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The Old Boy - Full Length Play

The Old Boy

A.R. Gurney

Full Length Play

4m, 2f

ISBN: 9780822208402

Sam, a successful politician and diplomat, is invited to speak at the …

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Sam, a successful politician and diplomat, is invited to speak at the dedication of a new building named for his old school friend, Perry, and paid for by Perry's wealthy mother. The knowledge that Perry died of AIDS galvanizes Sam as memories of his own homophobic response to Perry's sexuality are played out in flashback. Sam's solution had been to arrange a marriage between Perry and one of Sam's discarded girlfriends, Alison. Faced now with the embittered Alison and a dawning sense of his own complicity in Perry's fate, Sam must decide whether or not to speak out on the issue of tolerance and jeopardize his chance for the governorship. He has to choose between his conscience and the old boy network which has served him so well.
The elite and cloistered training ground for children of privilege—the New England prep school—is the setting for this powerful play. A distinguished alumnus returns to the school to dedicate a building to his best friend, now dead. The revelation that the man died of AIDS forces the successful politician to question his own responsibility for the dead man's conflicted life. In this witty and piercing drama, homophobia and its consequences force one man to confront the repressed, WASPy ruling class that has rewarded him, but also required him to remain an old boy well into middle age. Chosen by Time magazine as one of the year's 10 best plays for 1991. "…as powerful as anything this playwright has written…there is no denying the sharpness of his wit…and his increasing mastery of his craft." —NY Times. "…a beautifully structured, fleshed out drama that reminds us what compassion and morals are all about." —The Hollywood Reporter.


4m, 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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