Critics have described The Guyer Girls as a cross between Little Women and I Remember Mama. From the opening moments when Ivah cuts Violet’s eye brows off, this story romps through the sibling antics and rivalry of a large family. The first act takes place as the young teenage girls are growing into lovely women.
In a series of family stories, set in the 1920’s, we enjoy the girls’ hilarious pranks, antics, joys and humiliations. There is laughter in abundance. Tears, love, and sibling rivalry as these four delightful sisters grow up under the guidance of their matriarch, ‘Mama’. A prestigious marriage, a female pro-basketball player, and a run away to Alaska, these young women couldn’t be more diverse. In the second act the story fast forwards to the 1940’s. The sisters are adults, starting their own families and Pearl Harbor has just been attacked.
The Guyer Girls are the children of Sophia and Levi Guyer who migrated to America and then moved out west. The stage play is a rich tapestry of an American family spanning three decades and based upon the true story of the Guyer family.
Available at http//www.samuelfrench.com
Ten Minutes to Curtain, Volume II.
Volume II is a collection of twelve short plays, written specifically for the young actor in the class room or drama department. New plays have been added; “The Straight-edged Secret” addressing preteens and teens that resort to ‘cutting’. “The Bully Boys” exposes the problem of bullying in Cyberspace and school and the dire results if ignored. Some are fun and silly; some are more serious.
Several address issues that are happening in a tween and teen’s life in today’s world. “Love Never Leaves Bruises”; violence and teenage dating. “The ‘D’ Word” tells how a brother and sister face the fact that their parents are divorcing. “You’re Not the Boss of Me”is the journey of decision making as a teenager grows up.
“The Postcard” is the story of a mother of the bride who receives a postcard from the daughter that she gave up for adoption twenty years ago. Amidst a flurry of flowers, menus, dresses, and invitations, how does a devoted mother tell her child, and soon to be bride, about a sister she never knew about. “The Waltz”, another charming love story. A young man and girl are falling in love during their first waltz until her underpants fall down around her ankles.
The collection is “G” rated and the educator does not need to worry about any ‘adult’ surprises in this collection. Perfect for the classroom the plays are approximately 10-15 minutes in length with minimal or no sets. A bonus, full length play! “Possession is Nine Tenths” tops off the collection.
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Scent of Magnolia, A tribute to the life and music of Billie Holiday.
“Scent of Magnolia” tells the story of a young woman who rose above poverty, rape, bigotry, prostitution and imprisonment to become one of the most memorable and celebrated artists of the twentieth century. This one woman show portrays the life of a black jazz singer in America during the 30’s. The script does not dwell on the sensationalism of her addiction to alcohol and drugs but chooses, rather, to celebrate the whole woman and her music.
As Billie tells us not only her story, but the nation’s story, she injects her tale with her most famous music as well as some of her more obscure songs. In her own words, she talks about her struggle to succeed in spite of the segregation of that time and the difficulties she experienced singing with the great bands, most of which were white men. Without pity for herself, she talks about the daily slings and arrows that are a part of bigotry. Billie takes complete responsibility for her life, her choices, and her actions. Her triumph was her music and her songs that will live on forever.
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Next ! A Hollywood Tale
Four young, brash actors come to Hollywood to live out their dreams of making it big in tinsel town. They are convinced that hard work and honed skills will bring them everything that they ever dreamed of. They discover that hard work and talent have very little to do with succeeding.
This full length play tells the story of the unflagging optimism of these four actors. They never give up in spite of the daily exploitation and frustration. This comedic drama portrays the real story behind the auditions, the type casting, the ruthlessness and hidden agendas of the movie industry. How the beautiful people, with virtually no acting talent, become stars overnight while trained, talented actors work for years in menial jobs while pursuing a career in film and theatre. The four characters are representational of all the fine, new actors that Hollywood lures into its machination of heartbreak. The author purposely uses only first names as a symbol of how dispensable these young people are.
A surprising and shocking ending will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.
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Chicago. 1946. Joe Doheny is seventeen, enrolled at the University of Illinois and has a secret life; he’s a burglar. Even though he holds down part time jobs, he steals so that he can continue in school and help his parents financially.
Joe is finally caught and arrested but is charged with murder! He is questioned and brutally tortured for days at the Cook County jail. Finally, in fear for his life, he signs a confession. Without a trial, he is sentenced to life, with parole. The next fifty one years are told in vignettes by Joe [currently in his sixties], and seventeen-year-old Joe, often on stage together. His quest for parole, the people who supported his bid for freedom; the woman in his life. The discovery, too late, of the man who actually committed the murder. The tale unfolds in a series of flash backs until the audience finally realizes that there is no happy ending to Joe’s story.
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Women Outside the Walls (stage play)
Not all prisoners are inside bars. This is the story of three women and their struggle to keep their families intact while their men are incarcerated in prison. Alma, Kitty and Hattie have one thing in common. The men they love and married are in prison.
Women who marry regular guys, who have children and work jobs. Then their men make a bad decision that leads their women to serving ‘hard time’ on the outside. Wives visit their men behind bars every day wondering how their lives brought them to this place. Alma is an exotic dancer. Hattie is a hard working African American with four children. And Kitty, a wealthy socialite, who in spite of the shame of going to a prison where her husband refuses to see her, doggedly visits every week. In a series of flash backs we explore the lives of these women before their men were incarcerated; when they lived normal lives with their husbands and children. The plot explodes when one of their daughters disappears and an inmate makes a desperate move towards freedom. Click here to purchase
Playwright, Trisha Sugarek, takes a dark and sensual turn in this new script for the stage. She brings the roaring 20’s roaring back with speak-easies, roadhouses, flappers, hot jazz and cold gin.
This full length drama is set in the roaring thirties in San Francisco. Violet is a beautiful woman with two children. She is a ‘flapper’ in every sense of the word; working all day and playing all night. While her teenaged daughter raises her seven year old son, Violet is out on the town every night. Her marriage to the children’s father is a stone around her neck and she is about to get rid of her loser husband. She has the next husband all lined up. But, Jay, her boyfriend, has eyes for Violet’s teenaged daughter.
This story paints a rich portrait of a liberated woman ahead of her time. A drama with comedic relief provided by the two children and a flashy whore. Adult content.
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A young family takes ‘possession’ of a deserted lighthouse so that their critically ill daughter can enjoy the sea breezes and beautiful countryside. Little do they know that, for centuries, the lighthouse has been the home and in the ‘possession’ of four outrageous spirits.
Ben, the eight year old, has no trouble whatsoever making friends with two of the spirits, Baubles and Chaos. The story climaxes as Claire, ill with cancer, slowly fades toward death. Baubles and Chaos have no intention of letting that happen.
While this play has it’s serious moments, for the most part, it is a comedy and makes for great fun as the spirits romp around the stage. The adults can neither see nor hear Chaos and Baubles as they converse and play with the children and terrorize a ‘Man of the Cloth’! All in innocent fun, of course! Click here to purchase. Licensing
Check out my short plays for the classroom!