial, and certainly impersonal, quality of a play. Short scenes from it are played out during the trial as they struggle to turn her simplicity into heresy. But it is the glory of her life rather than the tragedy that is the triumphant climax of the play. Period 1429-31
ISBN 0 573 01225 3

Lark Rise

Play. Keith Dewhurst, from the book by Flora Thompson
M 12 F7, with doubling. An open stage. Fee code M. (In a volume with Candleford)

A literary sampler of English village life in late Victorian Oxfordshire, Lark Rise re-enacts the first day of harvest. The play is written to be performed as a promenade production with no distinction between stage and auditorium. The interest lies in the lively picture of typical country life of the period with music and songs, with a brief flash forward to the 1914 war. Period 1880s
ISBN 0 573 10011 X