Too Late to Waken
Kelly, Thomas M. (aka Thomas Michael Kelly, American playwright, artistic director, theatre specialist, 1940-____), “Too Late to Waken”
a 35-minute drama in English, in thirty-eight scenes, set in the dining roomof a family home, U.S.A., 1964-1984,
© 2002 by Thomas M. Kelly;
• in Thomas M. Kelly’s Too Late to Waken (Sacramento, California, U.S.A.: The Author, 2002);
• script/rights available from Thomas M. Kelly, 1901 P Street, Sacramento, California 95814, U.S.A., telephone (home) 916-444-8209, (work) 916-444-8209, fax 916-444-6258, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Cited by Thomas M. Kelly, via ftp, January 25, 2003.
Michael (m), 43, Vietnam veteran; Danny (m), 41, a homosexual; Father (m), 65, ____; Mother (f), 60, ____.
“Michael, at the age of sixteen, learns that his younger brother Danny is a homosexual. Through high school and for the next 22 years, he confronts his homophobia by defending his heterosexuality and manhood to the extent that he joins the USMC during the Vietnam War. After three tours in Vietnam, heavy drinking and many women, without a meaningful relationship in his entire life, he returns home to his father’s funeral with horrible knowledge that he is about to die of a dreaded blood-borne disease, much like AIDS and with the same stigma. Mother’s death of loneliness shortly after Father’s burial causes a great familial loss. Michael dies realizing that he wasted his life fighting his brother’s happiness. Danny buries Michael next to his mother and father, ‘gathered together’ in a lonely gravesite.
• “Father has Irish accent. Mother is Irish without accent.
• "This play can and was done as a one act (no scene changes or accent) in the Long Island City, New York, Arts Project (LICAP) production of June, 2002, and again in December, 2002, in The Thistle Dew Theatre as part of a trilogy entitled Random Acts of Abuse. The director, Krystyna Loboda, used a table and four chairs (a dining room) as props. The actors were true to the playwright’s wishes that the characters not talk to each other or interact. This produced a most beautiful dance around the issue of failure to communicate by a dysfunctional family.
• "Or, it can be done as conceived by the playwright: Props: Michael: a hanging locker room lamp, a locker room bench, metal locker, baseball bat, glove and ball, and case of beer. Danny: a wooden library chair, pad, pens, pencils, books, desk lamp and small reading table or desk. Father: Older Easy chair, older floor lamp, newspaper, pipe, kitchen stick matches, tobacco pouch with tobacco (never lighted). Mother: Rocking chair, old floor lamp, knitting, letter, telegram. SET: Mother and Father upstage. Michael and Danny downstage. (Mother and Father could be raised so as to be out of the light of Michael and Danny.) Mother: stage left. Father: stage right. Michael: stage left. Danny: stage right. LIGHTING: In this staging, no stage lighting is used. See props. Only the personal light of each character is used, up and down. This creates the intimate, very personal aloneness and alienation the playwright is conveying. RATING: R, for language.
• "A CD of the play is available upon request."
• Page mounted January 26, 2003, and updated May 21, 2003, October 14, 2004, July 30, 2009, by the Webmaster.
abuse, death, disease, dysfunctional family, funeral, gay, heterosexual, homophobia, homosexuality vs. homosexuality, Vietnam War.