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Present Tense and Personal Effects

ISBN: 978-0-8222-0910-2
One Acts, Two Plays in One Volume
FEE: $80 per performance when produced together; $35 each when produced individually.
THE STORIES: PRESENT TENSE. It's the day of the high-school prom, and Norm Prescot, a love-smitten teenager, is beset with doubts. Will his girlfriend, Ann, keep their date or will she claim that she has to stay at the bedside of her aunt Gladys, who (she says) has been stricken with gallstones? As he waits, Norm's agonies multiply: Does Ann really have an Aunt Gladys? Or is she just using that as an excuse to pick up with her ex-boyfriend, Doug, a thick-headed jock, who is not only captain of the football, baseball and basketball teams but also Norm's obnoxious editor on the school newspaper? In a series of imaginative (and very funny) blackouts Norm's worst fears become real as we see all that is going on inside his head through wildly exaggerated daydreams depicting the fear and embarrassment of possible rejection by the girl he loves and the gnawing suspicion that she has not been faithful to him. All ends happily, however, when Norm is jarred back to reality by Ann's arrival—and, with a sign of relief, accepts her assurances that she really does love him after all. (3 men, 3 women.) PERSONAL EFFECTS. The scene is the living room of the Mallory's Midwestern home, where Kevin Mallory, a rather meek and malleable high-school student, who has a history of striking out with girls, has decided to give a party (hopefully an orgy) in his parents' absence. Encouraged by his more "sophisticated" friends, Artie and Bill, Kevin invites Eileen Sorenson, a new girl at school whom he'd like to get to know better and who, his buddies claim, is "hot" for him. However, all of Kevin's plans go quickly and hilariously awry, and the party descends into chaos as fights break out, advances are rejected and resentment mounts. After the dust settles, Kevin comes to terms with the fact that he and his cohorts have behaved like jerks and that in order to be accepted by a girl she must be treated like a person and not an object. The blinding realization points Kevin toward a new direction in his relations with women and augurs for a better future as the play comes to its touching, bittersweet conclusion. (3 men, 2 women.)