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Wanda Van Goor cast photos

Cheryl Collins (Lula), Wanda Van Goor (Elsie), Elaine Kaas (May), Robert Barshay (Dr. Barnard)

“Poor Old Betsy”

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Kalejaiye, Dipo (American playwright, college professor, 19__-____), “Poor Old Betsy,” a 45-minute absurdism in English, set in a hospital ward, U.S.A., evening, 2002,

1m3f; • © 2002 by Dipo Kalejaiye; • in Dipo Kalejaiye’s Poor Old Betsy (Manassas Park, Virginia, U.S.A.: The Author, 2002); • script/rights available from www.cravingartist.com, 2401 Blueridge Avenue, Suite 310, Wheaton Maryland 20902 U.S.A.; or available from Dipo Kalejaiye, 183 Holden Drive, Manassas Park, Virginia 20111, U.S.A., e-mail dkalejaiye@pgcc.edu, telephone (home) 703-392-9696, (work) 301-322-0567, fax 301-322-0549. • Cited by Dipo Kalejaiye via ftp September 15, 2003; Kalejaiye says,

§ Dramatis Personae Barnard (m), 50, Caucasian, a medical doctor; Elsie (f), 75, Caucasian, hospital patient; Lula (f), 38, African-American, Elsie’s nurse; May (f), 35, Caucasian, Elsie's daughter.

§ Synopsis “Elsie is sick and she is in the hospital. Lula, her African-American Nurse and companion for 15 years, is with her in the hospital to comfort her and to offer companionship. Elsie complains of ‘giant ants’ on the walls, but Lula cautions her that there are no 'giant ants' on the walls. She listens to her complain about her cat, Betsy, that died in a violent snowstorm. Lula knows that Elsie is despondent about her dead cat and wants her back! May, who is estranged from her mother, is irritated by her ‘irrational behavior’ and her attachment to the dead cat. She tries to offer emotional support, but Elsie refuses it. Elsie asks for the doctor, and begs that her I.V. be removed. Lula and May refuse. Elsie, in monologues, describes how close her cat was to her. Lula and May go for a coffee break. Doctor Barnard appears to give her a checkup. In a fairly hilarious scene between them, Elsie attempts to give the medical doctor a language lesson. She again begs that the I.V., which she calls a ‘fire-breathing monster,’ be removed from her arm. The doctor refuses, cautions her not to fiddle with the I.V., and leaves. Elsie gets up from her bed and conducts an imaginary symphony orchestra in Ode to Joy. She removes the I.V. As she dances and works herself into frenzy, she suffers a heart attack and dies. Lula and May return to find Elsie sprawled on the ground.

§ Comment “’Poor Old Betsy’ premiered at the Hallam Theater, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, Maryland, U.S.A., January 31, 2002.” • Dipo Kalejaiye is Associate Professor, Department of English, Prince George’s Community College, Largo, Maryland, U.S.A. • Research could include Dipo Kalejaiye’s “The Father of Secrets,” a 45-minute one-act drama in English, set in Ibadan, Nigeria, during the Nigerian Civil War (1966-71), 3m2f, available from the playwright. "The Father of Secrets," won the James D. Phelan Literary Award for Excellence in Playwrighting.

§ Themes absurdism, alienation, caregiving, cat, death, delusion, family, hospital, love, mother-daughter relationship, Ode to Joy, pet.

See also Dipo Kalejaiye's

  • "Polygyny," a 45-minute comedy-satire in English in three scenes, set in a living room, Nigeria, 1985, 2m2f

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted September 18, 2003, and updated October 1, 5, 8, 9, 10, November 3, 2003, by the Webmaster.

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