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“Charlotte's Revival”

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Scranton, Ben B. (aka Ben Scranton, American playwright, actor, singer, director, 1952-____), “Charlotte's Revival,”

a 40-minute drama in English, set in front of the Jewel Theatre, an American small-town 1950s style movie house with a marquee ten to twelve feet above center stage, late evening, autumn, 1993,

2m1f; • © 2001 by Ben Scranton; • in Ben Scranton’s Charlotte's Revival (Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A.: The Author, 2001); • script/rights available from Ben Scranton, 47 Ashbrook Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 01118, U.S.A., e-mail benlorrie@aol.com, telephone (home) 413-782-3766, (work) 413-785-1328. • Cited by Ben Scranton, via ftp March 5, 2005; Scranton says,

§ Dramatis Personae Charlie Walker (m), middle-aged, sturdy, kind, patient but no pushover, owner of the Jewel Theatre; Tommy Walker (m), 12, Charlie’s son; Charlotte Lange (f), middle-aged, soft-spoken, delicate yet with a strength of spirit just beneath the surface, a survivor who carries a tragic past with which she can’t come to terms, given to bursts of joy followed by reflective melancholy, sees life through a gauzy veil of fact and fictional movie memories.

§ Synopsis Charlotte Lange returns to the movie house of her youth. With the marquee of the Jewel Theatre looming overhead, Charlotte surprises Charlie. Charlie, in the process of changing movie titles, and is startled by this visitor. They have not seen each other since high school. Charlie does not recognize her. She is shy and emotionally delicate; tragedy has invaded her life. The memory of the life and death, many years ago, of her 3-year old son Brandon has locked her in the past. Charlie and Charlotte share some lighter moments of high school and movie memories. Charlotte produces toddlers' clothing from a black bag. Without the slightest bit of self-consciousness, she hangs the clothes from Charlie's ladder, in essence, putting her dead son Brandon on display, as a marquee would display a movie title. Tommy, is the catalyst of change. His presence brings about a shocking revelation. Charlotte reveals the manner in which her son died. She was responsible, and we learn how it happened. But, who is the father? Charlotte thinks it is time Charlie knows the truth. But is her truth, reality, or just her version of reality? The power of memory and the impression movies have upon the psyche propel Charlotte and Charlie into reviving their collective past, and paying a painful tribute to it.

§ Comment “All the action takes place in one scene. Special requirement: The theatre marquee does play an important role in the production and should be functional and realistic. However, it does not need to be ornate or overblown in design. It can be simple as long as it is functional. Characters add and remove letters to display movie titles and the names of the stars. • Production History: International Festival of Arts and Ideas, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. (a New England Actor's Theatre production); Nantucket (Massachusetts, U.S.A.) Short Play Festival, The Drama Studio, Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A. (staged reading). • Ben Scranton has been working in the theatre since 1974 as an actor, singer, playwright and director. He is the recipient of a Playwriting Fellowship from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and is a two-time recipient of the Robert R. Lehan Playwriting Award at Westfield State College, Westfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A."

§ Themes death, memory, movies, youth.

See also Ben B. Scranton's

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Page mounted March 6, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

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

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