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The American Century - Short Play

The American Century

Murphy Guyer

Short Play

2m, 1f

ISBN: 9780822200260

World War II has ended and Tom, just discharged from the Army, returns…

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Description | Characters | Author
: DPS Acting Edition

Short Play


Interior Set

World War II has ended and Tom, just discharged from the Army, returns to his young wife, Margaret, full of hope and enthusiasm, and dreams of a bounteous future. But as they plan their life together they are joined by a brash young stranger who, to their amazement, proceeds to make himself very much at home. He is, he explains, one of the children they will have, and he fills them in so completely about their past and present lives—and the future which awaits them—that Tom and Margaret soon find themselves moving from incredulity to panic. In the most casual, blithely humorous manner he tells of a world gone mad with space races, Watergate and the threat of atomic annihilation; of his siblings who have come to a variety of bad ends; and of Tom and Margaret's own descent into bankruptcy, booze, and pill-popping. Increasingly aghast as one horror is casually (and hilariously) piled on another, Tom rushes for the door, determined to escape before any of this can occur only to be pursued by his unloving but pragmatic son who suddenly realizes that without a father, his own existence, chancy as it may be, will never happen.
First presented by the Actor's Theatre of Louisville as part of its Humana Festival of New American Plays. A bitingly satiric but very funny absurdist comedy about a son who travels back in time to visit his hopeful, but as yet childless parents and fills them in on all the unexpected disasters in store for them. "…a very funny play." —NY Daily News. "A social Satire/Political Satire of real bite." —Philadelphia Inquirer. "…you'll laugh yourself sick…" —Irish Independent.


2m, 1f


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