Composers and their stage works 


Little Bird

Play Mary Gallagher. 2 men, 2 women. Interior

The scene is Kelly's apartment in a rundown section of Cleveland, flanked by universities and now infiltrated by middle-class hippies. Kelly, a laid-back young artist who is finding it difficult to paint, ekes out a meager living helping his friend Clint make custom furniture. Also on hand are Clines lover, Prandy, a free-spirited "drop out" who now works as a waitress; and Prandys vulnerable and somewhat "up-tight" younger sister, Maura, who is half-heartedly completing college. The central action of the play involves the complicated and sometimes stormy interaction of these four highly individualistic protagonists, each of whom, in his or her own way, has rejected the conventions of traditional middle-class life. The crisis of the. Play comes when Prandy announces that she is pregnant and Clint, who had previously planned to take off for parts unknown, refuses to change his plans despite her condition. Prandys embittered decision to have an abortion drives a wedge between her and her more conventional sister, a rift which is widened still further when Maura embarks on an affair with the much older (and disturbingly haphazard) Kelly. In the end, when Clint returns from his wanderings, a reconciliation of sorts is achieved among the four - impelled by the deep-seated affection and concern which they feel for each other, but -also tempered by the hurt and anger which have tested, and yet perhaps deepened, their fated interdependence.
ISBN: 0-8222-0672-2

Little Egypt

Comedy. Lynn Siefert. 3 men, 3 women.

Faye Waltz has her hands full with her unmarried, sexpot daughter Bernadette; but when her other daughter, Celeste, moves back home as a thirty-something, college-educated bookworm, Faye's situation is worse than before. She suspects there's no hope for Celeste - whose idea of a good time consists of reading. an encyclopedia on penicillin. Faye, on the other hand, has been leading an active, though hardly fulfilling, sex life. Her most recent conquest happens to be the mayor of Cairo, Hugh Door, but Hugh has the habit of calling up his estranged wife in the middle of the night, so Faye knows their time together will be short. At a local shopping mall, Bernadette and Celeste meet the men of their dreams: Victor Mulkey Hood is an bumbling security guard at the K Mart; and Watson Mason is a recently unemployed super-stud who immediately fools Bernadette into letting him move in with her. Celeste and Victor fall into a doting relationship of mutual respect and adoration; at one point, Celeste even "knights" Victor with his security guard flashlight. Bernadette becomes pregnant, but when she asks Watson for a commitment he flees. Dejected, Bernadette gives up the idea of having this baby and has an "extraction." In the meantime, Celeste asks Victor to be her hero and propose to Bernadette even though it means sacrificing him to her sister. In response, Watson makes a pass at Celeste in front of Victor, nearly destroying the platonic relationship. But, on the banks of the local river, Victor and Celeste reunite, marching off into a mock sunset together and proving that even the least promising of romantics can win at love in the end.
ISBN: 0-8222-1338-9

Little Eyolf

Drama 3 Acts. Henrik Ibsen, translated by Michael Meyer. 3 men, 3 women. Unit set

Wealthy man of letters, Alfred Allmers has been on a six-week hiking holiday, his first break in ten years from possessive wife Rita, and he returns home a changed man. Gone is his obsession with his Great Work, his book The Responsibility of Man, and he is now determined to remedy his neglect of crippled son Eyolf. Also there to greet him is his attractive half-sister Asta, a teacher who helps the couple with Eyolf. They are disconcerted by the arrival of local pest controller the Rat Wife, a weird old crone who, with dog Mopsemand, mesmerises rats and leads them to be drowned. Rita becomes jealous of Eyolf's place in Allmers' affections, but soon after, the boy is drowned. Guilt and recriminations fly thick and fast, and Allmers later finds some solace with Asta, reminiscing about their close and happy childhood when she would wear boy's clothes and he called her Eyolf. Asta is being pursued by solid engineer Borghejm, but although she likes him she cannot bring herself to marry him because of her affection for Allmers. Later she tells Allmers that she has found letters from her late mother which reveal that they are not brother and sister. Now Eyolf is dead, Asta decides to leave, but Rita and Allmers beg her to stay and 'be their Eyolf'. She shrinks away and decides to leave with Borghejm. Rita and Allmers are left alone together with their 'gnawing consciences' (for neither of them truly loved little Eyolf), and they make plans to try to fill the void left by little Eyolf and big Eyolf.
ISBN: 0-413-46350-8

