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The Cuckoo Song

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Schäfer, Heldor (Canadian playwright, director, 1946-____), “The Cuckoo Song,”

a 60-minute drama in English, set in former army barracks converted to low-cost housing, somewhere in Germany, early evening, a few years after World War II,


  •  © 1989 by Heldor Schäfer;  •  script/rights available from Heldor Schäfer, 4533 Tiedemann Place, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, e-mail my@islandnet.com, telephone (home) 250-477-6055, www.islandnet.com/my/playscripts.  •  Cited by Heldor Schäfer via ftp November 29, 1998; Schafer says,

Dramatis Personae Donya (f), a refugee; Stockel (m), an elderly amputee; Michael (m), Donya’s son; Lisa (f), Michael’s friend.

Synopsis “A refugee from an eastern European country now living in post-war Germany, Donya tries to come to grips with her loneliness and alienation in this strange land. Having lost all but a distant brother to the ravages of war, she escapes by reminiscing about the aristocratic status she used to enjoy in her homeland. While her husband has been at sea for 18 months, her only friend is an elderly amputee who also has taken her young son, Michael, under his wings. As the three while away the early evening hours playing a board game, Stockel carelessly drops hints about Donya’s husband’s infidelity in foreign ports.
During the bitter quarrel that ensues, Michael runs out of the house, into the night. Led by his friend, Lisa, a search party discovers him in his hideaway—a barbed wired foxhole—clutching an old hand grenade. The waking boy unwittingly triggers the grenade. The survivors’ struggles have only just begun, as they all, each in his and her own way, try to cope with the loss of life and innocence.”

Comment __________

Themes alienation, amputation, aristocratic status, board game, death, dispossessed, Eastern Europe, family, foxhole, hand grenade, hideaway, homeland, infidelity, innocence, loneliness, marriage, mother-son relationship, old age, post-World War II Germany, refugee, reminiscence, sea, search, separation, war.

See also Heldor Schäfer’s:
  • Dropping Ballast,” a 60-minute comedy-drama in English, set in a shopping mall, around noon, 2002, 1m2f


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