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A is for All

$20.00
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Marian Winters
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One Acts, Short Play Collection
ISBN: 978-0-8222-0000-0
FEE: $80 per performance when produced together; $35 each when produced individually. MS.

THE STORIES: ANIMAL KEEPERS. As described by critic Whitney Bolton: "It is about the reception room of a veterinarian to which come poor and rich with ailing animals. It is a sensitive play, a commentative play, with some wit, some discernment, some sense of what people are and why they are what they are." (4 men, 3 women, 1 child, no animals required.) ASSEMBLY LINE. Set in the dramatically colorful, economically bleak thirties, the play begins with the early morning arrival of a handful of women at their drab jobs. Filomena, brassy, good-natured, working to pay for her sister's education; Frances, shy and scared, forfeiting her own dreams to indulge a selfish mother; Mae, self-centered, imagining herself a professional model; Joan, holding down two jobs to support her piano studies; and Inez, hoping to dance to fame through the Harvest Moon Ball contest. Into this group comes young Marsha, sensitive, educated, resented for being a cut above the others. Tension and friction mount under pressure of their forced cooperation to maintain the flow of work, until a sudden accident by a careless stock-boy causes the factory owner to suffer a severe heart attack. Abruptly the individual dreams are halted. Awed by the awareness of a potential death, they reach out for one another and create a brief moment of gentleness and understanding. But, relentless as reality, the work resumes and the assembly line continues as it must coldly, impersonally, inexorably. (7 men, 7 women.) ALL SAINTS' DAY. Two lonely derelicts have taken temporary shelter in an abandoned waterfront building on Halloween night. Vaguely uneasy, some sixth sense makes John want to leave, but he is nevertheless impressed and intrigued by Peter's unending fund of information and is prevailed upon to stay until midnight. As the water slaps against the pier outside, they brew tea over a tar-barrel fire, and engage in a fascinating dialogue on various jobs, hitchhiking, chess, ancient customs and meanings. Peter explains that the "Lord of Death" appears at midnight on Halloween, the start of All Saints' Day, to exact retribution for misdeeds. Peter misses his wallet and accuses John of having stolen it. John denies it. In an awesome struggle Peter relentlessly attacks John and leaves him lying on the floor. He then discovers the missing wallet and goes to tell John, only to find him dead. Remorseful and troubled, Peter slides John's body from the window into the water below, and returns to sit and await his judgment from the "Lord of Death." (2 men.)