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Confluence and The Skirmishers - Collection / Anthology

Confluence and The Skirmishers

John Bishop

Collection / Anthology

ISBN: 9780822202363

CONFLUENCE. Visiting his young fiancée, who is acting in a summer stoc…

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Collection / Anthology

CONFLUENCE. Visiting his young fiancée, who is acting in a summer stock company, Chuck Janola, a former Pittsburgh Steeler, and now a prosperous businessman, picnics with her in a rural park, overlooking the confluence of three Pennsylvania rivers. When the girl goes off to a rehearsal Chuck stays behind, both to contemplate the view and because he knows that the park is also the favorite haunt of Earl Douchette, a former baseball star and Hall of Famer, now living out his final years in a wheelchair. Wary when they first meet, Earl gradually warms to the younger man, who idolized him as a boy, and soon both are swapping tales of their glory days, and commiserating at the wrenching sadness (which only other pros can understand) that comes when time robs them of the unique excellence that set them apart from others. Poignant and beautifully understated, the play reverberates with echoes of the past—the future—capturing the nuances of a special world which only the few may know and fully share. (2 men, 1 woman.) THE SKIRMISHERS. The scene is a small apartment on Manhattan's West Side, the home of Ralph Keptner, a young bachelor and Civil War buff. Reconciled to being alone, and to filling in the hours with an ongoing game in which the Battle of Gettysburg is fought and re-fought, Ralph is pleasantly surprised when Alan, a new neighbor from across the court, stops by to borrow some ice and shortly becomes an enthusiastic participant in the board game. But when Alan's beautiful young wife, Stoni, joins them, a subtle change begins, as drinks are shared and Alan's mood moves from affability to inquisitiveness to provocation. The focus of the action is on sexuality—Alan's conviction that Ralph has been spying on Stoni and himself in their bedroom, and his disquieting desire to watch his apparently compliant wife have sex with another man. The tension is broken when Stoni, aware of Ralph's anguish, berates her husband and sends him packing. But, when they are alone, Ralph, despite his wish that it were not so, is unable to respond to the invitation that Stoni so ardently bestows. (2 men, 1 woman.)
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