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“Familiar Faces”


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Waterstreet, Margaret G. (American playwright, 1953-____), “Familiar Faces,”

a 30-minute comedy in English, set in a Chicago living room with dining area, school parlor, 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., summer, 1990s,

4f or 1m3f;

 •  © 1996 by Margaret G. Waterstreet,  •  script/rights available from Margaret G. Waterstreet, 1509 West Cornelia Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60657-1305, U.S.A., telephone (home/work) 773.665.4726, e-mail _____. Cited by Margaret G. Waterstreet via postal mail, 1998; Waterstreet says,

 §  Dramatis Personae Katie Childs (f), 35, compulsively orderly business writer, very serious, deadpan, and easily swayed; she longs for affirmation from others; others often interrupt her; Gretchen Schmidt/Sister Ambrose (f), 50, authoritative, motherly, and WASPy management consultant, doubles as Sister Ambrose, an ancient, cantankerous, 97-year-old version of Gretchen; Mitzi Jones/Sister Jean (f) 45, model-slim, hyperactive, creative, playful, and melodramatic ad exec, in designer outfit, doubles as Sister Jean, 70, frail but even more exuberant; Mike Kelly/Sister Michelle (m or f), 28, intellectual computer programmer with working class roots, chubby, tender, wise, lazy, doubles as Sister Michelle, 50, the youngest nun, still avoids heavy lifting.

 §  Synopsis Despite friends’ protests and just moving into her first house, a businesswoman flies to her old grade school before it permanently closes. As the ancient nuns shanghai her into packing for them, she is stunned by a realization—she has unconsciously picked friends (and a mate) who are remarkably like her childhood female teachers.

 §  Comment We unconsciously recreate the place and people of our childhoods. For all audiences.  •  One simple set (dining table, couch, moving boxes) works for both scenes because Katie has unconsciously bought a house exactly like the convent school parlor.  •  Audiences howled when male Mike appeared as Sister Michelle during the 1998 production (New York City’s Salt & Pepper), and the 1996-1997 readings (Chicago’s Shell Park Theatre, and New York City’s Love Creek Theatre).

 §  Themes businesswoman, childhood, choice, closure, first house, friend, grade school, insight, mate, memory, moving in, moving out, nun, nurture, packing, protest, subconscious, teaching,

See also Margaret G. Waterstreet’s
  • Bad Tidings,” a 2-minute comedy in English, set on a California beach, daytime, 1998, 4m or 4f
  • Chained to My Fridge,” a 60-minute comedy in English, set in an American kitchen with dining area, 1997 with flashbacks to the 1950s-1980s, 1m2f
  • Diablo Car Rental,” a 2-minute comedy in English, set at a car rental counter at an airport, spring night, 1997, 2m or 2f
  • Free Advice,” a 7-minute comedy in English, set in an urban train station, evening rush hour, 1997, 2f (+ male or female voice)
  • A Matter of Scale,” a 2-minute comedy in English, set in the bathroom of an American household, late evening, 1997, 1f (+ male or female voice)
  • The Schindler of Nanking,” a 2-minute drama in English, set on a street, Nanking, China, during the Japanese army’s genocide of Chinese civilians prior to World War II, 1937, 2mlf (+ female voice}
  • Stranger at My Gate,” a 10-minute comedy in English, set in an alley in an American neighborhood, summer day, 1997, 1m1f
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