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“Deus Ex Machina”

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Hinkle, Vernon (American playwright, writer, director, teacher, 1935-____), “Deus Ex Machina,”

a 35-minute comedy in English, set in a sparsely-furnished, third-floor walkup studio apartment in the “big city,” summer, 1952,


© 1996 by Vernon Hinkle,  • script/rights available from Vernon Hinkle, 33 Bump Hill Road, Greenfield Center, NY 12833, U.S.A., telephone (home) 518-893-2111, e-mail vhinkle@sescva.esc.edu. Cited by Vernon Hinkle, via postal mail, June 8, 1998; Hinkle says,

  § Dramatis Personae Alan Morris (m), 21, college student; Judy Fykes (f), 17,about to enter collge; Richard Williams (m), 70, Deus Ex Machina.

  § Synopsis “Judy knocks on Alan’s door and he lets her in. The situation soon heats up between this young man and the girl who is technically underage. At a decisive moment, however, they are interrupted by the appearance of Detective Williams, who soon sends Judy home, then confronts Alan with the dire consequences that he claims have been averted by the well-timed official visit. However, Williams has only been impersonating an officer. He won’t be pinned down about who he really is, but he does seem to know all about Alan’s future, and past. The future will be a dismal existence falling far short of the young man’s dreams, unless he accepts a considerable amount of money, and agrees to never see Judy again. Tempted but unable to accept the miracle at face value, Alan needs to know who Williams really is. Williams offers to be anyone Alan can believe in, proposing and briefly becoming several choices. But in the end, Williams resorts to being the man with the gun. Left alone with the possibility of the gun’s return on the one hand and potential riches on the other, Alan does not open the door to Judy when she knocks on it a second time.

  § Comment “This play could be combined with the author’s ‘Close’ and 'May to December' to round out an evening starring an older actor.”

  § Themes age of consent, angel, bribery,  detective, dream, gun, impersonation, miracle, omniscience, role playing, second chance, wealth.

See also Vernon Hinkle’s
  • “Close,” a 35-minute comedy-drama in English (or a radio version in Greek), set in the living room of a small hotel suite, New York City, and in Oklahoma and Greece, fall to spring, 1989-1990, 1m1f
  • “Local Motive,”a 30-minute comedy in English, set a living room of house on edge of woods, dusk to dawn, spring, 1998, 1m1f

  • “May to December,” a 23-minute comedy in English, set in the former dining room of a small house in a small town, 1995, 2m1f

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