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“A Cold Coming We Had of It”

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Casner, Howard W. (American playwright, 1954-____), “A Cold Coming We Had of It,”

a 45-minute comedy in English, set at a subway stop, late at night, winter, 1983,

4m, 3m1f, or 2m2f;

  •  © 1983 by Howard W. Casner;  •  script/American rights available from playwright Howard W. Casner, 619 West Stratford, 304, Chicago, Illinois  60657, U.S.A., e-mail hcasner@aol.com, telephone (home) 773-871-7860; or script/international rights from agent at  byrn@hollowhills.fsnet.co.uk.  •  Cited by Howard W. Casner, via e-mail April 2, 2001; Casner says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Dave (m), 29, ___________; John (m), 29, ___________; Street Person (m or f), street person; Announcer (m), voice over.

  §  Synopsis “John and Dave rush on having just missed the train. Dave rants at missing the train and vents his anger on John. John is nonchalant. The more resigned to the situation John becomes, the angrier Dave grows until the subtext emerges that something more than the delayed trains is causing the strain. When a street person enters, the tension brings Dave to reveal what is really upsetting him: when he came home the previous night, he discovered that John had packed his bags and had left him. Not knowing what to do, he went bar hopping and got drunk. When he arrived home, he discovered John in bed asleep, as if nothing had happened. John explains that, indeed, he did leave. That suddenly he got scared and had an uncontrollable urge to go somewhere, anywhere else. But when he realized that no matter where he went, nothing would be different, he came back. Dave is not sure he can accept John back and John is not sure he can give Dave the relationship guarantees he needs.  As the announcer again tells them the trains are delayed, Dave and John are uncertain as to their future together.

  §  Comment “The set is simple, requiring a bench and trashcan.  A voice over is required.  The street person can be played by either a man or woman.  This is the author’s most produced play and has been seen in Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles.  The play was combined with two other plays, A Little Lear and Laundry and A Misreading of Camus for a highly successful evening called Random Acts: Three Tales From Boystown. Each play has only one setting and could be presented on a bare stage—the only props required are a few tables and chairs and a colourful sheet. The three plays can be performed together to create a single show, or can be performed seperatly as required. They plays compliment each other well but also stand alone. Productions of these plays could be easy to set and stage, as costumes are modern. While the plays are set in America, they could be translated to any modern urban setting. These three plays have been published on-line by Hollow Hills Publishing of the U.K.  • Casner’s plays have been seen in the U.S.A. in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York City.”

  §  Themesdelayed train, el/subway stop, Existentialism, gay, love, relationship.

See also Howard W. Casner’s


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Page mounted April 7, 2001, and updated June 14, 15, 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

  (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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