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“The Dearest of Friends”

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Foote, Horton (American playwright, screenwriter, 1916-____), “The Dearest of Friends [from The Roads to Home]”

a 25-minute drama in English, set in the Vontaugh’s living room in their apartment, Houston, Texas, early fall, 1924,


 •  © 1982,  •  in Horton Foote’s Selected One-Act Plays of Horton Foote, edited by Gerald C. Wood (Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.: Southern Methodist University Press, 1989), ISBN 0-87074-274-4, ISBN 0-87074-275-2 (published with and should play with “A Nightingale,” a drama, 1m3f; and “Spring Dance,” a drama, 3m1f); also in The Roads to Home, acting edition (New York: Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 1982), LCCN 82-240554, ISBN 0-8222-0958-6, DPS 3845;  •  script available from Lucy Kroll Agency, 390 West End Avenue, Suite 9B New York, NY 10024, U.S.A., 212 877-0556, fax 212-769-2832.  •  also, script/rights available from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 440 Park Avenue South, New York, New York, 212-683-8960, fax 212-213-1539, http://www.dramatists.com, postmaster@dramatists.com, DPS 3845. Cited by Allen L. Hubby via e-mail hubby@interport.net, March 20, 1997, and by Horton Foote via ftp July 7, 2000. The following information derives from both communications.

  §  Dramatis Personae Mabel Votaugh (f), 42, wife of Jack; Jack Votaugh (m), 45, husband Mabel; Vonnie Hayhurst (f), 40, wife of Eddie, neighbor of Mabel; Eddie Hayhurst (m), 45, husband of Vonnie.

  §  Synopsis Several months later [than “A Nightingale”], Vonnie’s husband, involved with another woman, wants a divorce. Mabel and her husband, Jack, sympathize with Vonnie’s plight but, again, cannot face its disturbing implications.

  §  Comment Annie from “A Nightingale” has been committed to an asylum, so this second play presents the Votaughs and the Hayhursts trying to cope with the aftermath of very traumatic train ride back to Harrison that threatens the marriage of Vonnie and Eddie Hayhurst.  •  “The Dearest of Friends” is the second play of a trilogy entitled The Roads to Home, which ties into the exploits of the Vaughn family from Harrison, Texas, from Foote’s earlier work, The Orphan's Home Cycle.  •  The Manhattan Punch Line Theatre, Inc., in association with Indian Falls Productions, at the Manhattan Punch Line Theatre in New York City premiered The Roads to Home on March 25, 1982.  •  “A critical and popular off-Broadway success, these evocative and beautifully written short plays blend humor and poignance [sic] as they probe gently into the crises besetting a group of Texas friends and neighbors. . . . [A] loving, fierce portrait of a sweet-tempered, brutal culture a society built on kindness and discretion, with no system for dealing with less well-behaved feelings like terror, anguish, and passion.”—Eileen Blumenthal, The Village Voice. . . . “[A] literate, touching play.”—John Corry, New York Times. . . . “Foote reaffirms his abiding gentleness with tender people caught in tough situations. . . . [T]his Home is a lovely place to visit.”—Marilyn Stasio, New York Post.  •  Horton Foote’s playwriting career spans more than fifty years. His plays have been on Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off Broadway and throughout America. He received the William Inge Lifetime Achievement Award and the Screen Laurel Award from the Writers Guild of America as well as honorary doctorates from American Film Institute, Austin College, and Drew University.

  §  Themes belief, confusion, coping, displacement, divorce, human relations, infidelity, irony, marriage, prayer, religion, social pressure, Texas.

See also Horton Foote’s:
  • "Blind Date," a comedy set in the living room of Robert and Dolores Henry's home in Harrison, Texas, 1929, 2m2f
  • A Nightingale,” a drama in English, set in the kitchen of Mabel and Jack Votaugh, Houston, Texas, around 7:00 a.m., early April, 1924, 1m3f
  • The One-Armed Man,” a drama in English, 3m
  • The Prisoner’s Song,” a drama in English, 2m2f
  • Spring Dance,” a 25-minute drama in English, set in a section of enclosed garden adjoining a ballroom-auditorium where a dance is being held, in an asylum, Austin, Texas, spring, 1928, 3m1f


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