Hinkle, Vernon (American playwright, writer, director, teacher, 1935-____), “Close,”
a 35-minute comedy-drama in English (or a radio version in Greek), set in the living room of a small hotel suite, New York City, and in Oklahoma and Greece, fall to spring, 1989-1990,
© 1996 by Vernon Hinkle, • script/rights available from Vernon Hinkle, 33 Bump Hill Road, Greenfield Center, NY 12833, U.S.A., telephone (home) 518-893-2111, e-mail email@example.com. Cited by Vernon Hinkle, via postal mail, June 8, 1998; Hinkle says,
§ Dramatis Personae
Harvey Fancher (m), 62, Mensa member, CPA from Muskogee, Oklahoma, U.S.A.;
Chistina Drivas (f), 22, Mensa member, travel agent from Salonika, Greece.
§ Synopsis “Harvey Fancher emerges from mourning for his wife into the realization that there are still some possibilities left in his own life if he has the courage to venture. A member of Mensa, the society of people with exceptionally high IQs, Harvey finds a pen pal, fellow-Mensan Christina Drivas in Greece. The forty-years difference in their ages is unimportant during their warm correspondence, and it appears to remain so when they first meet in New York. Over their evening together they compare the numbers they have played in the New York Lottery to the winning numbers. Contriving to make the adventure last, Harvey tells a story about savoring the moment. The story Christina tells in return reveals a great psychic need and impatience. The final lottery number shows Harvey narrowly missing a three-million-dollar jackpot. In a final coda of correspondence, he tells her he needs to get on with the rest of his life alone, and her needs exceed his days. He encloses his lottery ticket—which is, after all, a winner—because, while such a windfall has no place in his life, she certainly needs it for hers. However, this gives her the independence to be anywhere she wants to be, including his home town.
§ Comment “The placing of the play in the very recent past is for two reasons: it makes the New York lottery a bit more unique than it is today, and it makes possible the date-oriented numbers Harvey plays in the lottery. Besides the English version, there is a Greek translation that was done for performance over Athens radio. The play can be combined with the author's ‘Close’ and ‘Deus Ex Machina’ to make a full evening starring an older actor.
§ Themes aspirations, grief, independence, lottery, May-December relationship, Mensa, pen pal, wealth.
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