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Friday Night - Collection / Anthology

Friday Night

James Elward

Collection / Anthology

In the first play, THE RIVER, two unmarried ladies meet in a cafe to l…

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Collection / Anthology


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

In the first play, THE RIVER, two unmarried ladies meet in a cafe to lament the fact that one of them just reached the dangerous age of thirty—which the other (a far more philosophic sort) has long since sailed safely past. Brooding on the finality of it all, and the broken romances that have embittered them, the two find their attention drawn to the couple at the next table—a sweet young thing in her twenties and the older man with whom she is obviously having an affair. They don't mean to eavesdrop, but it is as if they were seeing themselves just a few years earlier, and their knowledge of what the young girl is in for makes them want to speak up. Which they do—with funny, touching and ultimately beneficial results. (2 men, 3 women.) The second play, PASSPORT, deals with a lonely middle-aged newspaperman, a little the worse for drink and sadly convinced of his ineffectiveness and failure as a person. Out of his monologue spoken perhaps with the aching desire that someone will miraculously hear, and care, comes a remarkable portrait of a man alone—wanting to feel alive again but reconciled to an existence without real meaning or purpose. (1 man.) In MARY AGNES IS THIRTY-FIVE, a couple arrive at the girl's apartment after an evening out—he bent on seduction and she determined to preserve her honor. They have both reached the age where loneliness might seem to be a tempering influence, but he has (without really being aware of it) become the predatory bachelor and she (although she still has hopes) the frigid spinster. Their confrontation is poignant and very real—but ultimately, as it must be, a stalemate. (1 man, 1 woman.)
This trio of sharply etched studies of big city life and loneliness, introduced the author to New York audiences. The three plays, skillfully compounded of humor, poignance and revealing insights, fit together into a marvelously cohesive evening, but may also be produced individually. "There are no special effects, no gimmicks. But there is considerable truth." —Wall Street Journal. "He is a deft craftsman, with the ability to etch character in sure, swift strokes and with an accurate ear for the nuances of dialogue." —Jersey Journal. "…tight dramatic form alive and playable" —NY Post.

James Elward

James Elward was born in Chicago, Illinois and received a bachelor's degree in 1950 from The Catholic University of America in Washington. He was most noted for writing soap operas in the 1960s and 1970s such as The Secret Storm, The Guiding Light, and Dr. Kildare. He also wrote and produced a soap opera called The Young Marrieds. Additionally, he wrote several plays for theaters in New York and ... view full profile

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