Other Plays by Norbert J. Hruby
Hruby, Norbert J. (American playwright, retired second president of Aquinas College, February 4, 1918-____), “Pen Pals,”
a 30-minute drama in English, set in a convent/prison, 2003,
© 2003 by Norbert J. Hruby;
• in Norbert J. Hruby’s Pen Pals (Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.: The Author, 2003;
• script/rights available from Norbert J. Hruby, 245 Briarwood SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506, U.S.A., telephone (home) 616-459-1149, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Cited by Norbert J. Hruby via ftp November 28, 2003; Hruby says,
John (m), 35, convict; Mr. Baldwin (m), ageless, prison guard; Sister Thomas More (f), 45, nun; Prioress (f), 38, nun.
“Sister Thomas More (née Stephanie), disenchanted English teacher in a Catholic high school, receives permission of her Prioress to correspond with John, an inmate of Death Row. Their correspondence occurs on a split stage. They never meet, never see each other. When it comes time for John’s execution, Sister receives permission to leave the convent and become a demonstrator against capital punishment. And so she has a new vocation in life.
• “Although ‘Pen Pals’ starts with the same premise as Dead Man Walking, it takes a different path to its denouement. The convict’s cell and Sister’s cubicle are mirror-images of each other. There are no scene changes. Each of the two central characters deals in person with only one other (Sister-Prioress; John-Mr. Baldwin). Offstage voices—high school students, fellow convicts—may be recorded. In short, this is an epistolary play somewhat in the manner of A. R. Gurney’s Love Letters, Helen Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road, Jerome Kilty’s Dear Liar, Anto Howard’s Scattergood. ‘Pen Pals’ is a communication of two radically different persons meeting under extraordinary circumstances.”
• For more on the playwright, see http://www.aquinas.edu/emeritus/history.html.
capital punishment, Catholicism, Death Row, epistolary play, execution, prison, vocation change.