Composers and their stage works 


Teach Me How To Cry

Play. Patricia Joudry.
3 men, 7 women, 3 or 4 extras. Unit Set

The relationship between a self-conscious, proud youngster who guesses - correctly - that her not-quite-bright mother was never married. There is a troubled, but only reluctantly, hostile relationship between a boy who thinks of himself as 'more the writer type' and the ambitious but ineffectual parents who want to urge him toward better things. As the boy and girl, both of them outcasts in the high-school world of prom dates and grapevine rumours, stumble upon one another and slowly find their ways toward dignity, open affection and some sort of identity. The play turns over a good many attractive memory-sketches. Though the boy and girl are separated by their parents who refuse to acknowledge one another's worth, the vital steps to maturity have been taken and through their love for each other they emerge as important people.
ISBN: 0-8222-1113-0

Tearing the Loom

(in an edition with In a Little World of Our Own) - Gary Mitchell
5m 2f Historical drama. Single interior set.

Set in a weaver's cottage in County Armagh at the time of the 1798 Rebellion, this is a searing portrait of a community divided against itself, with inevitably tragic consequences. Premiered at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, 1998
ISBN 1 85459 403 6


Classroom comedy. John Godber
M 1 F2, playing 21 characters. A bare stage.

Fast-moving, inventive and highly entertaining, Teechers vigorously evokes life at a modern Comprehensive, using the format of an end-of-term play to sketch a drama teacher's progress through two terms of recalcitrant classes, cynical colleagues and obstructive caretakers until he departs for the safer waters of a private school. The play runs the gamut of emotions, climaxing with the final scene which gives a poignant edge to the comedy. '... the style is loud, cheerful, butch and pointedly political.' Time Out
ISBN 0 573 01678 X

Telemachus Clay

A Collage for Voices: Lewis John Carlino.
7 men, 4 women.

The play is told without scenery, without costumes, without make-up, changes and without stage movements.

Telemachus Clay is a play about a journey. It is a work that seeks to encompass in this voyage, the experiences of Telemachus Clay - bastard and dreamer - as he moves through a kaleidoscope of human joys and griefs, seeking to touch the shadow of some distant trinity; a Godhead, his father and the salvation of his race. It is a play in which eleven actors play ninety-nine characters, forming a great human collage of voices and sounds as Telemachus lives his search. It begins in a small, down-east town and traverses a continent to Hollywood where Telemachus seeks to sell a story he has written, a story which shows the painful mistakes of mankind. The story in his dream. It is his answer to the chaos of the world. He leaves behind him an illegitimate son. What happens to Telemachus, the despairs, the frustrations, is the stuff this play is made of. He meets a jaded Hollywood writer who makes him see his story is too true, too naïve for anyone to produce. "Who's going to pay admission to see the sins of the world?" The writer tries to convince Telemachus to return home and begin with himself, with his son. Begin to create "... a race of gentle people who will create their own season, a season of the heart, a season of remembering."
ISBN: 0-8222-1116-5


Play. Václav Havel. Translated by George Theiner
M9 F6 or M6 F3, with doubling. Various interior and exterior settings.

No longer satisfied with science, Dr Foustka experiments with necromancy, resulting in the appearance of Fistula, a repugnant tramp who offers Foustka three choices. The game of bluff and double bluff which ensues due to his inability to resist and the final ironic revelation of Fistula's identity provide a powerful and witty satire of human pride and give a perspective on life in Eastern Europe as only Havel could.

The Ten O'Clock Scholar

Comedy. Lewis Banci and Milburn Smith.
5 men; 2 women. 2 Interiors.

