Thursday, April 02, 2009

Hot off the Press! Available now at the Drama Book Shop.

The Trials And Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife
by Del Shores, Joe Patrick Ward(Composer)

“A feat of breathtaking audacity.”--Critics Choice, Los Angeles Times

“Shores manages to fully explore Willadean’s horrific plight while infusing the work with such hilarity the audience is often reduced to tears and laughter within the same breath.”--Daily Variety

Willi is the trailer trash housewife of the title, not necessarily of her own volition. Her abusive husband won’t let her get a job, one of her children is dead, and the other is verboten by her husband because he’s gay. Her best and only friend, a large black woman who lives next door, worries about her constantly, always concerned that Willi’s husband will end up killing her. A new woman comes to live in the trailer park and ends up having an affair with Willi’s husband. When she finds out, Willi decides to get a job at the local Wal-Mart (a first step on the way to liberating herself from him). Her husband will have none of it, and quoting the bible about how a wife is supposed to obey her husband, threatens all three women with a gun, and then beats Willi to within an inch of her life. She recovers enough to finally shoot him, releasing her from the torment that she’d been living in for years. A blues singer weaves songs into the action, commenting upon Willi’s predicament and urging her toward decisive action.

In 2003, The Trials and Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife was the winner of more than 14 Los Angeles Theatre Awards, including Best Production, Best Lead Performance – Beth Grant, and Best World Premiere from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle; Best Lead Actress – Beth Grant from the Ovation Awards; Best Production and Best Playwright from the NAACP Theatre Awards; Best Production, Best Playwright, Best Direction, Best Lead Performance – Beth Grant, and Best Supporting Performance – Dale Dickey, from the Back Stage West Garland Awards; and Best Playwright, Best Supporting Actor – David Steen, Best Ensemble – Beth Grant, Dale Dickey, Debby Holiday, Octavia Spencer, David Steen, from the L.A. Weekly Awards.

Character Descriptions:
BLUES SINGER – 30s, African-American. Sexy and beautiful with a powerful voice.
J.D. WINKLER – around 50. Once the handsome quarterback, now the failed, angry, abusive, adulterous, alcoholic husband.
WILLADEAN WINKLER – mid- to late 40s. The trapped, weathered and abused housewife who has a beautiful heart and soul.
RAYLEEN HOBBS – late 30s. The much-married waitress with the great body, the hard, lived-in face who desperately needs acceptance.
LA SONIA ROBINSON – late 30s, African-American. Willadean’s fleshy neighbor and best friend who speaks her mind and has little fear.

Dramatic Comedy. 1m, 3f. Acting Edition, $10.95.


Dead Man's Cell Phone
by Sarah Ruhl

"Satire is her oxygen. . . . In her new oddball comedy, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Sarah Ruhl is forever vital in her lyrical and biting takes on how we behave." --The Washington Post

"Ruhl's zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death delivers a fresh and humorous look at the times we live in.”--Variety

"[Ruhl] tackles big ideas with a voice that entertains”--NPR

“…beguiling new comedy…Ms. Ruhl’s work blends the mundane and the metaphysical, the blunt and the obscure, the patently bizarre and the bizarrely moving.”--New York Times

An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man—with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man’s Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative new comedy by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, author of The Clean House and Eurydice. A work about how we memorialize the dead—and how that remembering changes us—it is the odyssey of a woman forced to confront her own assumptions about morality, redemption, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world.

Dramatic Comedy. 2m, 4f. Acting Edition.


Body Awareness
by Annie Baker

" An engaging new comedy by a young playwright with a probing, understated voice. [...] Its quiet rewards steal up on you."--The New York Times

“Sexuality’s endless capacity to make us miserable is the keynote of Annie Baker’s gentle satire, which takes just four actors and 90 minutes to spin an astonishingly complex web of emotions and ideas...Body Awareness is a smart, modest work about ordinary, flawed people, grasping for connection, but none of it feels small, thanks to Baker’s sharp ear for the deeply painful—and funny—longings squirming under her characters’ dialogue. What a beautiful start to a young playwright’s theatrical body of work.”--David Cote, Time Out New York

“An impressive and occasionally beautiful meditation on the mysteries of being moved.” --The New Yorker

It's "Body Awareness" week on a Vermont college campus and Phyllis, the organizer, and her partner, Joyce, are hosting one of the guest artists in their home, Frank, a painter famous for his female nude portraits. Both his presence in the home and his chosen subject instigate tension from the start. Phyllis is furious at his depictions, but Joyce is actually rather intrigued by the whole thing, even going so far as to contemplate posing for him. As Joyce and Phyllis bicker, Joyce's adult son, who may or may not have Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to express himself physically with heartbreaking results.

Character descriptions:
JOYCE - 55
JARED - 21, her son
PHYLLIS - 45, her girlfriend
FRANK BONITATIBUS – 59

Dramatic Comedy. 2m, 2f. Acting Edition, $10.95.


KickAss Plays For Women
by Jane Shepard

Award-winning new playwright Jane Shepard comes to print with four powerful short plays for women. Edgy, original, and with a darkly funny humanity, here are four pieces that give new muscle to actresses, providing roles of exceptional range. All successfully produced on the New York stage, each play features two-woman casts, with age-open roles, in work that explores our tender, brave, and sometimes brutal search for meaning. Includes both comedy and drama, with a variety of settings and running times. An excellent introduction to the playwright, KickAss Plays For Women is a vital text for actresses of any age, or anyone hungry for compelling new plays. Nine (2f) Two women held in a life-threatening situation and the mind games they play to keep one another alive. Held in a cell and chained apart, their only currency is words, and balance of power is everything when a single word becomes the hanging point between life and death.

Commencing (2f) The beautiful Kelli can’t wait for the blind date her friends have set her up on. Until it turns out to be one very disappointed lesbian named Arlin. Mutually appalled, yet appallingly intrigued, they proceed to pull the screws loose on both straight and gay women’s culture, to find the common ground beneath in the search for love & self.

Friend of the Deceased (2f) An embittered widow lies in wait at her husband’s grave for the appearance his mistress, and encounters a soulful teen. Unable to extract a confession from the girl, the widow offers to buy one, and finds that she has purchased a deeper truth.

The Last Nickel (2f and 2 puppeteers) Theatrical, funny & touching, It’s another long night for Jamie, with an obnoxious sister & a trio of sardonic puppets to keep her awake. Tinged with fun & sisterly nostalgia, the merriment comes inevitably to focus on the cause of Jamie’s self destruction, and the loss that has brought her to the edge.

Drama. 2f per play. Acting Edition, $10.95

PLEASE NOTE: There are many (if not most) items in the store that you won't find on our website. If you don't find what you're looking for, please call the Drama Book Shop at 212-944-0595 (option 3) to order.

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