Go to Home Page of Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online

"Too Late to Waken"

yellow bar


Kelly, Thomas M. (aka Thomas Michael Kelly, American playwright, artistic director, 1940-____), “Too Late to Waken,”

a 35-minute drama in English, in thirty-eight scenes, set in the dining roomof a family home, U.S.A., 1964-1984,


 •  © 2002 by Thomas M. Kelly;  •  in Thomas M. Kelly’s Too Late to Waken (Sacramento, California, U.S.A.: The Author, 2002);  •  script/rights available from Thomas M. Kelly, 1901 P Street, Sacramento, California 95814, U.S.A., telephone (home) 916-444-8209,  (work) 916-444-8209, fax 916-444-6258, e-mail tom@thistle-dew.net.  •  Cited by Thomas M. Kelly, via ftp, January 25, 2003; Kelly says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Michael (m), 43, Vietnam veteran; Danny (m), 41, a homosexual; Father (m), 65, ____; Mother (f), 60, ____.

  §  Synopsis “Michael, at the age of sixteen, learns that his younger brother Danny is a homosexual. Through high school and for the next 22 years, he confronts his homophobia by defending his heterosexuality and manhood to the extent that he joins the USMC during the Vietnam War. After three tours in Vietnam, heavy drinking and many women, without a meaningful relationship in his entire life, he returns home to his father’s funeral with horrible knowledge that he is about to die of a dreaded blood-borne disease, much like AIDS and with the same stigma. Mother’s death of loneliness shortly after Father’s burial causes a great familial loss. Michael dies realizing that he wasted his life fighting his brother’s happiness. Danny buries Michael next to his mother and father, ‘gathered together’ in a lonely gravesite.

  §  Comment “Father has Irish accent. Mother is Irish without accent.  •  This play can and was done as a one act (no scene changes or accent) in the Long Island City, New York, Arts Project (LICAP) production of June, 2002, and again in December, 2002, in The Thistle Dew Theatre as part of a trilogy entitled Random Acts of Abuse. The director, Krystyna Loboda, used a table and four chairs (a dining room) as props. The actors were true to the playwright’s wishes that the characters not talk to each other or interact. This produced a most beautiful dance around the issue of failure to communicate by a dysfunctional family.  •  Or, it can be done as conceived by the playwright: Props: Michael: a hanging locker room lamp, a locker room bench, metal locker, baseball bat, glove and ball, and case of beer. Danny: a wooden library chair, pad, pens, pencils, books, desk lamp and small reading table or desk. Father: Older Easy chair, older floor lamp, newspaper, pipe, kitchen stick matches, tobacco pouch with tobacco (never lighted). Mother:  Rocking chair, old floor lamp, knitting, letter, telegram. SET: Mother and Father upstage. Michael and Danny downstage.  (Mother and Father could be raised so as to be out of the light of Michael and Danny.) Mother: stage left. Father: stage right. Michael: stage left. Danny: stage right. LIGHTING: In this staging, no stage lighting is used. See props. Only the personal light of each character is used, up and down. This creates the intimate, very personal aloneness and alienation the playwright is conveying.  RATING: R, for language.  •  A CD of the play is available upon request.

  §  Themes abuse, death, disease, dysfunctional family, funeral, gay, heterosexual,  homophobia, homosexuality vs. homosexuality, Vietnam War.

See also Thomas M. Kelly’s

  • "The Butterfly Within" a 55-minute drama in English in five scenes (translated into Yiddish and Korean), set on a rooftop of Lower East Side tenement, New York City, at or before dusk Friday and Saturday, 2004, 1m1f
  • "Fana!" a 90-minute drama in English set in a theatre, June 4, 2002, 4m (+ 2f voices)
  • "Sleeper from Atlanta," a 90-minute drama in English, in ten scenes, set in a family kitchen, Atlanta, U.S.A., Friday and Saturday, December 20, 21, 2002, 2m2f (+ 2m voices)

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

Page mounted January 26, 2003, and updated May 21, 2003, October 14, 2004, by the Webmaster.

return arrow

There is a there there with a correct click.

Quick Connections to Major Sections of This Guide

| Home Page | Contents | Acknowledgments |
| Foreword | Preface | Introduction |

| Author Index | Cast Size/Gender Index | Title Index | Glossary of Genres | Bibliography for Playwrights | Playbills by Themes |
| Eighty Script Analyses (in Print Volume) | Source Directory for Scripts |

| Visits Counter | Success Stories |
| Form for Submitting New Citation | Ordering 1/2/3/4 for the Show |
| Present Web Links | Adding Web Links |
| Guest Book | Disclaimer | General Bibliography |
| About the Author |

Quick Connections to Cast Size/Gender Menus

1 Actor
| One-Male Plays | One-Female Plays |

2 Actors
| One-Male-One-Female Plays | Two-Male Plays | Two-Female Plays |

3 Actors
| One-Male-Two-Female Plays | Two-Male-One-Female Plays | Three-Male Plays |
| Three-Female Plays |

4 Actors
| One-Male-Three-Female Plays | Two-Male-Two-Female Plays |
| Three-Male-One-Female Plays | Four-Male Plays | Four-Female Plays |

yellow beads

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 0810829851, vol. 2 [1999] ISBN 0810836009

Scarecrow Press, Inc., 4720 Boston Way, Lanham, Maryland 20706, U.S.A.

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

Scarecrow Press, 4 Pleydell Gardens, Folkestone, Kent CT20 2DN, England

yellow beads

Both volumes of this guidebook are available in 2-3 days from