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Doris to Darlene - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

Doris to Darlene

Jordan Harrison

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Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

4m, 2f

ISBN: 9780573662393

"Doris to Darlene: A Cautionary Valentine is a quirky and enjoyable love letter to music and its seductive power to make us lose ourselves...Harrison's language is by turns so punchy, poetic and observant." NY Daily News

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Media | Author | Reviews
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $75 per performance


Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

105 Minutes

Time Period - Present Day, 1960s, 19th Century


Play w/ Music

Unit Set/Multiple Settings, Bare Stage/Simple Set

Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes


Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)


College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


From Off-Broadway

Doris to Darlene, A Cautionary Valentine: In the candy-colored 1960s, biracial schoolgirl Doris is molded into pop star Darlene by a whiz-kid record producer who culls a top-ten hit out of Richard Wagner's "Liebestod." Rewind to the candy-colored 1860s, where Wagner is writing the melody that will become Darlene's hit song. Fast-forward to the not-so-candy-colored present, where a teenager obsesses over Darlene's music - and his music teacher. Three dissonant decades merge into an unlikely harmony in this time-jumping pop fairy tale about the dreams and disasters behind one transcendent song. Jordan Harrison is a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship Recipient


"Doris to Darlene: A Cautionary Valentine is a quirky and enjoyable love letter to music and its seductive power to make us lose ourselves...Harrison's language is by turns so punchy, poetic and observant." - New York Daily News

"Mr. Harrison's play has an affectionate, music-loving heart." - New York Times

"Doris to Darlene has much going for it: Harrison's intelligence, originality and passion." - Time Out New York

"Harrison's teasing, rapturous chamber opera of a play spins and crackles like a beloved old 78 under a bamboo needle...Doris to Darlene is that rare thing: a rarefied theatrical experiment that has the glow of pure entertainment and the warmth of a folktale." - Newsday

Playwrights Horizons, under Artistic Director Tim Sanford, produced the world premiere of Doris to Darlene in December 2007. The production was directed by Les Waters.



4m, 2f


Ensemble cast, Multicultural casting


LUDWIG II is to be played by a young woman.

Doris and Vic age more than twenty years over the play, but playwright encourages using actors toward the young end of the spectrum.

All of the principal characters double for smaller roles, listed under character descriptions.

DORIS - a girl singer, mixed race, from 16-41
VIC WATTS - a record producer, white from 22 to 47
RICHARD WAGNER - a composer, about 50
LUDWIG II - King of Bavaria, 18
MR. CAMPANI - a dapper teacher, early 40's

Smaller Roles Doubled by the Principals

DORIS'S GRANDMOTHER - played by Mr. Campani
RECEPTIONIST - played by the actress playing Ludwig
MISS LUFTUS - played by Wagner
PROM DATE - played by Ludwig
TALK SHOW HOST - played by Wagner
BILLY ZIMMER - played by Vic Watts
JOURNALISTS 1 & 2 - played by Mr. Campani and the Young Man
STABLE BOY - played by the Young Man
PFORDTEN - played by Doris
PFISTERMEISTER - played by Vic Watts
MAKEUP GIRL - played by Ludwig

  • Excerpts from Playwrights Horizons' Doris to Darlene

Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Marjorie Prime. The play had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons and its Chicago premiere at Writers Theatre after premiering at the Mark Taper Forum/CTG in Los Angeles. His play Maple and Vine premiered in the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville and went on to productions at American Conservatory Theatre and ... view full profile

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