9 men, 4 women: 13 total
This play was originally commissioned for WNET's "American Playhouse." The reality of war and the precariousness of life pervade the life of a young soldier, who makes an uplifting decision to hang on to what he's got.
Book/Item: PRIVATE CONTENTMENT
Book Type: MS
FEE: $75 per performance. MS.
THE STORY: It is 1945 and Logan is on leave from the army, from a unit ready to ship out to Japan. He's been called home after the sudden death of his mother. The day after the funeral, Logan's father, Paul, a piano salesman, decides they both need to get away together, to go on a selling trip and look to the future. To his own surprise, Logan agrees. On this trip, Logan is puzzled by his father's determination to head in one particular direction and soon Logan is introduced to a schoolteacher, Lena, in a town a few hours away. She surely has bought pianos, but she also seems to be a genuine, long-term friend of his fathers; and when Lena's daughter, Gail, 14, returns from school she is also very comfortable with Paul and feels a strange familiarity with Logan. Without many words, it is evident that Logan and his father are staying for dinner, and possibly longer, since through the course of the evening, Logan learns his father has had a second family for 17 years; a caring family who accepted his first family and never intruded upon them. Logan realizes he is being asked if it is okay with him. In his hurt, he asks his father why and how, and Paul finally discusses his life with his son. Since his life may be in the balance very soon—the threat of war pervading the play—Logan wants to hold on to what he can. He doesn't want to lose his father, and perhaps his new sister, to anger, so Logan forgives enough to realize he wants to find out more, and to be part of a family again.