The Sunken Living Room

by  David Caudle

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2m, 2f

"A moving period drama about emotional abandonment...a witty and deep piece on many levels." -nytheatre.com
November, 1978. Wade Minnick, 16, is a slender, effeminate bookworm in suburban Miami. With his distracted mother out playing Bridge, and his pilot father away on a trip, Wade settles down in the family's showpiece living room to read A Passage To India.

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The Sunken Living Room

by  David Caudle

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    105 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

November, 1978. Wade Minnick, 16, is a slender, effeminate bookworm in suburban Miami. With his distracted mother out playing Bridge, and his pilot father away on a trip, Wade settles down in the family's showpiece living room to read A Passage To India. His volatile brother Chip, 17, takes off on a dubious errand, leaving Wade alone with Chip's foxy pothead girlfriend. "Freak" Tammy teaches "brain" Wade more about life and about himself than he could learn from a dozen novels. And when Chip returns, having scored and snorted some serious drugs, Wade's gonna need every ounce of his newfound courage and compassion.
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Reviews

REVIEWS:

"A moving period drama about emotional abandonment...a witty and deep piece on many levels." -nytheatre.com

"...Unsettling, funny, poignant... Caudle's writing is full of humor, compassion, keen observation and period-perfect language..." -The Miami Herald

"...Sharp period piece... blistering family drama... The Sunken Living Room is a drama with much to say about growing up too soon in a world that's moving too fast." -Sun Sentinel

"Sidelined by the hurricanes, The Sunken Living Room is back at home in Miami, all the better for South Florida audiences, who get to be the first of what will surely be many audiences to experience this delicious drama." -Miami ArtZine

"David Caudle's new play... is a rarity: a realistic, linear comedy-drama that holds and entertains its audience with an authentic slice of dysfunctional family life."...funny, touching and disturbing, ...dramatically buoyant theatre." -Times-Picayune

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Considerations

Performing Groups

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

Cautions

  • Caution Drugs Drugs
  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Nudity Nudity/Partial Nudity
  • Caution Open Flame Open Flame
  • Caution Smoking Smoking

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1980s
  • Duration: 105 Minutes
  • Setting: Miami, 1978. The sunken living room in a suburban home.
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

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

Casting

2m, 2f
WADE - 16, a scrawny, naive bookworm who is not yet aware that he's gay
LYNNETTE - early 40s, Wade's attractive but distracted mother
CHIP - 17, Wade's sexy, athletic, volatile brother
TAMMY - 17, Chip's sexually-experienced pothead girlfriend
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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Features Teens
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

David Caudle

David Caudle is a recent alumnus of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, where he has developed several plays, including Downward Facing Debbie, Likeness, Leg Man, South Beach Rapture, Damsel and The Common Swallow, and most recently, the original musical Show People, with music composed b ...

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The Sunken Living Room received its world premiere at the New Theatre in Miami, Florida, in a co-production with Southern Rep on September 27, 2006. It was directed by Ryan Rilette. HOWL! Arts Project and The Actors Fund presented the NYC premiere of The Sunken Living Room in September, 2010 during their benefit festival at Theatre 80.

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