Christopher Durang


Longer One Act Plays
(between 30 and 60 minutes)
 

For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls
  (30 minutes approximately)

This light-hearted parody of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie is one of Durang’s most popular one acts. Though knowledge of Williams’ classic play helps with enjoyment of the Durang parody, it also seems that audiences unfamiliar with the Williams can enjoy the play as a crackpot comedy of parent-child tensions. Anyway, recommended for colleges and high schools.

THE STORY: Click here for play information

       

Above Left and Right: Keith Reddin as Lawrence and Lizbeth Mackay as Amanda, his faded Southern belle mother. At left, Lawrence is admiring one of the glass cocktail stirrers in his vast collection. At right, they wait for the world to end; or at least for supper.

Above Middle: Tom (David Aaron Baker) and Amanda watch as Lawrence learns fisticuffs from the “feminine caller” (Patricia Randall). “Oh God, I feel sorry for their children,” says Amanda

Cast: 2 women, 2 men
Rights: Dramatists Play Service

NOTE:  Durang has another Tennessee Williams parody one act called Desire, Desire, Desire. It is a parody of A Streetcar Named Desire, with bits of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Mamet and Night, Mother and Iceman Cometh thrown in for good measure. The rights to that play are also held by Dramatists Play Service.


A Stye of the Eye
 (30 minutes approximately)

This one act is a parody of Sam Shepard plays in general, and his A Lie of the Mind in particular. (There are also brief parody references to Shepard’s Fool for Love and Curse of the Starving Class, as well as Agnes of God and Glengarry Glen Ross.) Most audiences don’t know A Lie of the Mind, but judging from the responsive Manhattan Theatre Club audience, they seem to accept and enjoy the play as a parody of a genre: the poetic/symbolic drama, set out west where the open prairie represents….something or other. Fun; possibly a bit risqué for high school production, depending on your school.

THE STORY: Click here for play information

Cast: 4 women, 3 men
Rights: Dramatists Play Service


Wanda's Visit
  (30 to 40 minutes)

This is comic, somewhat realistic one act about a married couple, Jim and Marsha, who are a bit restless in their relationship, and who have their lives thrown into disarray by the visit of Wanda, Jim’s high school girl friend who has suddenly shown up. Wanda is a meaty comic role – she can’t stop talking, she flirts inappropriately with the husband, she tells long stories of her past promiscuity and various possibly criminal activities. Marsha’s response is to be polite but strained; Jim is kind of flattered by the attention, until he starts to find it all too much too. It was originally done on television, a PBS series called Trying Times, in which Jim and Marsha were played by Jeff Daniels and Juie Hagerty, and the nutty Wanda was played to the hilt by the marvelous Swoosie Kurtz. This is the stage adaptation of that teleplay.

THE STORY: Click here for play information

Cast: 2 women, 2 men
Rights: Dramatists Play Service


 

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