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“With and Without“

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Sweet, Jeffrey (American playwright, teacher, critic, composer, May 3, 1950-____), “With and Without,“

a 90-minute comedy-drama in English, set on the deck of a summer cottage, on a summer weekend,


© 1994; in Jeffrey Sweet’s With and Without, acting edition, ISBN 0-8222-1558-6; contact Jeffrey Sweet at DGSweet@aol.com or order scripts through Barnes and Noble or Dramatists Play Service, telephone (home) 212-724-7512;   •  script/rights available from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 440 Park Avenue South, New York City, New York 10016, U.S.A., telephone 212-683-8960, fax 212-213-1539, http://www.dramatists.com, DPS 6184. Cited on http://plaza.interport.net:80/dramatists/text/with&wit.htm, accessed March 20, 1997; •  also cited by Jeffrey Sweet via ftp, November 28, 1997; the online citation says,

Dramatis Personae Shelly (f), Mark’s wife; Mark (m), Shelly’s husband; Jill (f), Russ’ wife; Glen (m), a recently divorced father.

Synopsis “Shelly and Mark have rented a lake-side house for a week to relax. They are sharing the house with Jill, who is waiting to be joined by her husband, Russ. The fact that Russ does not show the day he is supposed to, and does not call or return calls, foreshadows a rough week. As they wait for Russ, who is holding up their dinner, Jill decides to go rent a bad movie. At the video store she meets and invites back to the house, Glen, a recently divorced father. He seems nice enough and they talk on the porch briefly, consenting to a night of meaningless sex. Mark, having overheard the conversation, comes out onto the porch, asks Glen to excuse himself for a moment and proceeds to tell Jill that she is about to make a mistake. They hear Glen drive away and when Jill runs after him, Mark confiscates her keys. Jill socks him in the eye, grabs the keys, and drives off after Glen. The next morning Jill returns hoping to apologize to Mark. Jill admits having casual sex with Glen, big deal. But when Mark comes out and says that Russ is on his way, Jill doesn’t know what to think. Mark wants to be honest. They all three just want a second chance: Jill at her marriage, and Mark and Shelly at saving their friendships.

Comment “Though comic in tone, the piece is an exploration of the limits and responsibilities of friendship and marriage. Particularly strong roles for women.”  •  Research could include Jeffrey Sweet’s (1950-____) The Dramatist’s Toolkit: The Craft of the Working Playwright (Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S.A.: Heinemann, 1993), ISBN 0435086294.

See also Jeffrey Sweet’s

Themes abandonment, friendship, infidelity, marriage, porch, sex, summer, vacation cottcge.


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Page updated July 30, 1997, May 19, 1998, and March 27, 1999, by the site Webmaster.

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