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Four in the Park - Four One Act Plays by SB Sturdevant (Plays)

Four in the Park - Four One Act Plays by SB Sturdevant (Plays)
 
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MOURNING THE MARIGOLDS is the story of eccentric, sixty-ish Bessie Levinson, as she sits on a park bench in Russell Square Park in London and tells her story to Charlie Hampton, a stranger.

It is also about Father Frank McAllister, an Irish priest, also in his sixties, who happens to be strolling through the same park with his niece, Julie. As they rest a moment on another bench, he tells his very similar story.

Through several Memory Scenes, we see Frank's and Bessie's love affair as it unfolds and then ends. We are witness to the bitter good-bye she faced when leaving her Jewish home in New York and defying her strict and domineering father. We are also witness to the struggle Frank must go through in order to come to his final conclusion. We become part of the pain that accompanies their lost love, and witness the difficult choices that come with true devotion. And finally, we learn of the broken hearts that have been with them both for the past forty years.

On this particular, chilly autumn afternoon, however, with Bessie's beloved Marigolds about to gasp their last - there is a chance meeting of the two old lovers…

A DAY in the LIFE of ELEANOR DUNCAN: Eleanor Duncan is a 72 year old, homeless woman living on a park bench in Central Park. She believes her bench to be her "home", which is wonderfully located so that she can overlook the skaters and the lovers. She has been on the streets for 24 years and wouldn't have it any other way.

On this Christmas Eve, Eleanor welcomes a string of visitors - from Joey, a 10- year-old boy, to her elderly sister Ruby and a few interesting guest in between. She regales them all with stories from her past, which reveal much insight into the character of Eleanor Duncan. As she enjoys her Christmas Eve dinner, a gift from her sister, she is surprised by her final visitor of the day - the last visitor of her life.

WEDNESDAY is a short one-act about an aging woman who chances to meet her long-time housekeeper in the park after thirty years. The time has been kind to one and not so kind to the other, and as the two elderly woman sit in the chill of a late November afternoon they discover that their differences are not nearly as great as they once thought.

THURSDAY tells about two sisters in their seventies - one with Alzheimer's, the other her caregiver. It is about coping and unconditional love.

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Sample Chapter

A Day in the Life of Eleanor Duncan

A Play in One Act on One Bench
by
S.B Sturdevant

Cast of Characters

Eleanor Duncan - a homeless woman in her Seventies

Ruby - Eleanor's older sister

Randy and Babe - two teenagers (male or female)

Joey - a ten year old child (male or female)

Laura - a young woman

Mr. D - a stranger

Setting

Central Park, NYC - The Present - Christmas Eve

A Day in the Life of Eleanor Duncan

As the curtain rises, we hear an old ballad playing softly in the background and we see a park bench at center stage. Behind the bench is an iron fence, and hanging between the fence and the bench is an old blanket which forms a sort of makeshift tent. There is a working street lamp upstage, a trash can downstage and around the bench and the ground are a number of old newspapers and books, and a large shopping bag that contains ELEANOR'S belongings. As the music continues, we see ELEANOR DUNCAN slowly emerge from the tent. She is dressed in old, worn clothing but she appears clean and neat, as if she takes great pride in her appearance. She stretches, taking deep breaths and then stands on one leg and then the other in Yoga fashion. She straightens her coat and proceeds to remove the blanket, folding it neatly and placing it behind the bench. She then removes a toothbrush from her pocket and a bottle of water from the bag and brushes her teeth. As she continues to carry out her morning ablutions, JOEY enters wearing a winter coat, a stocking cap and carrying ice skates over his/her shoulder. JOEY sits down on the bench and starts to put on his/her skates as ELEANOR goes to search the trash can. After a moment, she comes up with half of a hamburger on a roll. She wipes it on her sleeve, looks it over, and walks back to the bench where she spots JOEY.

ELEANOR
Well, good morning to you, dear child. My name is Eleanor Duncan, welcome to my home.

(JOEY looks around confused)

So pleased you decided to stop by on this lovely Christmas Eve.

(ELEANOR sits and JOEY continues to stare at her)

Would you like to share my breakfast with me?

JOEY
No thanks...it doesn't look very good.

ELEANOR
No? It's almost a whole bun... see...and it even has a bit of ketchup on it. Very healthy...tomatoes.

JOEY
But it's garbage.

ELEANOR
Only if you're not hungry. What did you say your name was?

JOEY
You took it out of the trash can, lady.

ELEANOR
Yes, I did. That's where some of the best things are.

JOEY
You live here?

ELEANOR


(Takes a big bite)

It's nice, isn't it? This is one of the choicest spots in the whole park. Do you by chance have the time...uh, what was your name?

JOEY
It's Joey. I don't have a clock, lady, but I got an ice skate lesson at ten-thirty, so it must be close to that.

ELEANOR
Thank you, Joey, that's very helpful. Would you mind holding this?

(ELEANOR hands the burger to JOEY who looks at it as if it was alive. ELEANOR takes out an old pocket watch and adjusts the time. She then puts the watch away and takes back the burger as JOEY finishes putting on his skates.)

JOEY
Lady?

ELEANOR
Yes, Joey.

JOEY
Why do you live here?

ELEANOR
Because this is my home. Where do you live?

JOEY
Over there at the Dakota...on the third floor. We have an elevator with a guy in a red coat.

ELEANOR
That's where John Lennon lived, you know.

JOEY
Who?

ELEANOR


(Laughs)

Well, I don't have an elevator, I'm afraid.

JOEY
Did you ever have one?

ELEANOR
An elevator? No...I never did. I lived in the Bronx...on 33rd Street. Do you know where that is?

JOEY
No...but my Gramma lives in Brooklyn. She has a poodle.

ELEANOR
Oh...is she nice?

JOEY
Who...the poodle?

ELEANOR


(Laughs)

No...I meant your Grandmother.

JOEY
Yeah...she's pretty nice. She always has stiff hair and sleeps with a thing on her head.

ELEANOR
Uh huh.

JOEY
Yeah...and she always has marshmallows with coconut on 'em.

ELEANOR
I see.

JOEY
Yeah...I hate coconut.

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