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The Groves of Academe and The Plumber's Apprentice - Collection / Anthology

The Groves of Academe and The Plumber's Apprentice

Mark Stein

Collection / Anthology

ISBN: 9780822204862

THE GROVES OF ACADEME. The scene is the cramped office of Bill Groves,…

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Collection / Anthology

THE GROVES OF ACADEME. The scene is the cramped office of Bill Groves, an assistant professor of English at a prestigious university, where he is visited by Paul Morris, a rather quirky undergraduate who asks to be admitted to an honors seminar on comedy. In a series of quick-changing scenes which span the school year, the two discuss Paul's academic record, the subject of his term paper and, as they become more at ease with each other, their private lives and feelings. Paul has an off-the-wall attitude toward college and life in general that first startles, then amuses, and ultimately impresses the older man, while Paul's opinions and behavior are gradually influenced as much by Groves' individual qualities as by his intellectual attainments. Highly amusing and sharply observant, the play conveys much about the academic "treadmill," but even more about the special strengths that can be nurtured when student and teacher reach beyond the formal relationship that, so often, is all that exists between them. (2 men.) THE PLUMBER'S APPRENTICE. Sally, a "liberated" young woman who is out to establish the equality of her sex in the plumbing trade, is assigned by the union to work with Rog, a middle-aged master plumber who obviously feels that a woman's place is in the home. At first they are oil and water, but Sally is determined to master her craft no matter how snide and brusque Rog might be, and gradually, in a series of sometimes funny sometimes poignant short scenes, Sally gains Rog's acceptance and even his respect. In the end, however, Sally wearies of the uphill struggle and concedes that she has taken on more than she can cope with—much to the unexpected consternation of Rog, who, in a deftly understated final scene, has to admit that Sally has turned out to be a pretty good apprentice after all. (1 man, 1 woman.)

Mark Stein

Mr. Stein is the winner of the prestigious Actors' Theatre of Louisville Heideman Award, is resident playwright of New Playwrights, Washington D.C., and winner of the Writers' Guild Award. view full profile

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