Infancy

by  Thornton Wilder

Short Play, Comedy  /  3m, 2f

"It is wonderful to have an original, ever youthful and increasingly wise writer like Thornton Wilder back in the theatre." -The New York Times
Babies act like grown-ups and grown-ups act like babies in this comedy about fulfilling basic human needs.

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License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    30 minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Scene work
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Millie the nursemaid brings baby Tommy to Central Park in the hopes of a rendezvous with the handsome Patrolman Avonzino. Mrs. Boker soon arrives with baby Moe, and as the two ladies trade snacks and advice on child rearing, the infants compare notes on their parents' bad behavior and pitiful lack of understanding. Babies act like grown-ups and grown-ups act like babies in this comedy about fulfilling basic human needs.

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Reviews

REVIEWS

"It is wonderful to have an original, ever youthful and increasingly wise writer like Thornton Wilder back in the theatre. " -The New York Times

"All children, emerging from the egocentric monsterhood of infancy- 'Gimme! Gimme!' cries the Nero in the bassinet-are out to win their way-from their parents, playmates, from 'life,' from all that is bewildering and inexplicable in themselves. They are also out to win some expression of themselves as individuals." -Thornton Wilder in The Paris Review Interviews, 1957

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Outdoor
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance
    $125 with other plays in collection

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Setting: Central Park, New York City
  • Additional Features: Local Celebrity Cameo, No intermission, Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes

Music

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

Casting

3m, 2f
OFFICER AVONZINO
MISS MILLIE WILCHICK - a nursemaid
TOMMY - a baby in her care
MRS. BOKER
MOE - her baby boy
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Local Celebrity Cameo
  • Multicultural casting

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Authors

Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Yale and Princeton, was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience.

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Infancy was first produced at the Circle in the Square Theater in New York on January 10, 1962, as one of three plays grouped as "Plays for Bleecker Street". It was televised in 1966 and repeated in 1970.

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