Schroeder, Robert (American playwright, 1917-1997), “Best Laid Plans,”
a 45-minute comedy in English, set in a venerable family home of an American town, 1995,
• © 1995 by Robert Schroeder; • script/rights available from 203 263-2546, Popular Play Service, P.O. Box 1206, Woodbury, Connecticut 06798, U.S.A., e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone (work) 203 263-2546, fax 203 263-6232. • Cited by Popular Play Service, via ftp November 10, 1999; Popular Play Service says,
§ Dramatis Personae Amelia (f), 75, becoming afflicted with, but undaunted by age; Karen (f), 45, Amelia’s daughter, vibrant, energetic, purposeful, and busy, busy, busy, now living with her family in a city suburb several hours away from the town in which she was raised; Dan (m), 21, Karen’s son, Joan’s brother, at a belated, awkward standoff between adolescence and young manhood, at times, he compensating for his tenuous self-image with excessive verbal or antic display; Joan (f), 17, Karen’s daughter, Dan’s sister, a pretty girl, trim and lithe, reserved and diffident, despite her careful grooming and ready intelligence.
§ Synopsis “Amelia has lived in her rural town all her life. Now 71, she has determined she wants to stay in her own home until she dies. She also has decided to pass along to her grandson, Don, the business her late husband had founded. Her daughter Karen, however, sees things differently. Caught up in a constant whirl of fashionable urban activity, Karen and her husband see Amelia’s wanting to live our her life at home and their son Don’s new-found ambition, as too financially risky to themselves. They have decided it is time for Amelia to sell the business and her home to the highest cash bidder, thus financing Amelia’s move into a life-care facility. Agendas thus in conflict, Karen, Dan and Karen’s daughter Joan arrive at Grandma’s on an autumn Sunday. Karen proposes a carefully-prepared plan that would turn Amelia’s and Dan's family loyalty to Karen’s personal advantage. Amelia combines a philosophical calm with a firm response, while Joan tries a finesse. Eager, but inexperienced, Dan manages to match his mother and grandmother in playing for the highest stakes of his life. At the height of the contention, Dan, in his blossoming maturity, persuades his mother to relent. All come to realize that all the family truly has is the love they share with one another.
§ Comment “Winner of the Henrico Theatre Company (Virginia, U.S.A.) national One-Act Playwriting Competition, and the National Playwriting competition conducted by The University of Arkansas (U.S.A.); chosen for the Mark Twain Masquers Playwriting Competition (Connecticut, U.S.A.), and the Theatre Company New Plays, New York City. Requires no set and only carry-on props. The action occurs in a single scene.”
§ Themes aging, family, generation gap, grandmother-grandson relationship, greed, home, maturity, mother-daughter relationship, mother-son relationship, nursing home, reconciliation, senior.
See also Robert Schroeder’s
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