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“The Night Cafe”

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Blake, Evan J. (American playwright, 1946-____), “The Night Cafe,”

a 51-minute drama in English, set in a diner suggesting Edward Hopper’s painting Nighthawks, 1991,


  •  © 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 Rhonda (f), 22, white, a slightly retarded prostitute; Galen (m), 30, white, an acerbic, troubled actor; Mackie (m), black, a disenchanted Vietnam vet, now a pimp; Jamie (m), white, the counterman, a former actor.

  § Synopsis “Four characters interact:  Rhonda, a slightly retarded prostitute who has, literally, been rescued by Mackie, a disenchanted Vietnam vet who, at Rhonda’s request, has become her protector and her pimp, but who has genuine love for Rhonda, which creates an extremely unusual but moving and unique relationship; Galen, an acerbic, troubled actor whose lover is dying; and Jamie, the counterman, a former actor who has chosen the safety of anonymity, and Galen’s estranged friend who at one time was involved with the man with whom Galen now lives.

  § Comment “‘The Night Cafe’ (and its companion piece ‘Nighthawks’), inspired by both van Gogh’s famed painting of that title and Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, probes stereotypes of certain relationships and our perceptions of them. ‘The Night Cafe’ (and its companion piece ‘Nighthawks’) 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, ‘The Night Cafe’ 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.; Toronto Fringe Festival, Ontario, Canada; API Theatre, Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.; Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas, U.S.A.; produced jointly with the companion piece, ‘Nighthawks’; winner of numerous awards in U.S.A., including the 1992 Tennessee Williams Competition. Reviews available on request.”

  § Themes American art, Edward Hopper, homosexuality, Nighthawks, painting, racism, retardation, Vietnam War.

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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