Passing of An Actor
a __-minute bare-stage comedy-drama in English, set in _______, ____,
Script/rights from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., http://www.dramatists.com/
Part of the trilogy entitled "Variations on an Untitled Theme." Presented originally at West Texas State University. A highly original and affecting work which combines power and pathos in its revealing study of an aging actor who seeks to find reality—and himself—through his uniquely personal interpretation of Rostand's CYRANO DE BERGERAC. "…a moving work. It touches the viewer with pathos first, and then comedy, but tragedy, which overrides the whole, is the culminating force." —Amarillo (Tex.) Globe-Times. Especially recommended for play contest use.
In The Passing of an Actor.
An aging actor, forced into retirement after a lifetime on the stage, but knowing no other way to live, decides he will create for himself a life entirely of his own choosing. He takes up residence in a rundown, abandoned theatre, and hires other performers to come and act with him in a drama based on Rostand's immortal "Cyrano de Bergerac," in which he, of course, is Cyrano. However, the play is really a kind of perversion of the original in that it allows Cyrano to live at the close of the play, and also to win Roxanne as his own, forever. At first the actors are rather amused at the Old Actor's comical and quaint actions but, ultimately, one of them becomes quite angry at the way he is being "used." He challenges the Old Actor to a duel, following the true script of the play. The Old Actor now has to make a choice. He can accept the challenge and lose, as Cyrano did, or, instead, he can attempt to retreat as tactfully as possible—and thereby live to fight another day. His decision raises the play to a level of true tragic dimension, and saves the Old Actor from being nothing more than an escapist fool; showing him instead to be an honest, human, sympathetic character somehow pathetic and yet almost noble at the same time.
On the approved list of short plays for contest for school year 2006-2007, updated 08/02/06 to include revisions beginning school year 2006-07, for the [Austin, Texas, U.S.A.] University Interscholastic League’s One-Act Play Contest. Founded in 1927, it is the largest high school play production contest or play festival in the world. More than 14,000 Texas high school students in more than 1,000 plays participate in 300 plus contests, which take place from the beginning of March through the three-day, 40-production State Meet One-Act Play Contest. The One-Act Play Contest is supported by more than 200 college and university faculty members serving as critic judges. The League’s theatre program is considered by historians to be the foundation of educational and community theatre in Texas. It continues to be a major factor motivating increasing numbers of schools to offer theatre arts as an academic subject.—UIL: Academics - Theatre/One-Act Play: Plays, http://www.uil.utexas.edu/academics/drama/plays.html, accessed August 20, 2006.