Each week the expert staff of the renowned Drama Book Shop in Manhattan, just seconds away from Broadway, recommends one play that's new, interesting, or just flat-out fantastic. Picking the best of published work, they help keep us up to date and aware of the little known, broadening our horizons and encouraging dialogue. Order a play from The Drama Book Shop, read it, and e-mail them with your thoughts–they'd love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THIS WEEK’S DRAMA BOOK SHOP PICK:
The Time of Your Life
by William Saroyan
The Time of Your Life is a period piece that is still significant today. Set at the start of World War II, but written five months prior, Saroyan does what artists have forgotten how to or become afraid of doing: he stays ahead of the curve and comments on where we’re heading, and not on what has already come to pass.
Joe, the wealthy loafer, tries to help his disciple Tom save Kitty Duval, the burlesque queen turned prostitute. We have Nick, the bartender who tries to help everyone he can while keeping his business open when the head of the vice squad threatens trouble. We have another cop who wants to quit his job and his philosopher best friend, the longshoreman, who may come to blows with each other during the workers strike at the docks. We have a budding song and dance team and characters ranging from Arabs, society couples, young men who are ready to take over the world and the nurses who are weary and hesitant to fall in love with them. All of these people are searching for a new path through life when the road has suddenly disappeared before them.
Though the war is a strong focus of the piece, it only manifests itself as a shadow over the play. If it is impossible for art to reach the soldier who is on the verge of killing or being killed, it can get ready for the soldier’s son….war is tentative. Aberration is tentative. Art is not tentative. – Saroyan, 1940.
Also, be sure to read Saroyan’s introduction written in 1940. Topics include art, war, politics, and the much forgotten human experience within those areas. It is a stunning essay that every artist should devour.
Cast: 18 M, 8 W
Monologues/Scenes: With the current trend of producing television drama for the stage and Broadway becoming a community theatre for B-list actors, it’s really refreshing to read a play that is inherently theatrical and so ensemble based that no Hollywood starlet could mess it up too badly. Featuring 26 characters to choose from, almost anyone regardless of age, race, sex or type can find something to work with here.
Recommended by: Adam
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Product Details :
Publisher : Samuel French Inc Plays
Published : 08/01/1996
Format : Paperback
ISBN-10 : 0573616736
ISBN-13 : 9780573616