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Standing on My Knees - Full Length Play

Standing on My Knees

John Olive

Full Length Play

1m, 3f

ISBN: 9780822210719

Catherine, a young and promising poet affected with schizophrenia, ret…

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Description | Characters | Author
: DPS Acting Edition

Full Length Play


Unit Set/Multiple Settings

Catherine, a young and promising poet affected with schizophrenia, returns home to her cluttered apartment after a stay in the hospital. Urged on by her publisher she struggles to pursue her art, but the very intensity of thought that this demands brings on her attacks and the imaginary voices that bedevil her. At a party she meets Robert, a young stockbroker, and as their relationship deepens she relies ever more heavily on Thorazine pills to control her illness and maintain a semblance of normalcy. Ironically, while the pills block her "voices" they also stifle her creative impulses and the talent that has brought her the most joy. Trying to handle both her relationship with Robert and her needs as an artist she cuts down on the Thorazine doses, but as her illness again becomes apparent Robert backs away. In the end Catherine, in a shattering scene, scatters the pills on the floor, and facing the inevitable truth that she can be only one person and not two, slips inexorably back into madness.
A powerful and affecting study of a gifted young poet struggling to come to terms with the schizophrenia that is undermining her art and her life. A popular and critical success in its production by the renowned Manhattan Theatre Club. "It is a beautiful and hopeful play…" —Variety. "…confirms Olive as a writer with a sharp eye for character and a strong sense of theatrical rhythm and shape." —Village Voice. "…an extremely disquieting but always absorbing evening." —NY Daily News.


1m, 3f

John Olive

John Olive

John Olive is a widely produced and award-winning playwright, the author of Minnesota Moon, Clara's Play, Standing On My Knees, The Voice of the Prairie, Careless Love, Killers, The Summer Moon, Evelyn and the Polka King, God Fire, Into the Moonlight Valley, and many others. Producing theaters include: the Guthrie Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, Steppenwolf, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South ... view full profile

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