Composers and their stage works 


Side Man

Warren Leight
5 men, 3 women. Unit Set

Set in 1953 and travelling to 1985, this lovely and poignant memory play unfolds through the eyes of Clifford, the only son of Gene, a jazz trumpet player, and Terry, an alcoholic mother. Alternating between their New York City apartment and a smoke-filled music club, Clifford narrates the story of his broken family and the decline of jazz as popular entertainment. Clifford recalls the key moments in his life, such as the day when he, fresh out of college, picked up his first unemployment cheque and was congratulated by Gene and his band mates. Gene's music career on the big band circuit ultimately crumbles with the advent of Elvis and rock 'n' roll. Terry begs him to get a 9-to-5 job to support the family, but Gene refuses to enter the "straight world" of regular pay cheques, mortgages and security. For Gene, who knows jazz better than his own son, music is not just a job, it's his life. Their marriage slowly dissolves and young Clifford is witness to it all. As things worsen, Clifford assumes the role of parent and throws the hopeless Gene out of his mother's apartment. When an adult Clifford visits Gene in a rundown jazz club after years of separation, he requests that the old man play his mother's favourite song, the old standard "Why Was I Born?" Clifford then asks, "Dad, why was I born?" It becomes Clifford's last, heart-breaking plea for his father's love.
ISBN: 0-8222-1721-X

Sight Unseen

Play. Donald Margulies.
2 men, 2 women.

Jonathan Waxman is the artist as superstar, plunged into the exorbitant hype of the American art world where a publicist is as necessary as a brush and canvas. Just before his works are celebrated at an exhibition in London, Jonathan journeys to the village where his former lover Patricia lives with her British husband, Nick. Archaeologists working on a dig, their spare existence is spent sifting through a Roman rubbish heap to discover the past. In their cold, remote house, Jonathan discovers an early painting of Patricia he'd done when they were young lovers. The subsequent struggle for the painting embodies the unreconciled passions of the past. Patricia has never forgiven Jonathan for leaving her, Nick despises Jonathan and the kind of art he produces, and Jonathan has never been able to recapture the inspiration and purity he felt when he painted Patricia. In taut scenes that dart from past to present and back, the characters are forced to deal with the unanswerable question of anti-Semitism, the legacy of the Holocaust and assimilation, the sadness of lost love, the role of the artist, and the location of the human soul at the end of a ragged century.
ISBN: 0-8222-1317-6

Silas Marner.

Play. Adapted by Geoffrey Beevers from the novel by George Eliot
M 14 F6. Extras. May be played by M4 F3. Various simple settings.

The story of Silas Marner, reclusive miser transformed by the arrival of a young girl, is one of the most memorable and moving in Victorian literature. This adaptation captures the novel's thirty year sweep in a series of telling scenes, each displaying Eliot's gifts for humour, insight, narrative and simple beauty. The twenty named parts can be played by a cast of seven with a minimum of costume changes and props. Period: c.1830-1860
ISBN 0 573 01912 6


Play. Simon Brett
M5 (30, 35, middle-age) F3 (young, middle-age) or M4 F2. A sitting-room and study.

In Act I of this ingeniously structured thriller, Detective Inspector Bruton questions actress Celia Wallis about the murder of her husband Martin. Celia is quite obviously in the clear, but Neville Smallwood, the drunken journalist sleeping in her bed, argued with Martin shortly before the murder, and the solution to the initial puzzle seems simple. Act II takes place before the murder, and all our expectations, of the characters as well as of the plot, are turned on their heads.
ISBN 0 573 01877 4

Silly Cow

Play. Ben Elton
M3 (21, middle-age, old) F2 (young, 40s). A living-room.

Doris Wallis, tough tabloid columnist, has just won a libel case brought by an actress she insulted. Just as she starts celebrating, things begin to go wrong. Her TV treatment is missing, her pal Sidney is out to get her for her double-crossing him, her accountant is about to grass on her ... To her shock and horror, Doris discovers that the actors she had defamed in her column can indeed act. NB. This play contains explicit language.
ISBN 0 573 01875 8

The Silver Whistle

Comedy: Robert E. McEnroe.
10 men, 5 women. Exterior

Wilfred Tasbinder, a romantically-minded tramp, finds a birth certificate for Oliver Erwenter, indicating that its owner is 77 years old. Wilfred decides to impersonate Erwenter and enter a home for the aged. Being a fellow of rich imagination, he takes it upon himself to help the inmates by putting on a bazaar and showing each of them that one is only as old as he feels. Case in point, the attractive Miss Tripp, in charge of the home and more or less in love with the stuffy Reverend Watson, enters a romance with Erwenter and discovers the true meaning of passion. All goes well until Erwenter is exposed by his tramp companion, Emmett. He and Emmett, having appropriated the necessary equipment for the bazaar from neighbouring institutions, are in danger of arrest, but Erwenter persuades his victims that the bazaar is a worthwhile cause and ends up the object of universal praise. Erwenter again feels the call of the road and leaves the home, having finally taught the Reverend to show Miss Tripp how deeply he loves her.
ISBN: 0-8222-1028-2