Walker McCormick is a perennial graduate student (and college instructor) who has put off writing his PhD thesis so many times that his no-longer-patient wife, Nell, has decided on divorce and a fresh start - this time with a real go-getter. Having become a computer programmer to support her unhurried husband, Nell is about to go off on a date with her very ambitious (and romantically inclined) young boss when a problem arises. She and Walker had agreed to rent their Long Island beach house for the summer, but neither had bothered to get it ready for the new tenant, and suddenly a deadline is at hand. The suggestion that Nell and Bob (her suitor) will spend the weekend house cleaning stirs Walker's latent jealousy, and he is soon racing out ahead of them in company with a curvaceous blonde named Evelyn Blue, a fellow member of the Anti-Digit-Dialing League (one of the many good causes with which Walker has involved himself to avoid working on his thesis). What happens next is a hilarious contest between her almost "ex" and possibly would-be husband, with the compliant Evelyn standing by to solace the loser. Somehow it all manages to sort itself out, and eventually Nell's burning desire for success and money gives way before Walker's suggestion that she join him in peaceful little East Wickham, Massachusetts, where he has decided to accept an offer to teach in the local high school. Their turnabout leaves Bob and Evelyn to fend for themselves, but have no fear - it appears that they too were made for - or deserve - each other, as the case may be.
ISBN: 0-8222-1117-3

The Tender Trap

Comedy Max Shulman and Robert Paul Smith.
4 men, 4 women. Interior.

The story has to do with Charlie Reader, a young bachelor in New York who's living the ideal life. Or so it seems to Joe McCall, an old friend of his from Indianapolis. Charlie has an elegant apartment, a good job, and millions of girls - all eager to bring him food, tidy up his apartment and fall in with his every wish. The girls are all good-looking, all ladies, and all slightly on the mature side. Joe, who's come to New York because he thinks he's discovered a cure for the common cold, is very much taken with Charlie's set-up and more than somewhat envious. He finds himself becoming interested in Sylvia Crewes, the nicest of Charlie's girls, while Charlie, in the meantime, finds himself getting more and more involved with Julie Gillis, a, luscious young morsel just out of college. Julie is in love with Charlie but she's determined he's going to do things the way she wants them done, about which Charlie isn't too enthusiastic. Charlie juggles his girls till one frantic evening he finds himself engaged to both Julie and Sylvia and one amusing scene after another results until he finally manages to get rid of the wrong young lady and marry the right one.
ISBN: 0-8222-1118-1

Ten Times Table

Play. Alan Ayckbourn
M6 (young, 40s, 50s) F4 (young, 30s, 40s, old). A ballroom.

The leading lights of the village have decided to hold a pageant of local history based on a somewhat vague event. On the committee is a young left-wing schoolteacher who decides to turn the project into a rally for proletarian revolution. Committee meetings become symbolic battlefields for conflicting views and the event itself turns into a violent confrontation between the two extremes with cataclysmic results. The original production starred Paul Eddington and Julia McKenzie.
ISBN 0 573 01531 7

Ten Tiny Fingers, Nine Tiny Toes

Play. Sue Townsend
M5 (30s) F6 (30s), doubling possible. Various simple settings.

In the futuristic world of 2001 babies are chosen, bought and paid for before conception. Lucinda and her husband have carefully chosen a blonde-haired, blue-eyed government baby girl. Towards the end of the pregnancy they discover that she has a defect - she has only nine toes - and will be taken at birth for government research. Lucinda joins forces with Dot, who is a lower-class citizen and therefore forbidden to breed, to defeat both State and husbands.

The Tennis Game

Play. George W.S. Trow
5 men, 5 women. Unit Set

Taking place in three "sets," played out on a tennis court, the play deals with the changing manners and values of the moneyed classes, and their hangers-on, from the turn of the century, through the 20s and 30s, and on to the present day. Guided by a bouncy games-mistress, we meet such luminaries as Diamond Jim Brady and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt; the hard-eyed, ambitious flapper, Brenda; and Morgan Aspair, the beautiful, amoral and fascinating child of Hollywood in its heyday. The talk is bright, witty and often funny, but it also reveals of the desperation and meanness which, all too often, lurks beneath the dazzling veneer of the places and people dealt with. In essence the play is concerned with the manners and values of the moneyed few, and those who jockey for position in their ranks,. Ultimately, however, it is America itself which is captured, defined and deftly illuminated by the playwright's resourceful and incisive imagination.
ISBN: 0-8222-1120-3

