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Later Life - Full Length Play

Later Life

A.R. Gurney

Full Length Play

2m, 2f

ISBN: 9780822213734

Austin has spent his entire life convinced that something terrible is …

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Description | Characters | Author
DPS Acting Edition

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Full Length Play


Exterior Set

Austin has spent his entire life convinced that something terrible is bound to happen to him. One night, at a party, overlooking Boston harbor, he has the pleasure of rekindling a romance begun almost thirty years ago with Ruth. Now a multiple divorcee, Ruth's personal life is in such turmoil that mutual friends look to Austin as Ruth's last shot at normalcy. At the same time, these friends are hoping the wildly unpredictable Ruth will help loosen Austin from the grip of years of depression and lifelessness. Comically, and sometimes painfully, these two people rediscover each other and themselves while a bevy of free-spirited other guests rally behind them and remind them of the infinite possibilities that life holds, should one only choose to pursue them.
Lost opportunities run throughout Austin's life as he waited for bad things to happen. An old girlfriend offers some spark, but she realizes his life is too cold for her to join and leaves him to understand that the bad thing he was waiting for is really the way he lived his life. "Charmingly clever yet immeasurably touching." —NY Post. "Seldom can a sad story have been told with more fun and humor than this is in A.R. Gurney's LATER LIFE. There is no dramatist like him on either side of the Atlantic…LATER LIFE is, I think, the best of them all." —The New Yorker. "If we could somehow amass in eighty years of living the knowledge of human folly that A.R. Gurney packs into eighty minutes on stage, we could all have an opulent legacy to leave our children…In eighty breathless minutes he vaults from the joyous shiver of renewal to the shudder of lost opportunities, leaving us with an anguished tableau of self-realization. Gurney's compassion for his characters' dilemma is infectious; you will find yourself wanting to share your own story with Ruth and Austin by way of comfort. Bring a loved one. You may need a little comforting yourself." —NY Newsday.


2m, 2f


A.R. Gurney

A.R. (“Pete”) Gurney was born in 1930 in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Williams College in 1952, served as an officer in the Navy, and afterwards attended the Yale School of Drama. For many years, he taught literature at M.I.T., but moved to New York in 1982 to devote more time to writing for the theatre. He has won a fair amount of awards during his career, and is now a member of the ... view full profile

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