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Elephant Sighs - Full Length Play, Comedy

Elephant Sighs

Ed Simpson

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Full Length Play, Comedy

5m

ISBN: 9780573697326

“A meticulously crafted play about male bonding... Comedy and tragedy co-mingle in almost equal measure....a breathtaking recognition of the nature of need and the power of instinct.” - Studio City Sun
Not long after moving to the small town of Randolphsburg, PA, an uptight lawyer is invited an avuncular fast food connoisseur to join a group of townsmen who meet in a ramshackle room at the edge of town. Despite protesting that he's just not an organizational man, the lawyer agrees to drop by - without ever asking just what exactly it is the group actually does.

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Description | Characters | Author | Reviews
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ePlay

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Description

Full Length Play

Comedy

90 minutes

Time Period - Contemporary

FEATURES / CONTAINS

Interior Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

CAUTIONS

Mild Adult Themes

TARGET AUDIENCE

Adult

PERFORMANCE GROUP

Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Shoestring Budget

Not long after moving to the small town of Randolphsburg, PA, uptight lawyer Joel Bixby is invited by Leo Applegate, an avuncular fast food connoisseur, to join a group of townsmen who meet in a ramshackle room at the edge of town. Despite protesting that he's just not an organizational man, Joel finds himself mesmerized by Leo's ebullient manner and agrees to drop by - without ever asking just what exactly it is the group actually does.  Joel's confusion only increases as, one by one, he meets the group's surviving members who include Dink, a perpetually gleeful little man who deeply loves his bald-headed wife; insurance man Perry, a former minister in the midst of a painful crisis of faith; and Nick, a volatile contractor who has recently lost his job and family and is desperately looking for some kind of miracle. As an increasingly anxious Joel is swept up in the strange lives of the guys, he struggles to figure out exactly why they've all come together. As the evening progresses, however, the regulars - and newcomer Joel - grapple with their own disappointments, offer comfort to each other, and, in the process, finally reveal the mysterious reason for their gathering. A group of delightful characters highlight this comedy about loss, loneliness, and the healing power of friendship.

"Critic's Choice...Ed Simpson's riotous new male bonding comedy Elephant Sighs is deceptively unassuming... The mostly blue-collar characters speak in a hilarious hybrid of uneducated obtuseness and politically correct buzz words. Don't let the surface banality fool you. The emotions of these men, however imperfectly communicated, are agonizing, their need for comfort and companionship as acute as hunger and thirst." - Los Angeles Times

“...unexpected, often hilarious....it works very well.” - New York Times

“[Simpson is] exploring how these men use their ties with each other as a salve for their agonizing disappointments....Simpson isn’t poking fun at anyone...his writing is remarkably funny as well as perceptive and economical....” - LA City Beat

“A meticulously crafted play about male bonding...an incredibly nuanced and knowing play. Comedy and tragedy co-mingle in almost equal measure....a breathtaking recognition of the nature of need and the power of instinct.” - Studio City Sun

“Ed Simpson’s comedy Elephant Sighs, is a warm, funny, and life-affirming tale... a sweet-spirited fable... The play’s keen ear for the dialogue of male-bonding rituals recalls the work of David Mamet... but Simpson has a gentler and delightfully quirky style all his own.” - Backstage West

“Heartfelt... thought provoking and enjoyable. There was laughter aplenty - laughter based on the accuracy of the play’s character-driven writing. Yes, there are many one liners in the Neil Simon tradition, but there are also five varied characters drawn with skill and perception.” - The Trenton Times

“Heartwarming... a compelling look at a group of men, it deals with life’s truly significant issues in a simple and forthright way... Inventive and thought provoking.” - The Courier Times, New Jersey

“Critic’s Choice... A sweet, gentle tribute to the simple cathartic wonders of friendship... Elephant Sighs, though often possessed with a wicked sense of humor, is disarmingly uncomplicated... A quietly gracious yet fascinating little play.” - Entertainment Today

“Pick of the Week... Reminiscent of mid-career works by Edward Albee and Harold Pinter’s early plays, Elephant Sighs speaks in an absurdist language contingent on not just verbal communication but also gesture, pregnant pauses and subtle digressions.” - L.A. Weekly

“...a funny and touching comedy-drama.” - G’boro News & Record

Elephant Sighs was first produced by Keystone Repertory Theater,under artistic director Barbara Blackledge, on June 17, 1998. It was directed by David Zarko. The play was subsequently produced by the Occasional Theater in association with Jeff Murray, Nicolette Chaffey, and Theatre/ Theater at Theatre/Theater, in Los Angeles on August 29, 1998. It was directed by Michael Lilly.
Characters

CASTING

5m

CASTING ATTRIBUTES

All Male, Ensemble cast

JOEL BIXBY - 30s; a well-dressed, uptight, emotionally guarded lawyer; a newcomer and a fish out of water
DINK FEENEY - 50s-60s; a kind, smallish, perpetually gleeful and delighted man; devoted to his wife, family, and friends
NICK WHALEN - 30s-40s; a volatile contractor beset by life; passionate; wears his heart on his sleeve
PERRY LATIMER - 30s-40s; Nick’s best friend and a former minister who now sells insurance; a decent man in the midst of a crisis of faith
LEO APPLEGATE - 60s; large, loquacious, sentimental, and the beloved leader of the group; a fast food connoisseur.
Author
Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson

Ed Simpson’s plays have been widely produced throughout the US and Canada and include Additional Particulars, which won the 2000 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and the Backstage-West Garland Award for Playwriting; Elephant Sighs; The Battle of Shallowford; The Comet of St. Loomis; A Point of Order (all published by Samuel French); Electric City Suite, a cycle of six plays (published by ... view full profile

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