Little Footsteps

Play. Ted Tally. 2 men, 2 women. Interior

Ben and Joanie, in their midthirties and married eight years, are an upwardly mobile "Yuppie" couple about to become parents for the first time. Ben (who is Jewish) works in television, Joanie (a quintessential WASP) is a would-be artist. As the play begins they are redecorating the dining room of their Manhattan apartment for use as a nursery, an activity which both underscores the impending changes in their lives and reinforces Betts uneasiness about it. The scene is filled with funny lines as Ben tries to make light of his misgivings, but his fears lead inevitably to dispute and, by the end of Act One, Ben has departed and Joanie suddenly finds herself a single parent-to-be. In Act Two, which takes place several months later, a christening party is in progress attended by Joanies parents, Charlotte and Gil, an affluent older couple who are not hesitant to point out that they never much cared for Ben in the first place. As for Ben, having avoided the formal christening, he now sneaks in through the nursery window determined (in a gesture towards his own religious background) to intone a few Jewish prayers over his newborn son - which, when the others suddenly return, leads both to a series of wildly funny misunderstandings, and also, in the end, a tenuous reconciliation and a commitment, by both Ben and Joanie, to try to grow up before their offspring does.
ISBN: 0-8222-0676-5

The Little Foxes

Lillian Hellman : Drama 6M 4F Interior set

Picture a traditionally graceful and charming home in the American deep South at the turn of the century. Into this peaceful scene bring the prosperous but grasping Hubbard family - Ben, possessive and scheming; Oscar, cruel and arrogant; Ben's son Leo, weak and unprincipled; and deadliest of all, his wickedly clever and predatory sister, Regina - each trying to outwit the other. In contrast, meet lonely intimidated Birdie, whom Oscar wed for her father's cotton fields; and wistful Alexandra, Regina's daughter, who despite her love for her ailing father Horace, is unable to shield him from the implacable and ultimately murderous hatred that his wife feels for him. The Little Foxes is acknowledged to be one of the best and most important American plays written in the last half- century.
ISBN: 0 85676 091 9

The Little Foxes

Drama. Lillian Hellman. 6 men, 4 women. Interior.

Picture a charming home in the South in 1900. Into this peaceful scene put the prosperous, despotic Hubbard family - Ben, possessive and scheming; Oscar, cruel and arrogant; Ben's duplicitous, Leo, weak and unprincipled; Regina, wickedly clever - each trying to outwit the other. In contrast, meet lonely, intimidated Birdie, whom Oscar weds for her father's cotton fields; wistful Alexandra, Regina's daughter; and Horace, ailing husband of Regina, between whom a breach has existed for years. The conflict in these lives has been caused by Ben's ambition to erect a cotton mill. The brothers still lack $75,000 to complete the transaction. This, they hope, will come from Horace who has been in a hospital with a heart ailment. Horace is beset by his relatives the first hour of his homecoming, but refuses to commit himself. Desperate, Leo and his father, Oscar, plan for Leo to take $80,000 worth of bonds from Horace's safe-deposit box. However, knowing that he is to be short-lived, Horace has his box brought to him. Discovering the theft, he informs his wife that he has willed the bonds to her. He promises to say nothing about the theft, calling it a loan. Cruelly, Regina recalls their unhappy married life, causing Horace to be stricken with a severe attack. Regina refuses to get his medicine upstairs, hoping that the effort of climbing may prove fatal. Horace collapses. Then Regina blackmails' her brothers into giving her 75% of the business instead of their planned 33.1/3%, or she will reveal their theft. We feel, however, that crafty Ben holds the trump card by his parting remark, "What was a man in a wheelchair doing on a staircase?"
ISBN: 0-8222-0677-3

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Thriller. Laird Koenig. Interior: 2 men, 1 woman, 1 boy, 1 girl.

