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Abernathy, Brian (American playwright, student, 1976-____), “Timing,”

a 20-minute drama in English, set in a nursing home,


  •  © 1998 by Brian Abernathy;  •  script/rights available from Brian Abernathy, 1028 Spruce Street, #7, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, U.S.A., telephone (home) 843-332-6764, e-mail abrian476@aol.com.  •  Cited by Brian Abernathy, via ftp January 4, 1999; Abernathy says,

  §  Dramatis Personae __________ (m), elderly father; __________ (m), parenting child; __________ (f), elderly mother; __________ (f), parenting child.

  §  Synopsis “An elderly man and woman have been placed in a nursing home by his daughter and her son.  Through rhythmic dialogue resembling the motion of a rocking chair, they speak of how things were, are, and will be. They reveal clearly their dreams and fears in relation to each other. The parents sense betrayal by their children, and the children attempt to justify their own actions and emotions.  These issues are never resolved. What is resolved, however, is that the children view their parents as deceased and that the parents view their children as dead.

  §  Comment “I became a father to my father in June, 1996, after he suffered severe brain damage as a consequence of cardiac arrest.  Since that time, I have struggled with whether death would have been better and easier for him and our family than his survival is. Timing is a play that explores these feelings from both his and my viewpoints. 'Timing' was produced as part of the Off-Off Broadway Original Short Play Festival in New York City in April 1999.”

  §  Themes betrayal, child as parent, dream, family, father-daughter relationship, fear, irresolution, justification, mother-son relationship, nursing home, old age, parent as child, perspective, reminiscence, role reversal.

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted March 31, 1999, and updated September 28, 1999, March 8, 2003, by the site Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

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

(Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1995), ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, ISBN 0-8108-3600-9

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