Plays Featuring Older Actors

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NEXT TIME

After a long and generally happy and loving marriage, the Wife, evidently suffering from Alzheimer’s, has become seriously limited. Her Husband, while caring for her, speaks to the audience about their relationship.  Because of the Wife’s condition, the action progresses at a careful, measured pace while the Husband tries to help her find a word she is searching for.  At the end a Girl enters and causes her to find the word—a diminished, but very welcome triumph. To concentrate on the emotion of the situation, all is pared down. “Next Time” is minimalistic theatre. Costumes are simple. The set is minimal: a bed, small table, and a rocking chair.  While older actors may have an advantage in playing the script, the actors may be of any age; we all face impending death, our own and that of those we love.
(About 15 minutes)

Arthur Feinson, Artistic Director, Crossroads Repertory Theatre:
NEXT TIME is a gem…a jewel.  This is about as good a play as I’m read, ever.  The entire play is so simple, so delicate, but resonate. The ending is exquisite.  I would put it on my list of the ten best short one-acts ever.” 


 


OPUS 88—VARIATIONS ON A THEME, or SHUFFLEBOARD ANYONE?

Through steps—“variations”—an old woman and an old man in a nursing home move from antagonism to a warm and playful relationship that finally includes the audience—the other residents in the sitting room out there—in a game of makeshift shuffleboard with chocolates and crutches.
Anywhere.  Bare stage. A nursing home.  A real nursing home?  Why not?
(About 30 minutes)

 

 


THIEF!


A celebration of eccentricity.  Roberta, Henry, and Theresa are gentle older folk—and, in their gently eccentric way, quite able to handle the middle-of-the-night intrusion into their home of an armed robber.  The robber, a college student terribly worried about his tuition and housing debts, is, on the other hand, quite unable to proceed with his planned robbery.
(Time: About 45 minutes)

 

FORCED ENTRY


An elderly woman is reading late at night in her living room when a younger man breaks into her house.  She had been a teacher in prison; he had been an inmate student, incarcerated for murder.  After a very intense opening, the intrusion ends with positive results. Practically bare stage: an easy chair, a floor lamp, a straight chair.
(Time: About 15 minutes)  (Finalist, City Theatre, Miami)


RECENT 10-MINUTE PLAYS:

AMERICAN GOTHIC


A short spoof of the creation of Grant Wood’s iconic painting. The three characters are the actual people involved in the act of creating the painting: Grant Wood, his sister, and their dentist.  Of course in a spoof, a romance should be involved.

Maggie Grant,  Artistic Director, Three Roses Players:
 “American Gothic ran in September 2011 at Three Roses Players in
 The Writer Speaks `11 Evening # 16 Live, Love, Laugh Festival.
Each night the audience scored the five plays. American Gothic was definitely a house favorite. The writing was just terrific and the actors were given a real "playground" to jump into. The show was up against some stiff competition and, as always, it was a tough LA audience; however, American Gothic received top honors out of the five. The audience was thoroughly entertained and each time they realized that this was a "true" story, you could hear their delight.”
(About 10 minutes)



TWO MOTHERS AT A ROADSIDE CAFÉ

Two rather ordinary middle-aged women who have never met, but have a momentous bond between them, drink coffee together.

Ann Hedger, The Fine Arts Association (Ohio):
"We selected ["Two Mothers"] from 720 submissions." "Directing new works is always an exciting process for me, especially when I get a chance to produce an exceptionally stellar piece like 'Two Mothers at a Roadside Café.' Bringing this short piece to life was a joy. The two actors I chose embraced this story with a vigorous intensity that made Allan Bates' words sing. The audience each night was intently silent as the story unfolded, and their applause at the end revealed how much they were moved by this piece."
(About 10 minutes)


Contact: allanbates29@gmail.com

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