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“Horst and Graben in the Context of the Unfinished Man”

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Gold, Jeffrey Frederick (American playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, film composer, 1968-____), “Horst and Graben in the Context of the Unfinished Man,”

a 10-minute absurdist comedy in English, set in the middle an expansive desert, sunset, 1998,

2m; • © 2002 by Jeffrey Frederick Gold; • in Jeffrey Frederick Gold’s Horst and Graben in the Context of the Unfinished Man (Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.: Spoon Publishing House, 2002); • script/rights available from Spoon Publishing House, 333 South Laker Court, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2322, U.S.A., telephone (home/work) 801-933-5359, fax 509-278-8584, e-mail gold@spoonpublishing.com, http://www.jeffreygold.com; contact Jeffrey Frederick Gold, e-mail jgold@jeffreygold.com. • Cited by Jeffrey Frederick Gold, via ftp, November 9, 2002; Gold says,

§ Dramatis Personae Horst (m), 35, an everyman; Graben (m), 30, a manipulative social Darwinist.

§ Synopsis “Horst, an everyman, is waiting for a bus in the middle of the desert. Graben, a manipulative social Darwinist, approaches Horst and attempts to convince Horst of the futility of his endeavor.

§ Comment “Horst is not a victim, but he embodies small town sensibilities. An everyman, he dresses in a nondescript way. He harbors no nostalgia for anything, except for the remains of his family: his daughter. Graben approaches life as if it were a zero-sum game; in short, if he knew the term and was honest in the self-diagnosis of his affliction, he’d call himself a social Darwinist. He dresses like a used-car salesman wearing his best threads to impress a new girl on a lunch date. This play should be performed at a natural pace that accurately depicts the conversation of two strangers. Props include a bus sign. Optional is a canvas that stretches the entire width of the stage, depicting mountains in the far distance. • ‘I enjoyed it. Nice austere but riveting small piece.’—Jon Jory [31-year tenure as Producing Director of Actors Theatre of Louisville].” • Read at the American Express/Salt Lake Acting Company New Play Sounding Series on April 15, 2002; Horst was read by Kurt Proctor and Graben was read by Dan Larrinaga. • Read at the 2002 Sawtooth Writer’s Conference in Stanley, Idaho, on June 28, 2002; Horst was read by Jeffrey Gold and Graben was read by Jeff Metcalf. • Winner of the 2002 CrossCurrents Unlimited Five and Dime Playwriting Competition. • Play premiered at the Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central, Kansas City, Missouri, March 14 through March 29, 2003. • Research could include Jeffrey Gold’s “Percolation Theory,” a 30-minute comedy in English, set in a family home, 2002, 3m2f. • Press release received via e-mail June 8, 2005: “Award-winning playwright and screenwriter JEFFREY GOLD is the 2005 BEST OF STATE medal winner for Playwriting & Screenwriting. The award was among an impressive lineup of recipients in the arts & entertainment category of BEST OF STATE medal winners. The award ceremony will be broadcasted on KUTV Channel 4 television on June 18, 2005. In addition to the BEST OF STATE award in Playwriting and Screenwriting, Jeffrey Gold has won the 2002 CrossCurrents Culture Unlimited National Five and Dime Playwriting Competition, 2003 Boca Raton Theatre Guild Short Play Reading Festival, 2003 Ten by Ten in the Triangle Playwriting Competition (Finalist), 2004 Theatre Orange - Shorts in Winter series, 2003 Experiments In Ink V playwriting competition, was a Finalist in the 2004 Moondance Film Festival stageplay competitions, and won the Moondance Seahorse Award in the 2005 Moondance Film Festival stageplay competition, and was commissioned by the Plan-B Theater Company for the Playwriting SLAM in 2004. His plays include In the Pursuit of Svetla, Horst and Graben in the Context of the Unfinished Man, Fitch Todd, Horst and Graben at the Chateau Godot, Dedekind, Percolation Theory, Execution at Paradais Island, Candycane Hurricane, What Happens on Sundays?, Displacement: A Fish in Water Story, and he is currently working on two plays, Waisenhaus and The Unexpected Autobiography of Spressa Perlesi. Jeffey Gold attributes his success as a playwright to Salt Lake Acting Company's Playwrights Group headed by dramaturg and playwright Mike Dorrell and playwright-in-residence Julie Jensen, to the Sawtooth Writers Conferences founded by Playwrights Jeff Metcalf and David Kranes, and to many of Salt Lake's finest actors, Kurt Proctor, Dan Larrinaga, Brenda Sue Cowley, and others, who read his plays in workshops. "Having actors of such high caliber read one's plays is critical to the development of a playwright," says Jeffrey Gold. His first screenplay, Atlantic Summer, written in 1996 and produced in 2001 by Chasing the Sun Pictures, features Academy-Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Karen Black (The Great Gatsby, Five Easy Pieces), and has found a distributor. His screenplay, The Man from Peenemunde, was a finalist in the Sundance Institute/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation screenwriting fellowship competition. He is a writer, director, award-winning composer, and producer of other film productions, many of them produced under the Cambridge Films banner. Jeffrey Gold is on the faculty of Western Governors University and is also an adjunct professor at Salt Lake Community College where he teaches screenwriting and film, and was an instructor of screenwriting at the University of Utah's Academic Outreach/Continuing Education Lifelong Learning program. He was educated at the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis), the University of Utah, and at Cambridge University, England. For additional information about award-winning playwright Jeffrey Gold, please visit his official Website at http://www.jeffreygold.com.”

§ Themes absurd, Beckett (Samuel Beckett, Irish Nobel Prize laureate, 1906-1989), Darwinism, desert, first encounter, futility, Godot (an offstage character who never arrives in Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, minimalism, persuasion, stranger.


See also Jeffrey Frederick Gold's
  • "Dedekind," a 10-minute absurd comedy in English, set in a pool of light on a train station platform, late dusk, 2003, 2m1f or 3m
  • "Execution at Paradais Island," a 10-minute black comedy, set in a notorious military prison, Paradais Island, dusk, 2004, 3m
  • "Fitch Todd," a 10-minute comedic tragedietta in English, set in a nicely- but sparsely-appointed room, Rome, Italy, recent past, 2m1f
  • "Horst and Graben at the Chateau Godot," a 10-minute comedy in English, set in Chateau Godot, a restaurant, Saturday evening, 2003, 2m2f

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

Page mounted November 9, 2002, and updated November 20, December 10, 2002, March 31, April 29, 2004, June 8, November 10, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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