New Titles from Dramatists Play Service
The Story: Every estranged member of the Lafayette clan has descended upon the crumbling Arkansas homestead to settle the accounts of the newly-dead patriarch. As his three adult children sort through a lifetime of hoarded mementos and junk, they collide over clutter, debt, and a contentious family history. But after a disturbing discovery surfaces among their father’s possessions, the reunion takes a turn for the explosive, unleashing a series of crackling surprises and confrontations.
The Story: In 1929, Buster Keaton was one of the biggest stars in Hollywood; he had a beautiful wife, two young sons, a mansion, and complete creative control over his films. But by the early 1930s, it was nearly all gone: his family, his money, and his career. Stoneface is a play with music that integrates comedy, silent film vignettes, and theatricality to tell the story of Keaton’s rise to fame, his struggles with alcoholism, and his battle to rebuild his life, and his career.
The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard
The Story: Hilary, a young psychology researcher at the Krohl Institute for Brain Science, is nursing a private sorrow. She needs a miracle and prays daily for deliverance from a secret regret. Meanwhile, she and the other researchers at the institute are grappling with the troubling “hard problem,” which asks: If there is nothing but matter, what is consciousness? For Hilary, the possibility of genuine human altruism, without a hidden Darwinian self-interest, depends on the answer.
King James by
The Story: “King” LeBron James’s years playing in Cleveland brings promise, prosperity, and renewal to a city in desperate need of all three. It also brings together two unlikely friends in a bond forged by fandom. Told over twelve years (from LeBron’s rookie season to an NBA Championship) King James is an intimate exploration of the place that sports occupy in our lives and relationships. This clever and fast-paced comedy traces the arcs of two friends whose turbulent relationship is best navigated through their shared love of basketball—and the endless amiable arguments that erupt from that love.
On Golden Pond by Ernest Thompson
The Story: This is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the forty-eighth year. He is a retired professor, nearing eighty, with heart palpitations and a failing memory—but still as tart-tongued, observant, and eager for life as ever. Ethel, ten years younger, and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together. They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness—and slang—in return. In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by the incidence of a mild heart attack. Time, they know, is now against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still awaits.
LUCY by Erica Schmidt
The Story: On paper, Ashling is the perfect person to take care of Mary’s young children: a confident, highly qualified childcare professional with a sunny disposition and lots of experience. But from the moment Mary hires her, something starts to feel just a little off. Is Ashling as wonderful as she seems? Is the misunderstanding all in Mary’s overworked, stressed-out, sleep-deprived mind? Surely she hasn’t welcomed someone unstable into her home, has she? LUCY is a comedic thriller about what happens when you don’t trust the person who holds the key to your front door.
It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play adapted by Joe Landry
The Story: It’s a Wonderful Life is based on the story, The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern. This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of idealistic George Bailey unfolds as he considers ending his life one fateful Christmas Eve.
A short version is also available.
The Story: A darker cousin to Almost, Maine, John Cariani’s LOVE/SICK is a collection of nine slightly twisted and completely hilarious short plays. Set on a Friday night in an alternate suburban reality, this 80-minute romp explores the pain and the joy that comes with being in love. Full of imperfect lovers and dreamers, LOVE/SICK is an unromantic comedy for the romantic in everyone.
New Titles from Playscripts
The Things She Held by Martha Epstein
The Story: The Things She Held follows a girl as she delivers an acceptance speech to one person, or a few people, or an empty space, or a collection of memories. It’s a play about how we hold onto the things we love. Or maybe it’s about how we let them go. Do they go? Can anything really last forever? Isn’t it all so crazy?
The Story: Astrophysicist Dr. Lynn Cummings has always believed in science over faith in the unknown. But now that her life is changing, the certainty that was once a source of comfort has become a source of emptiness. When an unidentified flying object is sighted heading toward Earth, she grants an interview to a journalist who misquotes her. With her credibility on the line, she invites him to witness the object as it comes closest to the Earth with her. Dr. Cummings hopes it will pass without incident, but there is no telling what she will discover beyond the stars.