Composers and their stage works 


Riff Raff

Drama. Laurence Fishburne.
3 men. Interior.

It's Halloween night, Mike, ("20/20") and his half brother, Billy, ("Torch"), have retreated to an abandoned crack den on the Lower East Side and in the aftermath of a drug heist gone sour. Torch has just killed one of the henchmen of the neighborhood's reigning drug lord. Having planned no means of escape, Mike summons his former colleague, Tony ("The Tiger"), to help them out of this jam. What follows is a continuing three-way confrontation in which guns are drawn, allegiances are shifted, and secrets are uncovered. Themes of lost brotherhood and friendship are evident, while the bleakness of each of the characters' lives is chillingly suggested. The jittery Torch recounts the fight that led to the killing of the small-time punk with a harrowing, perplexed sense of detachment. Mike recounts a heavy-breathing date with a woman so hot she would look good even "if you dressed her up in garbage bags and put TV dinners on her head." As the play races towards its climax, Tony recites a flashy, epic jailhouse poem that is both cynical and romantically heroic, and it touches the very heart of each of the characters' shared sense of delusion.
ISBN: 0-8222-1545-4

The Right and Honourable Gentleman

Play Michael Dyne.
7 men, 7 women. Divided Interior.

The Right and Honourable Gentleman is, in fact, a certain Sir Charles Dilke, a Liberal Member of Parliament in the Victorian era who, had he not got his beard caught in the wringer, might have become the successor to Gladstone as Prime Minister. The circumstances leading to his destruction, his private affairs as opposed to those of the Empire, form the background. The proceedings introduce Dilke in his finest hour, and obvious choice for the new cabinet, who is not, at first, perturbed by a number of anonymous letters suggesting that he has been having an affair with a certain young Mrs. Crawford. But then Mr. Crawford sues for divorce, naming Dilke as co-respondent, and giving as evidence his wife's "confession" that she had been the mistress of Sir Charles for some time. Furthermore, a maid in his household had also been party to their indiscretions. The emphasis of the drama is skillfully balanced between Dilke's avowal of complete innocence, solemnly sworn to privately for the benefit of his fiancée, and the insistence of Mrs. Crawford, supplemented by dates and facts, that he was indeed guilty for her "ruin" almost immediately following her marriage. There are many other spicey adjuncts to the case. The revelation that Sir Charles had engaged in a prolonged and serious liaison with Mrs. Crawford's mother, and that Mrs. Crawford was wildly in love and had been carrying on a torrid relationship with a certain Army officer, Capt. Forster, which may have been a reason for inventing her charges against the unhappy Dilke. It is a fascinating enigma.
ISBN: 0-8222-0951-9

Right Behind the Flag

Play. Kevin Heelan.
7 men, 1 woman. Unit Set.

To Bernie, a tendentious, chauvinistic air-conditioning salesman who has lived on New York's Upper West Side for most of his life, the city - and the country - are headed for big trouble. He laments the growing incivility and violence of urban life and looks back fondly on the virtues and self-effacing heroism personified by his hero, General Robert E. Lee. His theories are put to the test when his friend Frankie, the third generation owner of Sammy's Barber Shop, on Columbus Avenue, is told he can name his price if he will sell out to a computer-fed pharmaceutical supply consortium who claim that they want to be near the many fashionable bars and restaurants frequented by the neighbourhood's resident yuppies. Actually, as Bernie suspects, the eager would-be buyers are drug dealers, and Bernie makes it his crusade to save Frankie from becoming a pawn of the forces of evil. This leads to a series of quirky, arresting and often antically funny scenes. But, while Bernie ultimately persuades Frankie to fight back by remodeling his barber shop into a trendy "Old-Time Barber Shoppe Cafe," his "victory" is hardly complete, as the very people he seeks to discourage come pouring in anyway, unleashing a high-tech drug operation so sophisticated that, ironically, it becomes virtually unstoppable.
ISBN: 0-8222-0950-0

