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The Names of the Beast

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Eisenstein, Linda (American playwright, composer, 1950-____), The Names of the Beast,"

a 45-minute ritual dramatic comedy (with a cappella songs),

4f (ages flexible; multiracial casting preferred),

© 1995 by Linda Eisenstein;    scripts/rights available from Linda Eisenstein via e-mail herone@en.com or http://www.lindaeisenstein.com or via regular mail, Herone Press, P. O. Box 749, Cleveland, Ohio 44107-0749, U.S.A., voice/fax 216-631-5812; Eisenstein says,

  §  Dramatis Persona Alicia (f), an academic, member of feminist writers circle; ________ (f), member of feminist writers circle; ________ (f), member of feminist writers circle; ________ (f), member of feminist writers circle.

  §  Synopsis A feminist writers' circle is thrown into crisis when Alicia, an academic suffering from writer's block, asks the group to help her with a 'ritual of transformation': burning all her manuscripts so she can give up writing.

  §  Comment A seriocomic examination of creativity, collaboration, identity, self-censorship, friendship, and the special obstacles that women have to self-expression. It includes a group-created ritual.    It can be performed on a bare stage with one set piece-a fire circle (or what appears to be one).    In a series of short plays exploring personal transformation. In the series are 'At the Root,' 'The Cassandra Complex,' 'The Club,' 'Golden Gate,' 'In Illo Tempore,' 'The Names of the Beast,' and 'Running from the Red Girl.'    Simultaneously premiered by Extra Virgin Performance Cooperative, Dallas, Texas, and Red Hen Productions, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. Winner, Sappho's Symposium Competition, 1996. Honorable mention, Jane Chambers Playwriting Competition, 1996. . . . 'Funny, sad, and above all, honest. . . . "The Names of the Beast" is very strong. . . . Once the ritual begins, it provides a way to probe the plight of the woman artist and how much more she is imprisoned by society than her male counterpart. As it draws to its close, the onstage image becomes almost unbearable-shocking because it creates a visual image that is piercingly true. . . . Eisenstein's literate, truthful script results in compelling theatre.'Plain Dealer. . . . 'Disquieting-an epic struggle among disparate camps for ownership of one community's voice...Anyone who thinks contemporary American feminism is a faceless monolith should check out "The Names of the Beast" and absorb the profound philosophical differences these women espouse toward creativity, leadership, and political responsibility. Playwright Eisenstein plants a witchy ritual at the center of the piece which is by turns supportive and sadistic. . . . The company have really hit their stride with the remarkable "Names of the Beast," so much so that you leave the theater fired up. . . .'The Dallas Observer. . . . 'Depicts the pressures that women must deal with, the fires that we must walk through to survive...Very well-written; dialogue is both witty and gritty...ranges from amusing to touching, to uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful.'Plain Press. . . NOTE: Production of 'The Names of the Beast' requires permission from the playwright and a royalty.

  §  Themes collaboration, creativity, feminism, friendship, identity, manuscript, self-censorship, self-expression, transformation, writers block.

See also Linda Eisensteins


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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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