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Two Short Plays by Owen G. Arno - Collection / Anthology

Two Short Plays by Owen G. Arno

Owen G. Arno

Collection / Anthology

THE OTHER PLAYER. Corlin, a wealthy businessman, returns to the prep s…

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Collection / Anthology

THE OTHER PLAYER. Corlin, a wealthy businessman, returns to the prep school where his son, Jeffrey, has drowned quite suddenly in a freak accident while taking part in the school's swimming tournament. Guilt-ridden over his possible rejection of his son, Corlin seeks not only to gather Jeffrey's belongings but to find out what his son was really like. He is assured by the school's headmaster that Jeffrey was popular and amiable and that he delighted the school with his athletic prowess. But then Corlin is visited in Jeffrey's old room by one of his son's classmates, a somewhat shy and strange boy named Peter Cross. Peter tells Corlin that he has come to the room to reclaim a tennis racquet which, as he gradually reveals, Jeffrey stole from him. Stunned by the accusation, Corlin demands to know more, and Peter's story is both shocking and bizarre. If what Peter is saying is true, Jeffrey was something of a monster, who terrorized the entire school. At first Corlin does not believe Peter, though gradually the realization that the story may be true has a shattering effect on him. Peter then leaves, but comes back a few moments later to tell Corlin bluntly that he made up the entire story, that he merely wanted Jeffrey's tennis racquet. But what is the truth? The play ends on a note of deliberate ambiguity, calculated to chill an audience with its numerous and disturbing implications. NOTE: THE OTHER PLAYER was successfully transformed into a play for all women and won First Prize in a Drama Festival sponsored by the New Jersey State Federation of Women's Clubs. (3 men or 3 women.) THE STREET OF GOOD FRIENDS. Three vacationing spinster school teachers have arrived in a small Italian town where they are stranded after their bus has broken down. But while Abigail and Grace are philosophic about the situation, Hester—who is irascible and has spoiled their fun from the beginning—creates an enormous fuss. The whimsical Abigail persuades the somewhat more reticent Grace to take a walk with her about the town, but Hester grumpily remains behind. When the two women return, several hours later, Hester immediately senses that something outrageous has happened to them. At first they have no intention of giving Hester an account of their evening, but Hester insists, and Abigail and Grace giddily relate their story. Unwittingly, it seems, the two women wandered into a lovely and friendly little street, appropriately named Via Boncampagni (The Street of Good Friends)—when suddenly they were arrested. "You see, Hester," Abigail explains, "The Street of Good Friends—is a street for—bad girls." When brought before the judge they were shocked by the news that the fine was 1,000 lire for any woman found on the street without a license for "bad girlishness." But then, when the teachers created a fuss over the large sum of money involved, the judge and the policeman came up with a happier suggestion: Since a license to become a "bad girl" costs only 500 lire, if they were to buy one the school teachers would be saving 500 lire. So Grace and Abigail bought a license! Hester is appalled beyond belief—particularly when Abigail says that she is seriously considering sending the license back to the U.S. and passing it off as an honorary foreign degree. In a rage Hester rips the license to bits, but the others are not about to forfeit their adventure so easily, and a last-minute suggestion from Abigail saves the day. (4 women.)

Owen G. Arno

Owen G. Arno is the author of Broadway’s Once For The Asking, which premiered at the Booth Theater in 1963. Other works include The Other Player and The Street Of Good Friends. view full profile

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