Tent Meeting

Play. Rebecca Wackler, Larry Larson and Levi Lee.
2 men, 1 woman. Unit Set

Convinced by written instructions from heaven that the poor misshapen creature to which his daughter has given birth is the Messiah, the Reverend Ed Tarbox kidnaps the baby from the Arkansas laboratory where it is being studied, christens it Jesus O. Tarbox, and, with his daughter and son in tow, heads off in their mobile home toward the promised land ... which turns out to be Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The Reverend Ed is a bullying, Bible thumping redneck preacher who may well be the father of the lamentably deformed baby; son Daniel is a slow-witted World War II veteran who claims that the scar from his hernia operation really came from a Nazi bayonet; while his hapless daughter, Becky, stuffs cotton in her ears to muffle the celestial music which plays incessantly inside her head. It appears that what Reverend Ed has in mind is the ritual murder of the infant, but his plans change when, in a marvelously theatrical scene, its bassinet lights up mysteriously from within and rolls over to a typewriter which, all by itself, begins typing out another message from, on high, which, in turn, leads to the lively climax of the play, with a rousing hymn sing, a splashy baptism (bassinet and all), and a blasphemous yet outrageously funny epiphany involving, of all things, an eggplant.
ISBN: 0-8222-1121-1

Terminal Café

Comedy/Drama. Jon Tuttle.
6 men, 3 women. Interior.

In the tiny town of San Gabriel, New Mexico, is the Terminal Café where the locals hang out complaining about life, each other, and the food while dreaming about something better. There's the Terminal's tough owner, Ro; the town Super, McKay, from back east; Kate and Ben, the town spitfire and the town tough guy - destined to be together; Dawson, the town pup with more heart than brains; Joe, an illiterate widower, raising his teenage son, BB; the fancy and intriguing Carly, new in town and vague of means; and Floyd, half Navajo, as old as, or older than, the town itself. These are simple people; their lives, up to now, have been untouched, almost pure, yet they have passion for life and for one another, with naïveté that can be charming as well as devastating. About all San Gabriel can offer, besides the café, is a coal mine, which barely keeps the town alive. But after Pearl Harbour is bombed, and World War II becomes a grim reality, the town's mine becomes important both to the War effort and to the mysterious goings on at Los Alamos (where the Manhattan Project is based). The interest in the mine is a blessing to some and a curse to others who see beyond the immediate revitalisation the town. At first everything seems good and even the Terminal prospers, but greed, corruption and mismanagement get a stranglehold on the town as the testing of The Bomb, silently and deadly, has its own effect on it, too. The Terminal's beloved watchdog succumbs to the poisoning; Ro and Dawson's daughter is born with birth defects, though they don't realise radiation was the cause; there is a disastrous accident at the mine when safety is compromised to produce more coal for Los Alamos. In the end, of course, the war is won, but San Gabriel is left a casualty with its few local survivors as ghosts in a ghost town.
ISBN: 0-8222-1497-0

Terra Nova

Play. Ted Tally
M6 F1. An open stage.

First seen at the Chichester Festival in 1980 with Hywel Bennett in the role of Scott, this story of Captain Scott's expedition to the South Pole, his discovery that Amundsen had preceded him, the bravery and sufferings of his team, the self-sacrifice of Captain Oates and the final tragedy are recounted in a mixture of fantasy and realism which underlines both the human and epic qualities of the deathly adventure.
ISBN 0 573 11448 X

Terra Nova

Play Ted Tally.
6 men, 1 woman. Unit Set

Drawn from the journals and letters found on the frozen body of Captain Scott, the action of the play blends scenes of the explorer and his men at various stages of their ordeal, with flashbacks of Scott and his young wife and with fateful glimpses of his Norwegian rival, Roald Amundsen, whose party beat him to the South Pole. Refusing the use of sled dogs as unsporting, Scott and his team struggle to drag their heavy gear across a frozen wasteland, only to find that Amundsen has preceded them to their goal. The play is also a study of British pride and upper-class resolve - Scott's aristocratic sense of destiny and command, and his young bride's ability to understand her husband's compulsive drive while failing to accept his motivations. But it is in the tragic trip back, as the members of the expedition die one by one, that the play reaches its dramatic apogee, capturing with chilling intensity the awesome bravery of men who must accept the bitter knowledge that suffering and death will be the only reward for their heroism.
ISBN: 0-8222-1122-X

