Connelly, Marc (aka Marcus Cook Connelly, American playwright, 1890-____), “The Traveler,”
a __-minute comedy sketch in English, set in the smoking compartment of a 20th Century pullman car, 1926,
© 1939 by Marc Connelly;
• in Marc Connelly’s The Traveler, comedy in one act ([New York City:] Dramatists Play Service, Inc. [c1939]), 23 pp., DPS 992185, LCCN 39-24967.
• also, in 24 Favorite One-Act Plays, edited by Bennett Alfred Cerf (1898-____) and Van H[enry] Cartmell (1896-____), Dolphin Books [1st ed.] (Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, 1958), LCCN 58-13274, 455 pp.;
• script/rights available only in photocopied manuscript from Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 440 Park Avenue South, New York, New York, 212-683-8960, fax 212-213-1, http://www.dramatists.com.
Mr. Mercer (m), __, normally a subway rider; Morton (m), __, a friendly porter on the 20th Century train; Mr. Barclay (m), __, the dignified, friendly conductor on the 20th Century.
“Mr. Mercer usually goes downtown on the subway in New York. This time, however, he determines on an adventure, and takes a train (the 20th Century, no less!) for the return trip. Morton, a friendly porter, installs him comfortably in the smoking-room. Mr. Barclay, the conductor, a monument of dignified and expansive friendliness, chats with him, oh, so disarmingly! Mr. Mercer is delighted at the quick blossoming of such a friendship. They exchange the pleasant conversation inanities of such causal contacts, which seem of tremendous importance; and Mr. Mercer's gentle heart expands. As he leaves the train, he resolves daringly to ‘do the whole darn trip over again this summer.’ Mr. Barclay expands too and bestows on Mercer the most cordial of good wishes. ‘I trust you find your dear ones hale and hearty. Write me soon.’ The curtain line, however delivered by Mr. Barclay, is a perfect parting shot, giving point to the entire sketch.”
• “The Traveler,” directed by Joseph Santley in 1929, is six-minute black and white motion picture, for which Marc Connelly received writing credit.
• “Marcus Cook Connelly . . . was a member of the Algonquin Round Table [Algonquin Hotel, New York City]. He was writing plays at the age of five in his hometown of Mckeesport, [Pennsylvania, U.S.A.]. He was a journalist for the Pittsburgh Sun in Pittsburgh [, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.] until he moved to New York City. Meeting his friends at the Algonquin Round Table, he jumped at the chance to write plays with them. Connelly composed several comedies with playwright George S. Kaufman. . . . He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for The Green Pastures in 1931. The play, a re-telling of the Old Testament, was a landmark in American drama; boasting the first all-black Broadway cast. He contributed verse and articles to Life, Everybody’s, and other magazines. Connelly was one of the wittiest members of the Algonquin Round Table. He said, ‘I always knew children were anti-social. But the children of the West Side—they're savage.’ In 1968, Connelly penned his autobiography, Voices Offstage. A film about the Round Table members, The Ten-Year Lunch (1987), won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; Connelly was interviewed for it. A 1994 movie about the group was entitled Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. There is also a musical about it called The Talk of the Town that is performed in the Algonquin's Oak Room cabaret; Connelly is a character in the show.”—Marc Connelly - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_Connelly, accessed December 6, 2006.
• Research should include Marc Connelly’s The Green Pastures (New York: Farrar & Rinehart, Incorporated, 1930), LCCN 45025499, "Large paper edition. the first to contain the text of the play and the spirituals.”
adventure, first encounter, friendship, male bonding, 20th Century train.
Other Plays by Marc Connelly