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“Queen for a Day”

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Lichtig, Robin Rice, “Queen for a Day,” a 45-minute comedy-drama in English, set in Arnie’s kitchen, afternoon, February, 1953,

2m1f or 1m2f  or 3f;

  ©  1993 by Robin Rice Lichtig;  •  in Robin Rice Lichtig’s Queen for a Day (Boston, Massachusetts: Baker’s Plays, Inc., 1993);  •  script/rights available from Baker’s Plays, 100 Chauncy Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111-1783, U.S.A., telephone 617-482-1280, fax 617-482-7613.  •  Robin Rice Lichtig,  780 West End Ave., #6F, New York, New York 10025, U.S.A., e-mail dramamama@nyc.rr.com, www.dramamama.net, telephone (home) 212-864-0201, fax 212-864-0201.  •  Cited by Baker’s Plays One Act Play Scripts, http://bakersplays.com/oneact.htm, accessed July 16, 2001.  •  Cited by Robin Rice Lichtig via ftp March 22, 2002; Lichtig says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Arnie (m or f), 12, strangely-adult boy, caretaker of  his mother, Lila Phillips; Neil (m or f), 12, Arnie’s friend; a straightforward youth from Tennessee; Lila Phillips (f), Arnie’s mother, , an alcoholic and TV junkie.

  §  Synopsis “On this afternoon, Lila, an alcoholic and TV junkie who’s starved for affection, waits for her son, Arnie, to come home from school. Her favorite TV show is one in which the woman contestant with the most tragic life wins. Lila is looking forward to spending the weekend with him. Without much choice in the matter, Arnie, age 12, has accepted the responsibility of caring for his mother. Remarkably, he has maintained this balancing act while doing well in school. Just now, he wants to go meet his new friend from Tennessee, but a blizzard looms over western Massachusetts. Arnie’s friend Neil shows up unexpectedly at the house to compare stamp books. A fierce competition swings into high gear, a strange tug-of-war between mother and son for Neil’s attention. Arnie desperately wants to the friend’s attention, but Arnie’s mother wants Neil for herself. Neil is the rope. Arnie, at his wit’s end, tries to keep his mother and her drinking under control. As the storm closes in, Arnie’s final act of unaccustomed disobedience seals the bond between the two boys.

  §  Comment “One scene. Unit set.  •  Casting may be creative. The characters of the boys have been very successfully acted by young women in their early 20s.  •  This award-winning script has been produced worldwide. The play won a competition at Playwrights Horizons (where the boys were very successfully played by young women) and won a national competition at TADA! Children’s Theatre in New York City.”

  §  Themes academic success, adolescence, affection, alcoholism, balancing act, blizzard, care giving, choice, desperation, dominance, friendship, male bonding, Massachusetts, responsibility, son-mother relationship, stamp book, tug-of-war, TV junkie.

See also Robin Rice Lichtig’s

  • David's Disappearance,” a 15-minute comedy-drama in English, set on a screen porch, Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.A., October, 2001, 2m
  • Embracing the Undertoad," a 35-minute comedy-drama in English, set in a small apartment in North Carolina, evening, 2002, 3f
  • "Evening Primrose in Ohio," a 30-minute comedy-drama in English, set in a laudromat, late afternoon, 1991, 1m1f
  • The Fortification of Miss Grace Wren," a 42-minute drama in English, set in a small park in New York City, late September, 2001, 1m1f
  • Grannie Bird," a 35-minute comedy-drama in English, set in Williamstown, Massachusetts, May, 1986, 1m2f
  • “Lola and the Planet of Glorious Diversity,” a 10-minute comedy, 2m4f+1m or 1f, available elsewhere
  • “Longing for Tangier," a 45-minute comedy in English, set ___, 2m2f+3m or 3f, minimum cast of 5 with doubling, available elsewhere
  • Patience and Mr. Potter," a 12-minute comedy in English, set in an overgrown lot, New York City, February, summer, 1910, 2m
  • Roses to Plan," a 12-minute comedy in English, set in a kitchen in Brooklyn, NY, morning, 2000, 1m1f
  • “Saint Anthony and the Appendix," a 35-minute comedy in English, 3m2f, available elsewhere
  • Sitting Duck Season," a 17-minute drama in English, set in a cabin in a Vermont forest, autumn, 2001, 1m1f
  • Squeezing Papayas," a 5-minute comedy in English, set on a terrace on hill outside of Mexico City, early summer morning, 2002, 1m1f

  • “White Light,” a surreal drama in English, 2m3f+2m or 2f, available elsewhere

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    Page mounted May 3, 2002, and updated May 4, 2002, by the Webmaster.

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