There is something peculiar about Ryon Jacobs, the 13-year-old little English girl who lives down that lonely lane, with a father no one ever sees. She looks innocent enough, but there is something unnatural in her composure; and what right has she to look an adult so straight in the eye? To a tight-knit American community on a bleak East Coast island, she must have something to hide. Busy-body Mrs. Hallett senses a mystery. Her son Frank senses a prey. Mighoriti, the local policeman, is powerless to help. Mario Podesta, a lame, self-styled magician, scarcely more than a child himself, falls under Rynds spell and their poignant love story is the heartbeat of the play. He comes to understand that her secret is a very simple one; she is different because she sees herself as a person. And if you're a child as well, that is a very difficult position to defend. You may be driven to almost any lengths to survive ... In the end, Rynn must stand alone against the chilling terror of Frank Hallett who has discovered her secret and uses it to control her. Her options narrow down as the play builds up to an almost unbearable climax.
ISBN: 0-8222-1571-3

Little Green Shoots

Cherry Vooght : Light Drama 5M 5F Exterior set

The play is located among the garden-like environment of the Eden Grove Allotment. For nearly fifty years it has provided a welcome respite from the stresses and strains of urban life. The many allotment holders have not only shared in the planting and growing, but in the relaxation and companionship the allotments offer, courtesy of a lively social club at the centre of allotment life. As plans near for the 50th anniversary celebrations among the members, the group are horrified to learn that a representative from the local council has brought news that the land is wanted to develop luxury homes. Despite the property being left in trust and the allotment members decision not to sell at any price, the council and the powerful builders threaten to obtain the land by any means available. Some members quickly organise a local media blitz which starts positively enough, but soon member's plots are being vandalised during the night. It isn't long before serious recriminations develop from both sides, and when a mysterious fire destroys one of the chalets, suspicions and mistrust reach the limit, culminating in an open meeting among the allotment holders and representatives of the council and the building firm. The tense stalemate is finally resolved though a surprising and unexpected denouement, and all sides are left pondering a future few of them expected to see.
ISBN: 0 85676 245 8

A Little Hotel on the Side.

Translation by John Mortimer of L'Hôtel du Libre Echange by Georges Feydeau and Maurice Desvallieres
M9 F4. 4 girls. Extras. An apartment, an hotel.

Seen at the Royal National Theatre in 1984, this witty,stylish translation remains true to the Feydeau spirit of backfiring and naughty wordplay, containing all the classic ingredients: thwarted lust, spiralling panic and a seedy hotel where the corridors see more action than the beds. 'Mr Mortimer's translation never sounds like one. Can one pay a higher compliment.' Daily Telegraph
ISBN 0 573 01616 X

The Little Hut

Comedy. Andre Roussin, adapted from the French by Nancy Mitford. 4 men, 1 woman. Exterior

Three excessively sophisticated and elegant English people are shipwrecked on a desert island. Philip and Susan are married, and Henry is the famly friend, who, it turns out, has been something more than that to Susan for the past few years. hey never wanted to hurt Philip, and their chief concern has always been for his happiness. But Henry, seeing Philip monopolize Susan on'the island, istit rather unhappy; he tells Philip about the old arrangement and after a great deal of discussion it's decided that Philip and Henry will share Susan on the island, as they did in the past. This arrangement continues more or less happily, until an island native arrives and shows considerable interest in Susan. From then on things become quite involved until a ship appears on the horizon to rescue them all.
ISBN: 0-8222-0678-1

Little Joe Monaghan

Drama. Barbara Lebow. 2 men, 2 women. Unit set

Josephine Monaghan lived her adult life in the west as a man, with no one knowing her real gender. A debutante in the east, Josephine has a baby out of wedlock, and in order to support it and spare the child any shame, she heads west as Joe, leaving her son, Laddie, with her sister, Helen. Joe carves out a wrangler's life, learning how to live and work like a man. She is befriended by an older cowboy, Fred, who remains her friend for life, and who never finds - while she is alive - that Joe is a woman. Joe sends money back home to help raise her son, yet, as time goes on and Laddie grows older, Helen feels he has become her child and she tells him his mother is dead. Joe finally goes back east to visit, the one time in all her years away, and finds her son thinks her dead. With Heleris explanations and pleading, Joe goes along and meets her son disguised as his mother's old best friend, Fred. Back in the west, as Joe gets older and frail, she remembers her youth, her lover, her child, and her first days with Fred. Memories mingle with fantasies of what might have been. Knowing that Fred will find her when she dies, Joe lays out her letters and old belongings; dues to her identity, her cherished "real surprise' for Fred. As her life nears its end, Joe/Josephine grapples with herself, her history and identity. As she prepares to die, she finds peace in the truth of Fred's words, "Kin is plain and simple who you find."
ISBN: 0-8222-1414-8

A Little Like Drowning

Play. Anthony Minghella
M6 F7. Most characters age throughout the play. Various simple settings on a bare stage.

