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“The Miller’s Tale”

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Strick, Joseph (American playwright, director, writer, adapter, 1923-____), and Cary Hollinshead (American playwright, writer-adapter, 1974-____), “The Miller’s Tale,”

a 15-minute Renaissance slapstick farce in English, adapted from the story in Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, staged in a public space in town, village or city, Fourteenth Century A.D.,

1m2f;  •  © 2000 by Joseph Strick and Cary Hollinshead,  29 rue de Tournon, 75006 Paris, France, telephone 331-4354-2712, fax 331-4051-7927, strick@noos.fr;  •  script/rights available from Richard Hatton Ltd, Agent, 29 Roehampton Gate, London SW15, England, e-mail richardhatton99@hotmail.com.  •  Cited by Joseph Strick via ftp September 25, 2001; Strick says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Nicholas (m), an undergraduate university astronomy student; John(m), a crotchety old carpenter; Alison (f) his young, sexy wife; Absolom (m) a hapless young suitor.

  §  Synopsis “Nicholas yearns for Alison but the old husband John watches her carefully. Nicholas pretends that a great flood is coming so that the carpenter husband will build a boat, thus distracting him. It works. Nicholas gets the girl but is burned in the end.

  §  Comment “One of the funniest stories  in The Canterbury Tales. ‘The Miller’s Tale’ has been tried out at university theatres in Britain to excellent response. It can be played in any public venue and is based on  the old tradition of traveling players. Costumes and props are limited to what could have been carried by the original players. The action is strong, satirizing the lust of old men for young women. Stage business is to be invented and developed by the director and players. This short play has been performed in the University of Salford, Manchester, and  the University of Exeter.  •  Research could include The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer.”

  §  Themes age, courtship, indiscrimination, inequitability, marriage, mendacity, youth.

See also Joseph Strick and Cary Hollinshead’s:

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Page mounted October 4, 2001, and updated October 6, 2001, by the Webmaster.

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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

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