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Blake, Evan J. (American playwright, 1946-____), “Nighthawks,”

a 39-minute drama in English, set in a diner suggesting Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks, about 1:00 a.m., a Saturday, August 1943,


  •  © 1991 by Evan J. Blake;  •  script/rights available from Evan Blake, 5036 North Sheridan Road #401, Chicago, Illinois 60640, U.S.A., e-mail ejb@iwon.com, telephone (home) 773 293-1554.  •  Cited by Evan Blake, via ftp November 28, 1999; Blake says,

  § Dramatis Personae Donna (f), 19, white, Gil’s girlfriend; Gil (m), 33, white, unhappy spouse; Wray (m), 28, black, wounded veteran; Jimmy (m), 50, white, counterman.

  § Synopsis “Gil, bitterly unhappy over his disastrous marriage, tries to convince Donna, his ‘girlfriend’ of a year, to go home with him—his wife is out of town. Donna resists; her ex-husband, the day he returned wounded from World War II, caught her with Gil. Wray enters warily, with a bad limp, the result of a war incident which, he ultimately admits, was racially motivated. The injury destroyed his baseball career, and he’s bitter. The counterman, Jimmy, a hapless dreamer, greets and talk with Wray of their respective lost dreams. When Wray mentions his wartime friendship with a woman who resembled Donna and Donna responds with interest, Gil perceives it as a mutual flirtation and conflict ensues.

  § Comment “‘Nighthawks’ (and its companion piece ‘The Night Cafe’) is an ensemble work. It examines the different lonelinesses of wartime America in the ’40s, the war-built hopes and war-destroyed hopes, and the wartime racial divisiveness rampant in the Army and across the nation. Also, ‘Nighthawks’ examines the themes of  the Hopper painting—loneliness, need for contact, and sleepless isolation of the ‘nighthawks’ of American society.  •  Single set. Real time.  •  Productions include: Circle Theatre, Forest Park, Illinois, U.S.A.;
Dayton PLayhouse, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.; The Artfull Circle, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.; Steppin’ Out Productions (non-Equity and AEA showcase), New York City, U.S.A.; API Theatre, Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.;
Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.A. Reviews available on request.”

  § Themes American art, American painting, American society, companionship, ensemble, film noir, Hopper (Edward Hopper, American scene painter, 1882-1967), insomnia, isolation, loneliness, naturalism, Negro baseball league, Nighthawks, racism, realism, World War II.

See also Evan J. Blake’s

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

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

  (Lanham, Maryland, U.S.A.; Folkestone, Kent, U.K.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, 1999),

vol. 1 [1995] ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, vol. 2 [1999] ISBN 0-8108-3600-9

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