The Third Story

by  Charles Busch

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 2f

A faded screenwriter in the 1940s woos her troubled ex-writer son into collaborating on a screenplay.

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The Third Story

by  Charles Busch

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period, Science Fiction
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A faded screenwriter in the 1940s woos her troubled ex-writer son into collaborating on a screenplay. The gangster/sci-fi B-movie in their imagination unfolds before us, involving a chic crime czarina, a beautiful but icy lady scientist, and her failed and understandably bitter human cloning experiment. A third story is a Russian fairy tale the screenwriter told her son as a child about a painfully shy princess who forges a diabolical pact with a terrifying but surprisingly vulnerable old witch. The fairy tale inspires the movie, which then inspires the mother and son to mend their fractured relationship.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Mr. Busch and company explore and explode all sorts of vintage cinema clichés, an activity at which Mr. Busch is without peer" - The New York Times

"Ingenious! Laugh-packed! The Third Story proves a treat and throbs with heart as well!" - Hartford Courant

"Plays-within-plays require such intricate tailoring. So it's a pleasure to report that with The Third Story, the ever-captivating Charles Busch proves equally deft as both performer and seamstress." - TheaterMania

"Charles Busch says more with a curled lip than many plays say in a whole evening of talk." - Newsday

"The main joy of The Third Story is that its foolery embodies something substantive [...] No wonder The Third Story feels like such an energizing event." - The Village Voice

Videos

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Keywords

Parenting/Family

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Artboard 3 Gun Shots
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Omaha, Nebraska. 1949
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Fantasy Costumes, Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

4m, 2f

Actor One - VASALISA / VERNA 
Actor Two - BABA YAGA / QUEENIE BARTLETT / QUEENIE 2
Actor Three - PEG / DR. RUTENSPITZ
Actor Four - DREW / STEVE
Actor Five - DR. CONSTANCE HUDSON
Actor Six - ZYGOTE / BABA YAGA DOUBLE

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Cross gender casting
  • Drag performance
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

The roles of Queenie/ Baba Yaga were originally played by the author, Charles Busch. It is not necessary for those roles to be played by a man in drag. The play tells three stories and most of the cast play several roles.

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Authors

Charles Busch

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which ran five years and is one of the longest running plays in Off-Broadway history. His play The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife ran for 777 performances on Broadway and won M ...

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The Third Story had it's World Premiere at La Jolla Playhouse in September, 2008. The New York premiere was produced by MCC Theater at The Lucille Lortel Theatre in January, 2009, directed by Carl Andress.

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