"Climbing Dunn Falls"

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Philbin, Bob (American playwright and writer, March 2, 1945- ), "Climbing Dunn Falls,"

a 30-minute light drama in English set in backyard deck of a middle class suburban home, a fall evening, 1997,


© 1997 by Bob Philbin, script/rights available from Bob Philbin, telephone (work): 717-975-2148. Cited to Webmaster by playwright via e-mail; Philbin says,

Synopsis "On Thanksgiving day, Carrie, Helen, and their husbands Sam and Ted have just returned from a country-club dinner to Carrie and Sam's house for after-dinner drinks. Helen discusses country-club politics, the pending visit of the opera singer Pavarotti, which Helen's husband Sam has arranged as a charity event for the club. Carrie feels underappreciated at the club, particularly since the artist's reception will not be at her house. Ted joins the conversation, joking about sex and the possibilities for adventure. Sam joins the conversation. The strain in his and Carrie's relationship emerges. The banter and joking leads to Helen's recalling an amusing incident on a cruise that the two couples took to Jamaica a few years back. This reminds Sam of a climb he and his deceased son took up Dunn Falls one afternoon. Sam concludes his recollection by announcing his separation from Carrie. Sam and Carrie recount the details of the afternoon their son drowned in their backyard pool. Carrie's preoccupation with social events played a role in the accident. A confrontation and argument between the two ends with Carrie's retreat into the house. Helen defends Carrie, and Ted (a lawyer) explains Sam's legal situation. Then Ted and Helen leave. When Carrie rejoins Sam on the deck, they confront their feelings about the son's accident and the three years of buried feelings that followed. Sam says he's leaving. Carrie lures him to the bedroom, saying, "You can always leave me in morning, can't you Sam?" Reluctantly at first, then with joy, Sam goes to join Carrie in the bedroom, resolving for the moment their conflict.

Comment "In a live reading, the audience was moved by the very real conflict between Sam and Carrie. There was a visible and audible reaction from the audience when Sam went to Carrie in the bedroom at the end of the play. The script plays well with young adults and up."

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Page updated April 4, 1997, 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
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