Dog Opera

by  Constance Congdon

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  5m, 2f

"Insinuates itself into the consciousness like a conversation in the next booth at a diner...Everything slowly comes to together to form a coherent, sometimes funny and finally moving contemporary comedy." - The New York Times

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Peter and Madeline have been friends since they were teenagers in Queens. They have Manhattan apartments and separate unsatisfactory sex lives. Though more loving than most couples and searching for partners, they are incompatible: he is gay. Maddi is overweight and drawn to men who treat her badly. He hides behind snappy retorts and skepticism. Maddie's alcoholic mother, Peter's father, lovers, pickups, and friends with AIDS move through their lives. A homeless teenager, a thief, and a poet who would rather be called a whore than a hustler because he doesn't try that hard, address the audience to throw everyone's problems into perspective.

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Reviews

REVIEWS

"Insinuates itself into the consciousness like a conversation in the next booth at a diner...Everything slowly comes to together to form a coherent, sometimes funny and finally moving contemporary comedy...It's a singular work created by an imagination of redeeming freedom and eccentricity." - The New York Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: New York City and environs, in the present, and briefly in Greece.

Casting

5m, 2f

PETER SZCZEPANEK - 35+, insecure about his looks, secure about his homosexuality, vulnerable, very VERY funny, good blue-collar Catholic boy raised in Queens who made the very long trip into Manhattan to have an interesting life.
MADELINE NEWELL - 35+, insecure about her looks, chubby or more, heterosexual, very VERY funny, good blue-collar Catholic girl raised in Queens who made the very long trip into Manhattan to go to NYU so she could have an interesting life.
CHARLIE SZCZEPANEK - 58 or so, about to retire from the NYPD where he's had a desk job after 20 years as a homicide detective an ten years on the beat. A widower of several years and Pete's father.
BERNICE NEWELL - early sixties, not in good health, bur irascible and matter-of-fact. Tough old broad, Madeline's mother.
JACKIE - 17, from Midwest, on the street for a year or so, a hooker who dances to taped music.
STEVEN - an anal, cheerful date of Peter's
JOE'S LOVER - 30+. speaks at Joe's memorial service
CHRIS - an old boyfriend of Peter's now quite ill
DAVID - a flirty male teacher who works with Madeline at the elementary school and pretends to be heterosexual
BRAD - a waiter at Peter's favorite bar called the Morocco
RUBY - an older transvestite who also works at the Moroccan
HANK - one-time boyfriend of Madeline's that she thought she was cured of. Would rather watch football than have sex. Jealous of Peter.
STARVOS - Greek man who lives on Mykonos and sleeps with tourists.
DALE WILLIAMSON - frol Duluth, Minnesota and in her fifties, traveling with a group of Americans, single and looking for fun.
DORIS - older gay woman, forty-five or so, who is alone and goes to the girl bar to pick up someone.
SANNY - an old guy of questionable sexuality who's lived in Brooklyn all his life.
ARAPAHOE - beautiful Native American man who's been circling the earth for a long time, carrying souls of the dying and just-dead.

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

This play works best with an ensemble of actors playing several roles with the exception of JACKIE, MADELINE, PETER. Doubling below.

MOTHER (BERNICE) ACTOR - Benrice, Ruby, Dale, perhaps Sanny
BOYFRIEND (TIM) ACTOR - Steven, Chris, David, Hank, Tim
BOYFRIEND (STAVROS) ACTOR - Joe's Lover, Stavros, Man (Gay Street), Arapahoe
CHARLIE ACTOR - Charlie, Sanny (if not played by MOTHER ACTOR)

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Authors

Constance Congdon

Constance Congdon has been called "one of the best playwrights our country and our language has ever produced" by playwright Tony Kushner in Kushner's introduction to her collection Tales of the Lost Formicans ...

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First produced Off Broadway at The Joseph Papp Public Theatre

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