afterlife: a ghost story

by  Steve Yockey

Full Length Play, Drama  /  3m, 3f

A ghost story in the most literal sense, afterlife follows married couple Connor and Danielle as they prepare their beachfront home for an impending storm. But when the storm rolls in faster than expected, it may be too late for the them to escape the haunting world of unsent letters, unexpected snow, unfinished sand castles, unrelenting birds, and unforgettable loss that threatens to swallow the pair forever.

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afterlife: a ghost story

by  Steve Yockey

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Mystery/Thriller
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

A ghost story in the most literal sense, afterlife follows married couple Connor and Danielle as they prepare their beachfront home for an impending storm. They do their best to come together and get the job done while packing up items stained by painful memories they don’t know how to talk about. But when the storm rolls in faster than expected and a great wave rises up to drag them under, it may be too late for the them to come to terms with their history and escape the haunting world of unsent letters, unexpected snow, unfinished sand castles, unrelenting birds, and unforgettable loss that threatens to swallow the pair forever.
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Reviews

“…a play doesn’t have to be haunting, literally, in order to be intriguing and mysteriously compelling. Ghost or no ghost, afterlife aims to raise some goosebumps.” - American Theatre Magazine

“The haunting fright of afterlife comes not from a traditional sense of horror but from within… Yockey doesn’t present a specific view or theology or God here, but there is a sense of afterlife being a post-modern take on ‘The Divine Comedy’… ensure[s] some lively discussion on the way home from the theatre on the meaning of it all.” – New Orleans Times Picayune

“…unnerving drama… There’s scant comfort but a lot of engrossing drama in playwright Yockey’s take on the afterlife. afterlife: a ghost story is a ride most people will enjoy” - Edge Boston

“Suffice it to say that if the explosive ending of the first act delivers chills of the oldfashioned, scary-movie kind, the final scenes of afterlife leave a lingering chill of a more ambiguous sort.” - The Boston Globe

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

Cautions

  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Act 1 takes place in and around a modern beach house in the shadow of an impending storm; it has warmth to it, somewhere people live. Home. In Act 2, the stage is radically altered into 3 spare playing areas demarcated by light and markings on the ground: the inside of a small cabin, a clearing among bare birch trees and a simply appointed teahouse.
  • Additional Features: Puppetry, Special Effects
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Fantasy Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus

Casting

3m, 3f
DANIELLE - a woman, thirties, a wife, with a sharp wit and wounded heart, unrecovered and angry but putting up a front, holding a grudge epic in both scale and focus
CONNOR - a man, thirties, a husband, attractive, affable, even charming; doing his best under the circumstances, but sorely mistaken in the belief that things are getting better
YOUNG MAN - a young man, late teens, optimistic, hopeful and brave, fueled by half-memories & things collected along the way; his clothes are worse for wear
THE PROPRIETRESS - a woman, effortlessly assured, precise, very neat and put together, hospitable running her teahouse, she is the ocean and means business
THE SEAMSTRESS - a woman, a raw nerve, taunting, mocking, a guest long past her welcome and unwilling to leave; rage, regret & laughter while wasting away
BLACK BIRD - a large, articulate bird, black feathers, warm and gentle in demeanor, seemingly playful but only as a means to an end; a functionary, a messenger
POSTMAN - a letter carrier, someone who lives at sea, brusque but humane, in layers, a jacket & wool cap with a satchel; a functionary, a messenger
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Cast Attributes

  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

The "Black Bird" character is a puppet operated by the actor playing the Postman.

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Authors

Steve Yockey

Steve Yockey is a Los Angeles based writer with work produced throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. His plays Afterlife, Octopus, Large Animal Games, CARTOON, Subculture, Very Still & Hard to See, The Fisherman’s Wife, Wolves, Disassembly, and Niagara Falls & Other Plays are published and available from Samuel French. A ...

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afterlife: a ghost story was presented in workshop as a part of Southern Rep’s “New Play Bacchanal” January 21 – 24, 2010. It then opened in full production on October 23, 2010 at Southern Rep in New Orleans, LA, under Artistic Director Aimee Hayes and Managing Director Marieke Gaboury. It was directed by Aimee Hayes.

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