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“The Red Line”

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Steinour, Marcus (American playwright, October 17, 1930-____), “The Red Line,”

a 30-minute avant-garde play in English, set in a subway car on the Red Line, anytime,


© 1997 by Marcus Steinour, script/rights available from Marcus Steinour, 10535 Lincoln Way West, St. Thomas, Pennsylvania 17252, U.S.A., telephone (home) 717-369-2827, e-mail steinour@innernet.net. Agent: Frank Pesci, 8311 Freemont Place, New Carrollton, Maryland 20784, U.S.A., telephone 301-577-6939. Cited by Marcus Steinour, via ftp January 31, 1999; Steinour says,

Dramatis Personae Horder (m), a subway car passenger; Hertha (f), a forward woman passenger; Parkinson (m), an aggressive passenger; Mariva (f), a pregnant passenger.

Synopsis “Horder enters a subway car and finds it occupied by the unbelievably bizarre passengers. He finds the young Hertha willing to give herself to him.  But he cannot find pleasure with her. Parkinson mistreats everyone but is in turn embarrassed and mistreated by the others.  No one is able to accomplish his will or experience pleasure. Meanwhile, the pregnant Mariva aborts her own baby.  In an outbreak over ‘crack,’ Mariva kills Parkinson, but moments later he is alive. The bewildered Horder is surrounded by nightmare situations that he cannot fathom. Slowly the others begin to remember similar situations on a car just like this. As Horder watches them commit crimes of passion, thievery and promiscuity, he finally realizes this is not a dream.  The others regain their previous experience on the subway car and tell him he is in an endless cycle.  The car will stop just as they remember why they are there.  They will exit and then enter again to relive the same horrible experiences.  This is the Red Line to Hell. The car stops. Horder tries to stay on but is sucked out of the car. He returns, fresh and unknowing to wonder what he is doing on the Red Line.  There is no Red Line on this subway he states.  But there is.

Comment “This play should be easy to stage and provide a vehicle for actors who like to do plays with a ‘Twilight Zone’ aura. This play can be grouped with two other plays by this author: ‘Colossus’ and ‘Crocodile,’ both with slightly larger casts, and both of which have been produced either at Studio Theatre, in New York City, or Silver Spring Stage, in Maryland. Director for ‘Colossus’ in New York City was Michele Spadafore. John Scoarretto directed ‘Crocodile.’ Nolan Haims directed ‘Crocodile’ Off-Off-Broadway.”

See also Marcus Steinour’s

  • At Land’s End,” a 35-minute seniors drama in English, set at the beach, vacation time, 1m1f
  • Crocodile,” a 40-minute parable in English, set in a damp and dark prison, day after day, 3m1f (+ 2 extras)
  • Themes abortion, bizarre, crack, cycle, embarrassment, free love, Hell, maltreatment, murder, passengers, passion, perception, pleasure, pregnancy, promiscuity, reality, recollection, resurrection, subway, theft, will.


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    Page mounted March 23, 1999, and updated March 30,  31, and May 22, 1999, by the site Webmaster.

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    Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


    the more-extensive print volumes

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