Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online

"Fire Damage"

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West, Carolyn (American playwright, 1970- ), "Fire Damage,"

a 10-minute drama in English set in a cemetery, early evening,


© 1997 by Carolyn West; script/rights available from Carolyn West, telephone (home) 215-843-2299, e-mail, Cited by playwright via ftp, July 5, 1997; West says,

Dramatis Personae Mary (f), wife; Todd (m), husband

Synopsis "Mary sits at the grave of her two-year-old son, Sam, who recently died in a house fire. Todd, her husband enters. He has been looking for Mary. Their relationship is awkward and formal. Todd ties to make conversation and Mary takes offense to what he says. Todd wants to know where Mary has been that day. She will not tell him. He finally confronts her and she admits to having seen a divorce lawyer. Confused and surprised, Todd tries to talk Mary out of the divorce. She is confused, too. She is not sure she wants a divorce-all she knows is that since Sam died she has been very angry at Todd. He saved her life in a fire and she hates him for it. Probing deeper, Mary realizes she is angry because Todd saved her and not their son. Todd admits that, since he only had enough time to save either Mary or Sam, he was not going to rescue the baby. He loves Mary and cannot live without her. This is all Mary needs to hear. She knows now that their marriage cannot be saved. She leaves Todd.

Comment "I became intrigued with the idea for this play after talking to several men who said that if they had to choose between their wives and their children they would choose their wives. That made little sense to me, being a woman. You always save the child. There is never any question. I wanted to know what a man would do if he had chosen to save his wife and she came to hate him for it."

Themes cemetery, death, divorce, family, fire, grief, hate, perspective, rage, rescue.

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Page updated August 3, 1997, by the site Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online
complements the print volume

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

by Lewis W. Heniford

(Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1995), ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, $39.50, plus s/h
Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706
telephone 800-462-6420 or 301-459-3366, fax 800-338-4550

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