Seen at Hampstead Theatre in 1984, the play suggests the visions of her whole life that pass through old Leonora's mind as she chats with her little granddaughter. Spanning nearly sixty years Leonora recalls in short, beautifully observed scenes, the peaks and troughs - marriage, children, her husband's desertion of her and her final triumph over his mistress. '... it is piercingly authentic and distressingly all-pervasive in its emotional onslaught.' City Limits

A Little Love, A Little Kiss

Tom Murphy
'A writer with a penetrating vision of the factors that divide modern Ireland.' The Guardian
People are on the move. Emigrant workers are returning home for their traditional two-week sojourn. They have money, vigour, dash and resentment. They are dangerous. The de Burca family is on the move too. Their estate is up for sale - 'a veritable little Ireland'. There is tension. Tom Murphy's new play premieres at Dublin's Abbey Theatre in April 2000.
To be published APRIL , 2000

The Little Photographer

Play. Derek Hoddinott, based on a short story by Daphne du Maurier
M3 (young, 22, 45) F4 (21-40s). 1 or 2 girls (9-14). An hotel room.

Marie finds life with her conservative, passionless husband suffocatingly repressive and starts an affair with a handsome young photographer, undeterred that he has a clubfoot. The infatuation brings tragedy and horror, leading to his death; a threat of blackmail from his sister (similarly deformed) and, finally, an even more fearful dread that such deformities are sometimes inherited, latent in an unborn child. Period 1900
ISBN 0 573 11237 1

The Little Tommy Parker Celebrated Colored Minstrel Show

Play Carlyle Brown. 7 men. Interior.

Six black minstrel players in a Pullman porter railroad car on a cold winter's afternoon in February, 1895, outside the rural town of Hannibal, Missouri, wait for showtime to arrive. The chilly wind blows outside as they pass the time with stories and memories. Suddenly one member, Percy, so far absent, bursts in and collapses on the floor. When the troupe realizes their friend has been chased by a white mob, they must find a way to protect him and themselves. Fear, anxiety and deep honesty surface as these black men blacken their faces with burnt cork, trying to allow their friend to avoid detection. The white mob realizes where Percy is and shows up at the train where Percy goes out to face them, hoping to save the others.
ISBN: 0-8222-0679-X

A Little Touch of Harry

Play. John Scholes
M3 (20s, middle-age, 50s) F3 (20s, 40s). A flat and anteroom (inset).

A light-hearted play about accountant-turned-novelist Harry who has deserted a wife and son to live with Pauline who must now support him. Much as she loves Harry, she realises that he will never be happy living off her, nor will he write another book, so she contacts his wife, urging her to take Harry back. An elaborate plan follows with the ensuing scenes full of cover-ups, innuendoes and jealous partners.
ISBN 0 573 11246 0

Little Victories

Play. Lavonne Mueller. 5 men, 2 women. Unit Set.

Tempering historical fact with eloquent imagination, the author parallels the lives of two outstanding women on their journeys to self-fulfilment - Joan of Arc in medieval France, and Susan B. Anthony in the American West of the nineteenth century. Both have elected to sacrifice personal happiness to a greater cause, and both must suffer the taunts and opposition of unyielding and often scornful men. Susan B. Anthony's quest for woman suffrage takes her, alone and vulnerable, into the rough and nimble world of the American frontier; while Joan must overcome the entrenched distrust of her own troops as she struggles to prepare, them for battle. Richly interwoven with subtle period detail and warmly human vignettes, these separate stories are first contrasted and then united, when the two protagonists finally meet and commiserate about the sacrifices which their dedication has demanded of them. Both regret the absence of romance in their lives, and both admit to persistent fears and uncertainties, and yet neither will consider abandoning the awesome responsibilities which history - and their own unswerving commitment - has thrust upon them.
ISBN: 0-8222-0680-3

Little Women

Play. Peter Clapham, adapted from the novel by Louisa M. Alcott
M4 (young, 40s, elderly) F7 (20, 40, 70). A parlour.

This revised version of Clapham's earlier play is now shorter in running time and has one fewer male character. It still faithfully keeps to the novel, interweaving the lives of the March girls and the boy next door as they grow happily together, yet the action is contained neatly in one set. A full introduction and helpful production notes complete the text.
ISBN 0 573 11232 0