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Front - Full Length Play, Drama

Front

Robert Caisley

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Full Length Play, Drama

5m, 13f

ISBN: 9780573700255

Winner! 1996 Kennedy Center/Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award

Set in England during the Blitz, a number of struggling individuals and families come to terms with war and the horrors and tragedies it provides.

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews | Related Products
$8.95
: Acting Edition
$17.95
: Large Print
$19.95
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Description

Full Length Play

Drama

Docudrama/Historic

120 minutes (2 hours)

Time Period - 1940s / WWII

Settings Of Play - The story moves between various locations, in and around London; however, no attempt should be made to define each location fully. The author envisions the entire set as a bombed-out section of the city, piles of rubble and debris strewn widely about. The action amidst the chaos; the characters forced to make room for the scene about the take place. Everything used in the play—chairs, tables, props, articles of clothing— can be found hidden in the debris.

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Monologues, Competition or audition material

Bare Stage/Simple Set

Period Costumes

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)

PERFORMANCE GROUP

High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Shoestring Budget, Large Stage

Winner! 1996 Kennedy Center/Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award

Set in England during the Blitz, a number of struggling individuals and families come to terms with war and the horrors and tragedies it provides. This includes Judith, a proud matriarch, who works in a factory that makes bomb detonators, her missing husband, Frank, and their two children, Sheila and John, who are forced to grow up much too quickly. A number of other war-torn individuals are also profiled, each butting heads with the raging war.

A poignant account of female perseverance, Front is appropriate for all audiences.

"As a dramatic evening of theater, Front by Robert Caisley proved to be a huge success with our HS cast and our audience. Set during the London blitz, and focusing mainly on the women left behind during WWII, the play provides wonderful opportunities for character development. Moving, without being sentimental, the play explores the horrors, ambivalence, confusion and humor that people face when confronted with war on their own turf. We doubled roles out of necessity, so actors portrayed multiple characters; and students researched the time period thoroughly. Perhaps one of the best "characters" in our production was the incredibly realistic set that we built. The irony of trying to continue a daily routine amidst total chaos and rubble helped make the production a visual stunner. I highly recommend this play to all HS theater departments." - Laura Hicks, Theater Department, Poughkeepsie Day School

"I think it is a great piece for high school, colleges, community theaters in that it gives opportunities for female actors.  It explores a part of World War II that we don't often see portrayed." -- April Olt, Grandview HS.

“The show was fantastic … my family members, colleagues and students were moved to tears (especially with the ‘Interviews with the Dead’ scene, but also the final monologues of Joan and Judith.)”  -- Doug Grove, Lower Dauphin School District
Front premiered at Illinois Wesleyan University School of Theatre in April of 1995. The production was directed by Lori Adams. Front in its current version was produced by the University of Idaho Department of Theatre in October of 2002. It was directed by the author
Characters

CASTING

5m, 13f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

CASTING NOTES

Originally written for a cast of 7F and 4M, with doubling detailed in the script; however, the play can and should be cast in a variety of ways, to meet the needs of any production. Cross-gender casting is also possible. The roles of J.C. Smut, Photographer, and Mr. Kyme were originally played by a woman.

JUDITH GENTLY
FRANK - her husband
ANGIE - her teenage daughter
TOM - her young son
SIR CHARLES - an M.P., can be played by actor playing Mr. Briggs
LUCY - his wife
OWEN - his son, can be played by actor playing Brian
NELLY - his daughter
JOAN JUSTICE
BRIAN - her son
J.C. SMUTS - an ARP Controller
MR. MANN - a local warden, can be played by actor playing Tom
MRS. HILYARD - an older woman, can be played by actor playing Lucy
MRS. BRIGGS
MR. BRIGGS - her husband
ALISTER - her son, can be played by actor playing Brian
FRAKKER - a weapons manufacturer, can be played by actor playing Frank
FOREMAN - his employee
A PHOTOGRAPHER - can be played by actor playing J.C. Smuts
MIRA - a young girl, can be played by actor playing Nelly
MR. KYME - a schoolmaster, can be played by actor playing J.C. Smuts
SHEILA - can be played by actor playing Mrs. Briggs
BELA - can be played by actor playing Lucy
VIV - can be played by actor playing Nelly
A BODY - can be played by actor playing Angie
A MOTHER - can be played by actor playing Angie
A YOUNG WOMAN - can be played by actor playing Mrs. Briggs
A SISTER - can be played by actor playing Nelly
AN OLD WOMAN - can be played by actor playing Lucy
SCHOOLCHILD - can be played by actor playing Lucy
AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER - can be played by actor playing Tom
A MAN - can be played by actor playing Tom
A STUDENT can be played by actor playing Joan Justice
ANGIE’S SOLDIER - can be played by actor playing Brian
BELA'S SOLDIER - can be played by actor playing Mr. Briggs
GERMAN PILOT - can be played by actor playing Brian
BUS DRIVER - can be played by actor playing Brian
Author
Robert Caisley

Robert Caisley

Robert Caisley is Associate Professor of Theatre & Film, and Head of the Dramatic Writing Program at the University of Idaho. He was named the 2011 Blaine Quarnstrom Visiting Playwright at the University of Southern Mississippi. His play Happy, presented at the 2011 National New Play Network (NNPN) Annual Showcase of New Plays, was a Finalist this year for both the Eugene O’Neill Theatre ... view full profile

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Reviews
Melanie Keller 4/17/2014 8:17 PM
A vivacious and moving play with compelling characters and engaging story telling.
Lou Lindsey 4/2/2014 5:46 PM
"We are performing scenes from FRONT as our entry in the UIL One-Act Play contest. Every spring, over 14,000 Texas students in over 1000 Texas high schools (5 different classifications based on population numbers) participate in this event. Plains has now advanced through a Zone and a District competition. FRONT has been well received by audiences and adjudicators. We certainly have the vehicle. Mr. Caisley's story is terrifying at times and always engaging. It explores a number of human conditions and cuts right to the heart of them. My students (age range from 15 to 18) have bought into it entirely--they enjoy telling this story and have mastered the accents--now that's a BIG accomplishment since the majority were born here and are drenched in Texas twang! It is a culturally diverse cast and crew since the majority of our school population is Hispanic. Mr. Caisley's play also offers tremendous opportunities for my tech students. Air raid sirens, bombs dropping, a dead child describing her death by bomb, a crashing plane and the "presence" of those who went to battle and died has been a fun challenge for students who want to use their creative abilities away from the glare of the spotlights. Adjudicators have feasted on the visual technical elements, the "newness" of this play, how advanced my cast has been in understanding the world of this play and the complex relationships contained within. LOU LINDSEY, Speech and Theatre Arts, Plains ISD, Texas.
Chrystal Houston 3/6/2014 2:38 PM
I recently saw the York College production of Front. The actors did a fine job and the set was terrific, but it was the script that really struck me. I loved the way Caisley explored shifting morality, power constructs, and women's roles wrapped around a compelling narrative. It was a very well constructed piece with a great message. Front made me think and it made me feel. I've been hugging my husband and children tighter and counting my blessings since seeing the show.

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