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Ghosts in the Wallpaper

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Pizzato, Mark (American playwright, 19__-____ ) “Ghosts in the Wallpaper,”

a dark comedy set in the visitors lounge of a nursing home,

2m2f (with some double-casting),

© 1995 by Mark Pizzato;  •  contact Mark Pizzato at Department of Dance and Theatre, UNC-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC 28223, U.S.A., e-mail mpizzato@email.uncc.edu, telephone 704-547-4488, fax 704-547-3795;  •  script/rights available from Aran Press, 1320 South Third Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40208, U.S.A., telephone 502-636-0115, fax 502-634-8001, e-mail aranpres@aye.net, Website http://www.aye.net/~aranpres/index.html. Cited by Mark Pizzato via e-mail, July 10, 1995.

  §  Dramatis Personae ______ (m), 81, German-American, nursing home resident; ______ (m), ____________; ______ (f), his granddaughter; ______ (f), ____________.

  §  Synopsis “An 81 year old German-American man sits alone in his wheelchair in a nursing home, screaming at the insects and rats he sees around him. Then he realizes that they’re human beings. (He’s staring at the theatre audience the ghosts in the wallpaper of the room he’s in.) And they become different kinds of people in his wild imagination and memories. His nurse and granddaughter visit him and also become figures from his mind. But his granddaughter wants desperately to really get to know her grandfather at the end of his life. When she does glimpse some of the layers of his personality and past (his associations with Nazism in particular), it frightens her and threatens her friendship with and childhood image of her grandfather.

  §  Comment “About an aging German-American with Nazi memories/hallucinations and a granddaughter who tries to befriend him, [this play] explores the fragile and fitful ties between generations, cultures, and individual human beings.” 

  §  Themes childhood, culture gap, end of life, family, friendship, generation gap, German-Americanism, ghost, grandfather-granddaughter relationship, hallucination, imagination, memory, Nazism, nursing home, solitude, wallpaper, wheelchair-bound.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volume

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

(Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1995), ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, $39.50, plus s/h

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