Full Length Play
Time Period - 1940s / WWII
Settings Of Play - June 1944 (shortly before and immediately following D-Day). The majority of the action takes place in the parlor and on the front steps of Walter and Grace's home located in one of the few fertile valleys just outside Bluefield, West Virginia. Short scenes take place at a dance hall, a farmers' market, Walter's apple orchard, a railroad platform, and a Polish national lodge; these brief sequences should be evocative, created entirely by lighting and sound.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Cutting Approved for Competition, Competition or audition material
Mild Adult Themes
Appropriate for all audiences
High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Senior Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Large Stage
June 1944. In England, Allied troops are massing for an invasion. On a
small farm in Appalachia, a different kind of war is about to rage.
Here, Walter and Grace share a home with four daughters: Rose, who
struggles to understand why Stan – an immigrant coal miner and the love
of her life – abruptly left to join the Polish Free Forces; Helga, who
fears for her husband who's in the Army and – like Stan – assigned to a
combat unit in England; Frieda, the family's adventure-seeking daughter,
who works in a factory making uniforms and new friends, one of whom she
can't bring home; and teenage Ruby who yearns to be the next Edward R.
Murrow, but who must first come to grips with a family falling apart at
the seams. D-Day speeds the dissolution process, but at its core is
Walter's seeming allegiance to his German heritage, no matter that
Helga's husband and Rose's fiancé are at war against all things German.
There – through every battle – is Grace, hoping liberal doses of humor,
love and understanding can restore harmony. It is adult Ruby – back for a
funeral, seeking answers to questions that haunt her – who retells the
family's struggle against prejudice, fear, delusion and self-loathing.
"Ruby's Story is a very good play ... featuring multi-dimensional characters and great dialogue to tell a simple story with rich period detail" - Wheeling News-Register
"Ruby's Story is not your usual World War drama ... it reveals a side of wartime America that's generally ignored. What was it like to be a German American during the war ... to wait, impatiently and uncourageously, for word of a husband or boyfriend? ... to grow up normally in a world turned upside down by events entirely beyond your control?" - nytheatre.com
Ruby's Story was produced by The 13th Street Repertory Company in New York City May 20 through July 10, 2004. The play returned to New York City and The 13th Street Repertory Company in June 2009, running multiple performances through August.