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Ready for the River - Full Length Play

Ready for the River

Neal Bell

Full Length Play

4m, 2f

ISBN: 9780822209324

The drama begins on the site of the foreclosed farm of Doris, her estr…

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DPS Acting Edition

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Full Length Play


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

The drama begins on the site of the foreclosed farm of Doris, her estranged husband, Jim, and her daughter, Lorna. As Doris and Lorna reminisce about life before the foreclosure, they witness Jim take a shotgun, stalk and shoot the banker who came with the foreclosure notice. Doris and Lorna flee the scene, fearing the same fate. On the highway, as mother and daughter relentlessly drive, the question Lorna asks, "How far away is far enough?" is also telltale of the stormy relationship between the scenes blur reality, memories and dreams create powerful descriptions of lives as desolate as the abandoned farms of the heartland. Along the way, Lorna and Doris have some strange company in the car, including the son of the dead banker and also what seems to be the dead banker himself. After a series of stops and close calls, mother and daughter arrive exhausted at a motel where they learn that they are free of the threat of violence. With this news, Doris must face the fact that the independence she and Lorna finally found will accelerate to separation as Lorna goes off to start a life of her own.
The escape of two women from a murder scene is sustained by haunting suspense and memories that come alive. "Bell's story of the women's ghostly escape from realistic pursuit is…staged…with a grave simplicity that was haunting." —American Theatre. "Part scathing Satire/Political Satire and part gut-wrenching melodrama, Bell's script is as mean as yesterday's headlines and driven over the edge with language that beats on the brain with a message of despair and horror at what has happened to the American dream." —Express News.


4m, 2f


Flexible casting


Neal Bell

Neal Bell's plays -- including Two Small Bodies, On The Bum and Spatter Pattern -- have appeared at Playwrights Horizons in New York, and at regional theatres including the Mark Taper Forum, Denver Center Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville and Berkeley Rep. The recipient of grants from the NEA, Rockefeller and Guggenheim Foundations, Mr. Bell has also received an Obie Award for sustained ... view full profile

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