The Rimers of Eldritch

Lanford Wilson : Drama
7M 10F Flexible staging

The story itself is simple; a man has been murdered and the mystery concerns the identity of the man who murdered him and the circumstances. In order to solve it, the playwright looks at the outside and inside of his tiny, mid-western town Eldritch. He looks at a middle- ged woman who falls in love with the young man who comes to work in her cafe. He looks at a coarse, nasty woman mistreating her senile mother, who is obsessed with visions of Eldritch being evil. He looks at a tender relationship between a young man and a dreamy, crippled girl. But Wilson sees far more than this - He is grasping the very fabric of Bible-Belt America, with its catchword morality and its capability for the vicious. He senses the rhythm of its life and the cruelty it can impose. By the end of the play, the portrait of Eldritch has been fully painted and the truth of its revelations will be pondered long after the stage lights have dimmed and the play has ended.
ISBN: 0 8222 0953 5

Ring Round the Moon

Play. Jean Anouilh. Adapted by Christopher Fry
M8 (young, middle-age, old) F6 (young, 30, middle-age, elderly). A winter garden.

Christopher Fry calls this play 'A Charade with Music'. The same actor plays the twins Hugo and Frederic. Hugo, fascinating and heartless, sets the charade in motion. He has invited Isabelle, a ballet dancer, to the ball that evening, intending that she should make diffident Frederic love her and leave the beautiful Diana. The would-be puppet master is overruled by his aunt, who arranges for the four young people to be happy.
ISBN 0 573 11380 7

Ring Round the Moon

Comedy Jean Anouilh, adapted by Christopher Fry.
6 men, 7 women, (of the 6 men, 2 roles played by same actor), 2 extras. 1 Adjustable Exterior.

To make his points about love the author has invented a fable about twin brothers - Frederic, who is shy and sensitive, and Hugo, who is heartless and aggressive. Frederic is in love with a hussy who is in love with Hugo. To save Frederic from an unhappy marriage, Hugo tries to distract him by bringing to a ball a beautiful dancer who masquerades as a mysterious personage and becomes the triumph of the occasion. She is a susceptible maiden in her own right. She not only breaks up all the cynical romances that have been going on before she arrived, but loses her own heart as well.
ISBN: 0-8222-0954-3

The Ring Sisters

Comedy. Charles Laurence
M4 (30-50s) F3 (50s, 70s). A living-room.

Silva Ring is a world-famous singer with a severe hangup about her age so when an interviewer reveals it she resorts to increasingly desperate measures to prove him wrong. Aided by her housekeeper she pretends to be her own sister Iris, who is tough. Lola Wales, an old singer, is brought in to be her aunt and Fred, a petty forger, is persuaded to attempt to destroy her files at the Family Record Centre. But Silva wins through and emerges stronger than ever.
ISBN 0 573 62677 4

The Riot Act

Comedy. Will Greene.
4 men, 5 women, 1 boy. Interior.

Katie Delaney, an upright, hard-working widow, struggles to keep her three grown sons from falling into the clutches of "designing women." The sons, all members of the New York City police force, are far from pleased by this parental tyranny, but filial duty (and their mother's good cooking) conspire to keep them in line - at least to all outward appearances. But natural impulses and the urgings of their various fiancées begin to tell. It turns out that one son has already married his sweetheart in a secret, civil ceremony, and while he has been fearful of revealing this fact to his rigidly Catholic mother, his wife's approaching motherhood soon forces the issue. When the truth is known Katie orders her son from the house and, despite the fact that her first grandchild is born soon after, refuses to acknowledge his existence. Before long another of the impatient girls threatens to accept a rival proposal and, to add to the growing confusion, a Puerto Rican urchin becomes embroiled in Katie's increasingly tangled affairs.. Despite her dislike for his kind Katie is drawn to the boy and in her zeal to help him soon finds herself of all things, in trouble with the police. For the widow of a policeman this is a disturbing turn of events, but beneficial too in the happy transformation it works in Katie. She adopts the boy, forgives her son, and starts life over with, a lighter heart.
ISBN: 0-8222-0955-1

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice

Play. Jim Cartwright
M3 (young, 40s, 50s) or 4 F3 (young, 40s). A living-room and club.