Sam Shepard : Drama
3M 3F Flexible staging

Vinnie and Carter meet out West in a seedy hotel, where Vinnie has been living on the edge of the California desert. Having flown in from back East, Carter is surprised to discover Vinnie living in such surroundings, but has agreed to come help Vinnie, who has run into trouble with a woman and the law. It soon becomes clear that Carter and Vinnie are former partners who years before were involved in a racing scam involving the swapping of two horses. In the intervening years, Carter has gone on to big success in bloodstock, having stolen Vinnie's girl and his Buick in the process, but Vinnie has always held onto some incriminating evidence which threatens to destroy him. The threat of police involvement with Vinnie troubles Carter and Vinnie threatens to come clean unless Carter helps with his current difficulties. He visits Vinnie's girl, Cecelia, only to discover that there was no arrest, and soon discovers Vinnie and the evidence gone. Convinced that Vinnie is selling his evidence to the highest bidder - in this case Simms, the commissioner who they hoodwinked years earlier - he returns back East with Cecelia, where a series of crosses and double-crosses takes shape as Carter's world unravels with increasing speed until he and Vinnie have effectively changed places, with Vinnie cleared of a great weight while Carter heads for an inevitable disaster.
ISBN: 0 8222 0726 5


Play. Wendy MacLeod.
6 men, 2 women. Unit Set.

Set in San Francisco on the eve of the earthquake of 1989, Sin is a contemporary morality play featuring "Avery Bly on High," a helicopter traffic reporter who is trying to keep herself above life's messiness. Avery says, "From the sky, the world is perfect," but on the ground she is surrounded by people who are less than perfect. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband is a charming alcoholic, her room-mate is a glutton, she's trapped daily in a helicopter with an envious co-worker, and her blind dates are disasters. It takes her dying brother to make her see that pride is the deadliest of sins, and it takes an Act of God to bring her back down to Earth.
ISBN: 0-8222-1561-6

The Sin of Pat Muldoon

Play John McLiam.
8 men, 3 women. Interior.

A warm family play about Pat Muldoon, head of a devout Catholic family. Pat lost his religion years ago when his baby son died. Ever since that time his wife has done her best to bring him back to the Church. A recent heart attack Pat suffered has made her redouble her efforts. The heart attack was brought about by a binge Pat went on when he sold the family's one piece of property. Now he realises that his dying will leave his family poverty-stricken. Pat's younger daughter is in love with his assistant, a young Mexican boy, but the mother will have none of this. The older daughter virtually supports the family; when she learns that her father sold the little piece of land that was their last security, she confronts him in a highly emotional and dramatic scene. Throughout the play the family's deep love for one another is the underlying note, giving warmth and meaning to the surface bickerings.
ISBN: 0-8222-1031-2

Sing Me No Lullaby

Drama. Robert Ardrey.
6 men, 3 women. Interior.

Some Illinois college friends of 1938 have a reunion at Christmas. As students most of them had what were known in 1938 as progressive political ideas. One of them, a brilliant mathematician, placed his faith in Soviet Russia then. The Stalin-Hitler pact shook all that faith out of him in 1939. By the mid 1950s he is one of the dispossessed. Because of his college political associations, no one will employ him, no one will rent him an apartment, no one will associate with him, no one will clear him, no one will adjudicate his case. The play doesn't solve the problem. But the last act is a clear and perceptive statement of this nameless, formless situation and an estimation of what it is doing to America. The play's underlying message describes something that is vague and elusive but ominous. It has got far enough away from political recriminations to state it in terms of character and the life of the spirit.
ISBN. 0-8222-1032-0

Sing On!

Comedy musical. Rick Abbot
M4 F7. A stage.

Here is the long-awaited sequel to Rick Abbot's hilarious Play On! in which the same disaster prone theatre group finds itself in dire straits and need to do yet another show by the redoubtable Phyllis (with songs by her hobbyist songwriter nephew Monte) to win a theatre-saving $10,000 endowment. The musical numbers have been designed so that your cast need not be able to sing, just carry a tune. The music for this show is available separately.
ISBN 0 573 69271 8

Single Spies.

Double bill (An Englishman Abroad and A Question of Attribution). Alan Bennett

An Englishman Abroad.
M4 (20s, 40s, 50s) Fl (40s). A flat.
A Question of Attribution.
M5 (20s, 40s, 50s) F1 (40s). An office, a corridor.

An Englishman Abroad (originally a television play), is based on a true incident in the life of the actress Coral Browne and tells the witty and touching story of her meeting with Guy Burgess in Moscow in 1958. In A Question of Attribution, 'an inquiry in which the circumstances are imaginary but the pictures are real', Anthony Blunt, Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures, tries to solve the riddle of an enigmatic painting and is himself the subject of a more official investigation.
ISBN 0 573 01891 X