One Act Plays

 

The Plays

Infant Morality

Directed by Barb O’dell and Pamela Stowers

A 20 minute ‘black comedy’  about an upwardly mobile couple trying to return a baby to the hospital because it’s not what they thought raising a baby would be like.

Actors: 4

Trish is at the front desk of a hospital when Stephanie comes in carrying a shopping bag from an expensive store. She has something to return. Trish doesn’t understand until she looks in the bag and sees a baby. Trish is staggered, but Stephanie can’t understand what the problem is. Things get even stranger before the resolution of this black comedy.

Wanted: One Groom

Directed by Carolyn Walsh and Ron Gardner

A 30 minute comedy (and a possible festival entry: that will depend on number of entries by other groups) about a miss-timing of an ad in the local newspaper which ends up with an unusual response.

Actors: 5

Kayla Shand: Excitable, age 20 to early 30’s
Phyllis:  Sensible, age 20 to early 30’s
Mrs. Shand:  Excitable, late 40’s to early 60’s
Mr. Shand: A little stuffy but warm hearted, late 40’s to early 60’s
Richard: Professional, age 20 to early 30’s

What would the conversation sound like if a young man answers an ad to purchase an antique figurine but the owners of this figurine thinks he has answered an ad as a potential groom for their daughter. A conversation laced with double meanings promises to entertain with laughter throughout.

Mr. and Mrs. Shand’s meeting through a classified ad brought marital bliss.  So why not place a husband want ad for Kayla, their daughter?  But the family carries strict requirements:  respect for elders, a promising future and an appreciation for antiques.  Excited over the prospect, Kayla invites her best friend over to discuss arrangements.  The doorbell rings.  A young gentleman, who just happens to be eligible, is answering an ad…  for an antique statue!  But he’s well-mannered, obviously likes antiques and is even studying law!  Through a hilarious conversation laced with double meanings, the prospective buyer becomes the prospective groom!

Still Stands The House

by Gwen Pharis Ringwood
Directed by Martin Weeden

A 30 minute, highly acclaimed Canadian drama, with an interesting twist at the end (festival entry for Nov 3rd.) which takes place in the depth of winter somewhere in the Prairies during the depression.

Cast: 2 men and 2 women

Background:

Premiered in 1938; won first prize at the 1939 Dominion Drama Festival; was performed on CBC Radio; ‘one of the most performed and anthologized works in the history of Canadian Theatre’ (Cdn. Theatrical Encyclopedia).

Story:

During a harsh Prairie winter, we visit the house on a remote and struggling farm run by Bruce Warren.  Arthur Manning is a businessman from town who has made an offer to purchase the farm and include an exchange with another farm that is nearer to town.

At a young age, Bruce inherited the farm from a tough, hard-working father who started the farm and had moderate success.  Bruce’s elder sister, Hester nursed her dying father and then had to raise Bruce.  Hester worships her father’s memory and all that he achieved, including building the house.  She wants nothing to be changed and nothing sold.

Several years of dry weather have made life hard, but Bruce is unable to admit failure.  His wife, Ruth, is pregnant and wants to live closer to town and provide their children with more opportunity for a normal childhood.

After a long day outside in bitter cold and a blizzard, Bruce comes home and the long-standing argument over the possible sale resumes.  He has to go out again to check on a mare that is in foal.  With one oil lamp, he ventures out into the dark, cold and howling blizzard.  Ruth realizes the lamp he took is low in oil and plans to go to help Bruce find his way home. She puts on her coat and then dashes out to find Bruce. Hester is left alone in the house.

Characters

Ruth Warren: Similar in age to Bruce.  Naïve, insecure, pregnant and recently married to Bruce.  Frustrated in her many attempts to befriend Hester and gain acceptance of her efforts to ‘brighten up’ her new home.  She is a romantic, reliant upon Bruce for company, decisions, support and she finds it hard to adapt to the meagre and lonely life on a remote farm.

Bruce Warren: We see a hard-working farmer of crops and livestock, but with little to show for it.  He is continually trying to live up to his dead Father’s expectations – as expressed to him by Hester.  The conflict between his wife and sister render him unsure of himself and slow to make the key decisions.  Optimistic, but unrealistic.

Hester Warren: About 10 years older than Bruce, but with attitudes and opinions from a bygone era.  She is headstrong, stubborn, dismissive of change, sharp-tongued and unrepentant with everyone around her.  Mean-spirited, cunning and capable of great cruelty and harm to others.

Arthur Manning: A local and successful businessman.  Well established in town and also aware of the realities of farm life and the Prairie existence.  Well spoken, matter-of-fact attitude and respected for his generosity and advice.