Little Voice (LV) lives alone with her mother Mari whose sole purpose is to find another man. Mari's imposing presence drives the shy LV into spending her time in her bedroom listening to her late, beloved father's records. When small-time impresario Ray Say hears LV's faultless impersonation of famous singers, he recognises the gold in her voice and determines to exploit it, but the whirlwind rush for success breaks LV Later, however, she learns to sing in her own voice ...
ISBN 0 573 01883 9

The Rise of Daniel Rocket

Play Peter Parnell.
5 men, 5 women. Unit Set

As the play begins the protagonists are 12 year-old sixth graders. One of them, Daniel Rocket, is firmly convinced that he can fly, a belief which causes him to be shunned and ridiculed by his schoolmates - including the girl he adores and for whose regard he is driven to prove himself. Oddly enough, however, it turns out that Daniel can fly, although, initially he does so in secret. When, at last, he demonstrates his talent to the others, he straps on wings (although he doesn't need them) in deference to their stubborn disbelief. From then on, Daniel soars to fame and fortune. In the second half of the play, which takes place twenty years later, Daniel returns home a renowned celebrity. But he has also become, in a sense, the symbol of the exceptional person, the genius who has out-distanced those around him and, in so doing, has isolated himself not only from his childhood but from the simple joys and tender emotions shared by those whom he has left behind. Torn by growing uncertainty, Daniel finds his gift waning and, in the climax of the play, he suffers a fatal crash - victim both of his distrusted uniqueness and of the unwitting need of others to bring down what they cannot understand or emulate.
ISBN: 0-8222-0956-X

A Rise in the Market

Comedy. Edward Taylor
M4 (40s, elderly) F3 (20s, late 30s). A lounge area.

Sir Clive Partridge hopes to be president of European Community, but he needs the support of puritanical elder statesman Jacques Berri. So it's bad news for Partridge when Berri calls on a day that he is trapped in a luxurious Paris flat where he is beset by glamorous young women he can't account for, plus an angry wife and an exploding boiler. Wild mishaps and comic confusion abound right up to the hilarious climax in this sharp satire.

The Rivalry

Play. Norman Corwin.
2 men, 1 woman. Open Stage.

The Lincoln/Douglas debates took place in seven Congressional districts and totaled thirty-hours in length. They were conducted in a fever of partisanship as the nation listened. Brass bands played, the press vilified or glorified the opponents, depending on which side they took. Douglas, cocky and brisk, fought for the rights of the separate states to make their own choice on the question of slavery; Abraham Lincoln, modest, yet as brisk, fought for equality of human beings and the conviction that the nation could not endure half slave, half free. Mrs. Douglas, who accompanied her husband on the tour, serves as both performer and narrator of the play. It is she who puts the whole in perspective. There are some charming encounters between Mrs. Douglas and Lincoln, as she begins to lose her distrust for her husband's opponent, and throughout the play the personal issues, as well as the political ones, are magnificently developed.

The Rivals

Comedy. R. Brinsley Sheridan
M8 (young, middle-age) F4 (young, middle-age). Four interiors, three exteriors.

Captain Absolute, heir to a tidy fortune, has disguised himself as penniless Ensign Beverley, all because his lady-love, Lydia Languish, is determined to marry a man who despises wealth and who will marry her despite the fact that the disapproval of her tough old aunt, Mrs Malaprop, will cost Miss Languish her immense fortune. Another pair of lovers, Julia and Falkland, have their own peculiar difficulties ...
ISBN 0 573 01382 9

The Rivals

Richard Brinsley Sheridan
8m 4f, extras. Classic comedy. Multipurpose set.

Lydia Languish, a young woman from a good family, holds on to an impossible romantic ideal of love, and resolves only to marry a pauper. Thus the hero, Jack Absolute, pretends to be a poor soldier in order to win her hand. Meanwhile, Jack's father is attempting to procure the match through the proper channel of Lydia's guardian, and Jack becomes a rival to himself, before he is finally challenged to duels by rival suitors in both his identities ... First performed in 1775.
ISBN 1 85459 099 5