Norviel, Michael (American playwright, writer, 1939-____), “Rain before Morning,”
a 90-minute comedy-drama in English, set in a funeral home, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A., 7:30 p.m., Friday, October 2, 1997,
• © 1998 by Michael Norviel; • script/rights available from Michael Norviel, 1801 Camino Raso NW, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87107, U.S.A., e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone (home) 505-344-1565, (work) 505-272-0207, fax 505-344-1565. • Cited by Michael Norviel, via postal mail June 15, 1999; Norviel says,
§ Dramatis Personae Mother (f), 70; Elaine (f), 51; Randa (f), 48.
§ Synopsis “A grieving family of two neurotic daughters, Elaine and Randa, and one naive wife, Mother, mourn the loss of their patriarch, a legendary college football coach and Texas good ol’ boy, who had zero communication skills with his family. Onstage are an open casket, floral wreaths, and three women, who greet a parade of unseen characters there to view the body. The women encounter old grudges and new insults among themselves, as well as the possibility of Another Woman, embroidered boxer shorts, and Mother’s secret. Mother divulges that the dead husband’s brother raped her fifty years previously and has been threatening her ever since with telling her husband that his wife lured the brother into an affair. Mother also reveals to Elaine some intimate love letters Mother recently found, letters that the deceased wrote to some woman and never sent. The letters bear no address. After some verbal sparring and one or two physical altercations, all of this done between handshakes and conversation with mourners, Elaine and Randa agree to start their relationship afresh. Mother, confronted by the rapist/brother-in-law, wrestles him and his walker and finally drives him off. Mother’s grief and anger explode when she addresses her dead husband, telling him she has known the letters were meant for her and no one else, and why couldn’t he, in all their years together, have found a voice to tell her the things he put into the unsent letters. This emotional outpouring brings closure for Mother. She places the love letters into the casket, decidedly shuts the casket lid, and exits.
Comment “Stage has pastel lighting on floral sprays set before
an open casket CS. Three folding chairs and a stand holding a guest book
are also on the stage. A backlit stained glass window is UC. Music is Morris
Stoloff conducting The Columbia Pictures Orchestra version of ‘Moonglow
and Theme from Picnic,’ which was the number one hit in the United
States on June 2, 1956.”
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