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“Heart-Beat”

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Rader, R.G. (American playwright, professor, actor, October 9, 1950-____), “Heart-Beat,”

a 35-minute drama in English, set in a hospital room, timeless since two characters are in a coma,

2m2f; • © 2000 by R.G. Rader; • in R.G. Rader’s Heart-Beat (Passaic, New Jersey, U.S.A.: The Author, 2000); • script/rights available from R.G. Rader, 73 Pennington Avenue, Passaic, New Jersey 07055, U.S.A., e-mail jazzdeux@aol.com, telephone (home) 973-777-3588, (work) 201-800-4603. • Cited by R.G. Rader via ftp February 26, 2005; Rader says,

§ Dramatis Personae Joseph (m), 65, disheveled yet sophisticated and appealing, any race; Marvin (m), 40, average looks; Doris (f), 40, Joseph's daughter with average looks, worrisome demeanor and intelligent; Jeanie (pronounced Gee-nee) (f), 30, flirtatious but not obvious, intelligent, any race.

§ Synopsis “Joseph rises from his hospital bed to make audience-directed comments about his daughter and son-in-law. A young woman enters. She is also in a coma. They both begin a search for where they are. In the course of their attempting to find who each other is and where they are, Joseph's daughter, Gladys, and son-in-law, Marvin, find that their concern for her father and each other are more than what they thought it to be. More importantly, Jeanie teaches Joseph the meaning of love and the importance of living for the moment through a series of confrontations between the two that include in order: an acrobatic balancing act, a slow dance to the music of Billy Holiday, and a polka near the end of the play. Finally, Joseph understands, Jeanie leaves, and Joseph dies peacefully in his coma.

§ Comment “There are no division of scenes in the play with nonstop action once the play begins. The play can take place in an ordinary hospital room, but the playwright wrote the play with a German-expressionist setting in mind, since the two main characters are in a coma for all of the play until the end. As noted in the character sketches, all characters can be of any race. • Premiered at the University of Pittsburgh (Bradford campus). • R.G. Rader is a playwright-in-residence and actor with Arrowhead Theater Company in New York City, a professor of English and Theater at a college in New Jersey, and has had his plays performed throughout the Eastern United States, including New York City. In addition to his work as a playwright, he has three published collections of his poetry and writes articles on politics and American society for the British journal, Society Matters.”

§ Themes commitment, fourth wall convention, friendship, in darkness is light, love, May-December love, self-discovery, strange circumstances.



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Page mounted February 27, 2005, and updated February 28, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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

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