Terror By Gaslight

Thriller. Tim Kelly.
6 men, 6 women. Interior

The action takes place in 19th century Philadelphia, where Dr. Cyrus Norton, a brilliant but eccentric surgeon, is creating an "anatomical museum" to further his standing as a recognised expert on anatomy and dissection. The problem is that he needs cadavers, and by law these can only be obtained from the public gallows, so he is forced to deal with the unsavoury Gin Hester and her sinister partner, Scrubbs, two grave robbers and body-snatchers who have little concern about where the corpses might come from. In fact, in their zeal to practice their lucrative trade, the two soon bring suspicion on Dr. Norton and his household: his devoted daughter, who wants to follow in her father's footsteps; his vapid spinster sister; and his eager assistant, a young doctor who has fallen in love with the daughter. Chills mount as one eerie scene follows another, as the persistent police detective assigned to the case moves nearer to learning the truth about the blackmail and increasingly vicious murders which have been engendered by the doctor's obsession. In the end Dr. Norton himself falls victim to the evil he has unleashed but, as the curtain falls, we learn that he has not died in vain - his daughter, Marilyn, has donned her father's bloody apron and will carry on his "good work for the betterment of mankind and the advancement of science".
ISBN: 0-8222-1124-6

Tess of the d'Urbervilles

Play. Michael Fry. Adapted from the novel by Thomas Hardy. Music by Anthony Feldman
M15 F19. Can be played by M3 F4 with doubling. Various simple settings.

All the tragic majesty of Thomas Hardy's celebrated novel is captured in this arresting and theatrically exciting adaptation, narrated by a masked Chorus in the style of Greek tragedy (Hardy's favoured form of theatre) and using songs to counterpoint and underline the action. Michael Fry's adaptation provides a clear and thrilling experience and an enlightening and fascinating re-evaluation of a familiar text. Period late nineteenth century
ISBN 0 573 01945 2

Tevya and His Daughters

Play. Arnold Perl (based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem).
6 men, 6 women. Bare Stage (with a few pieces of furniture).

A number of the most famous Tevya stories have been adapted by Mr. Perl into a highly amusing, warm-hearted play. First, the scene in which Tevya, a poor drayman, happens to do a favour to a rich family. In gratitude they give him money and a milk cow - and Tevya the drayman becomes Tevya the dairyman. Most of the play, however, is concerned with the marrying off of Tevya's two eldest daughters. Each time Tevya and his wife Golde have begun to arrange advantageous matches for the girls so each time their well-meaning plans are foiled by the daughters' falling in love and taking matters into their own hands. Tzeitl, the eldest, has attracted the interest of Lazar Wolf, a prosperous butcher, and Golde is enchanted at the thought that her daughter will have pretty clothes to wear and always enough to eat. But Tzeitl has fallen in love with a poor tailor, and of course, love wins out. Then Hodel falls in love with a poor student; they marry, and on their wedding, day Hodel's husband is exiled to Siberia. With her parents' blessing, Hodel goes to join her husband in his exile, and Tevya is left contemplating the future of his remaining five daughters "fair of form and beautiful to look upon ... [The] little ones too young to be problems; but they'll grow into it."
ISBN: 0-8222-1125-4


Farce. Ben Travers
M6 (20, 30s, middle-age) F5 (young, 25, middle-age, elderly). A library, a dining-room, a bedroom.

Sir Hector Benbow invites Cherry, a pretty shop assistant, to dine. Arriving home, he finds not only Cherry but Mrs Frush, to whom he has rented Thark, his niece's Norfolk house. Mrs Frush complains Thark is haunted. To distract Lady Benbow's attention from Cherry, he suggests everyone go to Thark, which lives up to its spinechilling reputation. A wild night, sinister butler and plethora of romantic mix-ups add to the lively proceedings. Period 1927
ISBN 0 573 01528 7

That Championship Season

Play. Jason Miller.
5 men. Interior

Following their annual custom five men - a high school basketball coach, now retired, and four members of the team that he guided to the state championship twenty years earlier - meet for a reunion. The occasion begins in a light-hearted mood but gradually, as the pathos and desperation of. their present lives is exposed and illuminated, the play takes on a richness of power of rare dimension. One for met player is now the inept mayor of the town - and facing a strong challenge for re-election. Another, the frustrated principal of the local high school, is his ambitious campaign manager. A third, now a successful (and destructive) businessman, is wavering in his financial support of the mayor. While the fourth is a witty, but despairing alcoholic. As the evening progresses all that these men were - and have become - is revealed and examined with biting humor and saving compassion. In the end self-preservation, abetted by the unconscious cynicism and bigotry of their coach, draws them together. But they are lost, morally bankrupt holding on to fraudulent dreams which have poisoned their present lives and robbed them of the future which was once so rich in promise.
ISBN: 0-8222-1126-2

That Good Night

Play. N. J. Crisp
M3 (30s, middle-age, 70s) F2 (30s, 40s). A courtyard/patio.

