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Bartleby: The True Story

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Hatcher, Tim (American playwright, writer/animator, 1957-____), “Bartleby: The True Story,”

a 60-minute comedy/drama in English, set in a New York City jail cell, 1850,


© 1991, script/rights available from Tim Hatcher, 1208 Barlow Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75224, U.S.A., telephone (home) 214-331-9111, (work) 214-352-4694x14, fax 214-352-4696. Cited by Tim Hatcher via ftp, December 9 and 12, 1997; Hatcher says,

Dramatis Personae Bartleby (m), 30-45, a writer; Actor #2 (m), Nippers, Bleeker, Hill; Actor #3 (m), Stone, Stepfather, Nichols, Green; Actor #4 (f), Mother, Lolo, Miss Brust.

Synopsis “Bartleby, an impoverished and unsuccessful writer is thrown into prison at the hands of his employer, Mr. Green. Moved to record for posterity the story of his life and his account of what led him to this pit of despair, he convinces the jailer, Mr. Stone, to bring him paper and pencil. As he revisits key moments in his life, he relives them in his cell.

Comment “Though not a strict adaptation, this play was inspired by a Herman Melville short story, ‘Bartleby, the Scrivener,’ first published in 1853. It is set in a New York City jail cell in 1850 and can use a bare stage with only a single stool, as was the case in the original production at the Yale School of Drama in 1991. Furniture pieces could be employed if desired. No scene breaks. Three of the four actors play multiple roles.”

Themes art vs. commerce, literature, Melville, metaphor.

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Page updated May 19, 1998, by the site Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volume

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

(Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1995), ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, $39.50, plus s/h

Scarecrow Press, 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, MD 20706

telephone 800-462-6420 or 301-459-3366, fax 800-338-4550
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