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“A Sonnet from the Portuguese”

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Hruby, Norbert J. (American playwright, retired second president of Aquinas College, 1918-____), “A Sonnet from the Portuguese,” a 11-minute satire in English, set in a residence in a university town, the present,


; © 2003 by Norbert J. Hruby; • in Norbert J. Hruby’s A Sonnet from the Portuguese (Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.: The Author, 2003); • script/rights available from Norbert J. Hruby, 245 Briarwood SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506, U.S.A., telephone (home) 616-459-1149, e-mail nordolor@iserv.net. • Cited by Norbert J. Hruby, via ftp, November 28, 2003; Hruby says,

§ Dramatis Personae Myrtle Sovereign (f), 45, recently bereaved; Gwen (f), 25, Gwen’s divorced daughter; Beatrice Bennett (f), 25, graduate student with an English accent, one-time student of the late Dr. Sovereign.

§ Synopsis “As Myrtle sorts the effects of her late husband, she finds a tape recording of ‘Sonnet from the Portuguese XIV’ read by a woman with an English accent. As she and her daughter reminisce, Beatrice calls upon them and asks Myrtle’s permission to gain access to her late husband’s effects—in order to write his biography. When Beatrice leaves, Myrtle and Gwen puzzle over what must have happened on campus.

§ Comment “Single scene, single set, no problems. Only special requirement: someone (Beatrice) who can read the famous poem of Elizabeth Barrett Browning beautifully—with an English accent.”

• Research could include Songfest, a music sound recording selected by Society of Composers, Inc. (Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.: Capstone Records, 1994), CPS-8618 Capstone Records, LC 99589088, 1 sound disc (55 min.), digital 4 3/4 in.

§ Themes Browning (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet, 1806-1861), chance, grief, mother-daughter relationship, posthumous revelation of an illicit love affair, recording, Sonnets from the Portuguese, teacher-student relationship, widowhood.

See also Norbert J. Hruby's

  • "Ashes to Ashes," a 10-minute peace play (tragedy) in English, set in a living room of suburban American home, the present (because it is!), 2m1f
  • "Fungo," a 13-minute comedy in English, set in the office of The Stylus literary magazine, on two Mondays, two months apart, 2m1f
  • "Hegemony," a 10-minute bare-stage satirical comedy in English, five years from now, 2m1f
  • "Home for the Holidays," a 10-minute comedy in English, set in a suburban home, U.S.A., May, 2004, 1m3f
  • "The Jealous Mistress," a 48-minute melodrama in English, set in a small college town, 2003, 2m2f
  • "Karl's Kristmas Karol," a 10-minute satire in English, set a residence in a suburb of Washington, D.C., Christmas Eve, 2004, 2m1f or 3m
  • "Matching Gift," a 25-minute comedy in English, set in the office of a college president, 2003, 2m2f
  • "Peggy: The Life and Times of Mrs. Benedict Arnold," a 60-minute bare-stage drama in English, set in the Arnold home, England, 1803, 1f
  • "Pen Pals," a 30-minute drama in English, set in a convent/prison, 2003, 2m2f

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

Page mounted December 7, 2003, and updated December 9, 2003, March 22, May 17, 18, November 30, 2004, October 13, November 10, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


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