The Last Schwartz

by  Deborah Zoe Laufer

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  3m, 3f

"Incendiary drama and wickedly self-deprecating humor... she shows herself to be a vital new voice for the theater willing to wade into potentially abrasive waters and skillful enough to cut the sting with laughter." - Palm Beach Post

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The Last Schwartz

by  Deborah Zoe Laufer

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

The Schwartz family is on its last legs. Their father's dead and their Catskills home is up for sale. Norma's husband hasn't spoken to her since she turned their 15 year old son in for smoking pot. After five miscarriages it appears Herb's wife won't provide him with an heir. Simon has one foot on the moon. Gene's girlfriend is about to have an abortion. And nobody seems very clear about what it is to be a family anyway.

What is it to be a family? Does anybody care any more? Is Judaism all there is to hold the family together? Or is that what it will take to push the family apart? As Simon says, the Earth as we know it is really on its last legs too. When all of mankind is blown into oblivion, who's going to care whether there were Jews? Or how hard a few generations fought to keep the faith alive? The Cherry Orchard takes a holiday in the Catskills as the Schwartz family congregates, maybe for the last time, on the one-year anniversary of their father's death.
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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Laufer brings a freewheeling imagination and a distinctive comic voice." - The Boston Globe, Read More

"The inventive Laufer keeps the surprises coming...[with] a comic rhythm that’s snappy and occasionally kooky yet never pushy." - Washington Post, Read More 

"Incendiary drama and wickedly self-deprecating humor... she shows herself to be a vital new voice for the theater willing to wade into potentially abrasive waters and skillful enough to cut the sting with laughter." - Palm Beach Post

"... A beautifully crafted new play that weaves hilarity, mystery and loss into a resonant tale about a family's disintegration." - The Miami Herald

"The Last Schwartz is rollicking, sad, shocking, goofy, and thoughtful. It is comic drama firing on all cylinders, a superb work of theater by a playwright in full command of her considerable gift for character and dialogue." - The Washington Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Drugs Drugs

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The Schwartz ancestral home in upstate NewYork.

Casting

3m, 3f
NORMA - 45. The eldest Schwartz. The keeper of the flame. Fervently self-righteous and religious, but hungry for family.
HERB - 40. The oldest Schwartz brother. Financial wizard.
BONNIE - 30’s. Herb’s wife. Generally on the verge of hysteria. Weeps easily. Desperately wants a baby. Has converted to Judaism.
SIMON - 35. The middle brother. An astronomer. Going blind. He wears coke-bottle thick glasses, a very loose-fitting cotton outfit, and white gloves.
GENE - 30. The youngest brother. Directs TV commercials. The family’s golden boy and a bit of a kiss-up.
KIA - 20. A starlet from L.A. She lives to have fun. Can turn any interaction into a party.
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Authors

Deborah Zoe Laufer

Deborah Zoe Laufer’s plays have been produced at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Portland Stage, and eighty other theaters around the country, in Germany, Russia and Canada. End Days was awarded The ATCA Steinberg ci ...

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The Last Schwartz premiered at Florida Stage in West Palm Beach, FL under the direction of Louis Tyrrell.

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