Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online

"Grave Matters"

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Mellencamp, Peter (American playwright, screenwriter, story analyst, 1954- ), "Grave Matters,"

a 20-minute farcical, black comedy thriller in English, set in a graveyard, day, 1993,


© 1993, script/rights available from Peter Mellencamp, Cited to Webmaster by playwright via ftp, June 15, 1997; Mellencamp says,

Dramatis Personae Alicia (f), a spiritualist; Sara (f), an academic; Peggy (f), a schemer; Richard (m), ghost/detective

Synopsis "Alicia, a dour spiritualist, visits her husband's graveyard. She meets Sara, who has come to visit the grave of her ex-lover. These two argue about spirituality, then they meet Peggy, who has come to visit her dog's grave in the adjoining pet cemetery. Soon, Sara and Alicia realize they've both come to visit the same grave: Sara's lover was Alicia's husband. And then Peggy tells them that the grave they are fighting over is actually her dog's. . . . Then, Peggy reveals that actually, she planned all this: Alicia is the mother who abandoned her at an early age, resulting in Peggy's paranoia-and Sara was the professor who seduced one of her impressionable female students (Peggy) and broke her heart. So now Peggy has arranged for these two to learn that the man they loved was unfaithful to them. But neither is as devastated as Peggy wanted, so she shoots them both dead. Then the ghost of her father Richard (Alicia's husband/Sara's lover) appears. He says he never loved Peggy, and that he killed her beloved dog-so she reveals that she killed Richard by setting fire to his house with him in it-whereupon Richard reveals that he is not a ghost, he is Richard's identical twin brother, a police detective, who has set up Peggy to confess to murdering Richard. Peggy faints. It is now revealed that Richard is in fact Richard; he was not in the house when Peggy burned it, and he set all of this up so he could get rid of Alicia and Sara, and Peggy, too. But in the end, Richard turns out to be just as much a patsy as anyone else."

Themes death, ghost, graveyard, grief, murder, spiritualism.

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Page updated June 22, 1997, June 11, 2000, 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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