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Elephant's Graveyard (One-Act Version) - Short Play, Drama

Elephant's Graveyard (One-Act Version)

George Brant

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Short Play, Drama

10m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573698378

Winner! 2008 Keene Prize for Literature
Winner! 2008 David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award
"The script is, like the best art, microscopically specific with echoes that radiate outward across time. Elephant's Graveyard buzzes with truth about the consequences of misunderstanding, the invisible but enormous gap between artists and their audiences, and the infernal beauty of vaudeville." - The Stranger, Seattle
$8.95
: Acting Edition
$17.95
: Large Print
$19.95
: Stage Manager
$8.99
ePlay

Minimum Fee: $45 per performance


Description

Short Play

Drama

Fables/Folktales, Period, Docudrama/Historic

40 minutes

Time Period - 1910s / WWI

Settings Of Play - The set may be an empty stage or an abstract collision of the worlds of the circus, town and railroad. This collision need not be pretty.

FEATURES / CONTAINS

No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music

Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Period Costumes

CAUTIONS

Alcohol, Mild Adult Themes

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult, Senior, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)

PERFORMANCE GROUP

High School/Secondary

RECOGNITION / AWARDS

KCACTF: Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival New Play

Winner! 2008 Keene Prize for Literature
Winner! 2008 David Mark Cohen National Playwriting Award
Elephant's Graveyard is the true tale of the tragic collision of a struggling circus and a tiny town in Tennessee, which resulted in the only known lynching of an elephant. Set in September of 1916, the play combines historical fact and legend, exploring the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence, and revenge. This abridged version, which runs about 40 minutes in length, is perfect for high schools looking to perform the play at theatre competitions, or for producers looking for a shorter version of the original script. Adapted by the author, it maintains the haunting drama of the award-winning full-length play.

"The script is, like the best art, microscopically specific with echoes that radiate outward across time. Elephant's Graveyard buzzes with truth about the consequences of misunderstanding, the invisible but enormous gap between artists and their audiences, and the infernal beauty of vaudeville." - The Stranger, Seattle

"A theatrical masterpiece." – Columbia City Paper

"The most striking production in the (NSDF) festival." – Times of London

"Deeply moving...has the audience in stitches at the open and tears at the close." – TheSunCoast.com

Elephant's Graveyard was first produced by the University of Texas at Austin at the Oscar Brockett Theatre in Austin, Texas on November 16, 2007. The performance was directed by Laura Kepley, with sets by Szu-Feng Chen, costumes by Jan McCauley,
Characters

CASTING

10m, 3f

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

Ensemble cast, Non-Traditional casting, Cross gender casting, Expandable casting, Flexible casting, Multicultural casting, Roles for Children, Room for Extras

CASTING NOTES

Non-speaking musicians may be added to the production, particularly a Drummer and Guitarist. Roles may be played by any race or gender except when specified.

The Circus
RINGMASTER – obsessed with the bottom line
TRAINER – loves his work
BALLET GIRL – a showgirl in control
TOUR MANAGER – bit of a bully
STRONGMAN – a proud muscleman from Europe’s far-off shores
CLOWN – a comedian with an inferiority complex
DRUMMER – keeps the beat

The Town
HUNGRY TOWNSPERSON – African-American, a steel-trap memory
MARSHAL – keeps the peace
MUDDY TOWNSPERSON – a haunted widow
PREACHER – doggedly hopeful
STEAM SHOVEL OPERATOR – looking for escape
YOUNG TOWNSPERSON – excitable dreamer
GUITARIST/HARMONICA PLAYER – sets the rhythm

The Railroad
ENGINEER – confident Time is on his side

Rental Materials

MUSICAL STYLE

N/A (Not a musical)

Author
George Brant

George Brant

George Brant’s plays include Grounded, Marie and Rosetta, Elephant’s Graveyard, The Mourners’ Bench, Any Other Name, Salvage, Grizzly Mama, Three Voyages of the Lobotomobile, and Dark Room. An Affiliate Writer at the Playwrights' Center, his scripts have been produced internationally by the Public Theater, the Atlantic Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, the Alley Theatre, Trinity Repertory ... view full profile

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Reviews
Kendra Chappell 10/12/2015 8:55 AM
This is an incredible  ethical story about our history an the most unlikely victim.  It is the story about a lynching of an elephant and all the bystanders or observers in a crime.  This is the mob mentality that perpetuates violence and injustice.  This is symbolic narrative of one of the most tragic threads in American history.  
Allison Green 8/21/2015 12:48 PM
My high school students rose to the challenge of this beautifully tragic piece lf theatre.  The one-act proved a perfect length for competition, an excellent opportunity for student set, lighting and costume designers as well as creative musicians.  Our production was well received, our students owned their work.  
Rick Braun 10/3/2014 9:32 AM
This script is simply beautiful.  I originally read the full length version and was moved.  To my surprise, I had the identical response to the shorter version.  I expected it to feel incomplete, but the author did an excellent job editing.  The only difference is in the length.  They are both powerful scripts.  The students and I are really enjoying telling this story and digging into the richness that the script provides.  This play should be on more stages.

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