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Cliffhanger - Full Length Play


James Yaffe

Full Length Play

3m, 2f

ISBN: 9780822202172

Henry Lowenthal, after a long tenure as professor of philosophy at a s…

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: DPS Acting Edition

Full Length Play


Interior Set

Henry Lowenthal, after a long tenure as professor of philosophy at a small western college, is looking forward to being appointed to an endowed chair so he and his wife can enjoy their golden years with honor and dignity. But their plans are given a rude jolt when his successor, a vindictive and ruthlessly ambitious young woman, informs him that she is not recommending him for the chair—an act of such calculated cruelty that the usually gentle professor seizes a bust of Socrates and strikes his tormentor a fatal blow. Thereafter, as Henry and his wife plot a foolproof way to dispose of the body, complications arise in the form of a rather sinister young student who is about to flunk out of school (unless his grade is changed) and who happened to witness the professor's violent action. Add in a suspicious police lieutenant and you have all the ingredients for a series of suspenseful, unexpected and frequently funny developments, leading to a denouement that will catch everyone by surprise.
Mingling suspense and humor, this ingeniously plotted thriller follows all the unexpected twists and turns that result when a seemingly mild-mannered professor of philosophy is driven to apparent murder to protect his reputation and career. A regional theatre success, the play was later transferred to Broadway for an extended run. "It combines the warmth and charm of On Golden Pond with almost as many plot twists as Deathtrap." —Variety. "An old-fashioned thriller/chiller with some heart, heartbreak and hearty laughs." —Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "…a terrific comedy thriller." —WGST Newsradio, Atlanta.


3m, 2f


James Yaffe

James Yaffe (1927-) is an American playwright and screenwriter best known in detective circles for a series of stories about The Department of Impossible Crimes, first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine during the 1940s, and the humorous "Mom" series, where a Jewish police detective in New York gives details of his cases to his widowed mother; her insight is always able to provide a ... view full profile

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