Ralph, in his seventies and terminally ill, has two final missions: to be reconciled to his long abandoned son Michael, and secretly, to ensure he is not a burden to his younger, devoted wife Anna as he goes 'into that good night'. But Ralph wrecks all hope of reconciliation when he picks a fight with Michael's girlfriend. Later, alone, Ralph receives the 'Visitor' whose services he has hired to provide the painless ending. But the visitor plays a devastating trick.
ISBN 0 573 01913 4

That Serious He-Man Ball

Play. Alonzo D. Lamont, Jr.
3 men. Exterior.

Three black men in their late twenties, friends since high school, meet in a playground to play basketball, hang out and talk. Jello is a struggling writer, and the others tease him about living off of his parents and not having a "real" job. Sky works at a community counselling centre, helping others, yet harbouring deep seated frustrations which he takes out on those around him. Twin has a good position at Xerox, but he recently turned down a promotion offer, which is a mystery to Jello and Sky. The friends try to show each other up, both verbally and on the basketball court, but this escalates and, combined with the anger they feel from their everyday lives, the confrontations grow more physical. Slowly, they reveal their fears to one another and confront their self-deceptions ending the play with less bravado and more understanding.
ISBN: 0-8222-1127-0

That's It, Folks!

Comedy: Mark O'Donnell.
6 men, 2 women. Interior.

Set on "the last day on earth," this explosive farce details the reactions of a particularly zany household to the unexpected news that the world is about to end - first their disbelief and then their relief that they will no longer have to worry about refilling ice trays. Among those present are Eden, a pure-spirited girl who is trying to communicate with other planets so that she can exchange recipes; her boyfriend, Otis, a satanist who speaks in verse and aspires to become the Antichrist's personal secretary; a suicidal nymphomaniac who works for a fashion magazine which is all cover and no text; her last pick-up, Zed, a money-mad opportunist whose ambition is to be a magazine cover boy; and a senile ghost who cannot quite grasp the fact that he is dead. As promised the world does expire, with distant planets looming into view; ominous- radio voices broadcasting doomsday reports; two hard-hatted angels industriously sweeping up the post-apocalypse detritus; and, in the end, one lone, dazed survivor (Zed) left behind trying to figure out what went wrong - and why.
ISBN: 0-8222-1128-9

That's Where the Town's Going

Drama, Tad Mosel.
2 men, 2 women. Interior.

In the words of Kay Gardella, NY Daily News, "[That's Where the Town's Going] deals with the humdrum life led by two ageing sisters whom time has temporarily turned into rivals for the affections of one man, whom, in their youth, they wanted no part of. The locale of the play is a small midwestern town; the setting, a large old home that bespeaks dwindling wealth ...This stultifying atmosphere and utter uselessness of their existence bothers Wilma Sills more than Ruby who insists she is "contented. Some days, even happy." Not Wilma ... First, she invites the town wolf, George Preble, to the house for brochures and data on Shadyside, a new housing development she briefly dreams of moving to. Another desperate gesture is to write to Hobart Cramm, once a poor boy from the town who, she learns, has made good in the East." But when he turns up it is quickly evident that it pleases him to see the once influential Sills family brought low. After assuring himself of Wilma's complete humiliation, he asks her to marry him. She has been told she is silly so many years that she now believes it and is terrified of doing the wrong thing at this, the most crucial moment of her life. But she cannot help herself - she refuses Hobart because she does not love him. The blow to his vanity is monumental, and he turns for comfort to Ruby, whose assumed acceptance of life is now penetrated, revealing a reckless, almost conniving desire for escape which Wilma never suspected.
ISBN: 0-8222-1130-0