Ladies in Retirement

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Ladies in Retirement

August 14 – August 29, 1964

by Edward Percy and Reginald Denham

Miss Fiske, ex-actress, lives in a remote house with her companion, Ellen Creed. Ellen, who has devoted her life to her sisters, Louisa and Emily (simple-minded maiden ladies), invites them to visit her. These eccentric persons make themselves at home, but when Miss Fiske reminds Ellen it is time for them to go back, they are unwilling to do so. Miss Fiske and Ellen quarrel, and Ellen prepares to send her sisters to London. She has, however, secretly told them that they shall always remain with her. The sisters go for a drive, though Miss Fiske thinks they are leaving for good; the servants have been sent away (by Ellen), and Ellen and Miss Fiske are left alone together. On the return of the sisters Miss Fiske is gone—on a trip, Ellen says—and all three sisters settle down in what they regard as their own home. Meantime, Albert, nephew of the Creed sisters, who had paid a secret visit and got money from Miss Fiske, turns up again. He has robbed a bank and determines to hide with his aunts. Learning that Miss Fiske is away, and suspecting something, he pieces together the evidence. With the help of the maid Lucy, he lays a trap for Ellen, by reproducing in pantomime, in the moonlit living room, the scene of Ellen’s murder of Miss Fiske. Ellen, who faints when she sees what she imagines is the ghost of her victim, plays a courageous but losing game. Knowing that Albert and Lucy realize what she has done, she plans for the security of her sisters and gives up to the police.

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Janus


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Janus

September 11 -September 26, 1964

by Carolyn Green

The respectable wife of a midwestern tycoon leads a double life: every summer she joins a lover in New York to write a best seller under the pen name ‘Janus’.

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High Sign

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High Sign

by Lewis John Carlino

This is a play about a search for personal identity by seeking out the identity of God. It takes place in Al’s Gayway Bar, a refuge for derelicts. Guido, agnostic and a broken down self-styled actor, works here, performing scenes for Al in return for drinks and a warm spot near the radiator. The play’s action is centered on the antagonism between Guido and Donald, an ex-Trappist, who spends his time carving religious symbols on the bar in hope that God will recognize them and show Himself. In a moment of spiteful perversity, Donald taunts Guido into reenacting a scene most painful to him, a real scene; his betrayal by the woman he once loved. Guido leaves but then in revenge, he returns in a strange disguise, creating weird effects to dupe Donald into believing he is God, finally making His sign. The figure he presents is comic, grotesque, but Donald, who has been waiting so long, accepts it as the real thing. Guido subjects Donald to a series of ridiculous and humiliating trials, then reveals himself. Donald is horrified that he could accept and believe such a God. He has nowhere to go now. He has tried everything, waited too long. In despair he goes off to shoot himself, leaving a sobered Guido to ponder his own lack of reconciliation with the infinite. He picks up Donald’s knife and begins carving, taking up Donald’s search.

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A Shot in the Dark

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A Shot in the Dark

by Marcel Achard, adapted by Harry Kurnitz

On Broadway, Julie Harris played the good hearted and guileless child of nature who is hauled before the magistrate on a charge of murder, having been found unconscious, nude, and clutching a gun, with her lover dead beside her. What is most shocking to the magistrate is the complete frankness with which she describes her life as a parlor maid and her affairs with both the dead chauffeur and her aristocratic employer. She is so ingenious that the magistrate, at the risk of his juridical neck, decides that she could not have committed the murder. The investigation expands to include both the aristocratic employer, who cannot answer yes or no in less than a paragraph and whose own polysyllables make him yawn, and his wife who descended in direct line from Attilla the Hun and looks it. She has been having an affair with her husband’s best friend. The magistrate finds the right culprit and the open hearted little parlor maid offers herself to him as a present.

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A View From the Bridge

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A View from the Bridge

by Arthur Miller

A tragedy in the classic form and I think it is a modern classic…the central character is a long-shoreman who, though his mind is limited and he cannot find words for his thoughts, is an admirable man…When two of his wife’s Italian cousins—submarines they are, in the waterfront argot—are smuggled into this country, he makes room for them in his home. Gratefully they move in among his wife, his children and the teen-age niece whom he has brought up and whom he has come to love, he thinks, as a daughter. And now the stage is set for tragedy. One of the illegal immigrants has a family in Italy for whom he is working; the other young, extraordinarily handsome, and exceedingly blonde, is single. He wants to become an American, and he falls in love with his benefactor’s niece. If he marries the girl he will no longer have to hide from immigration officials. A monstrous change creeps up on the kind and loving uncle. He is violently opposed to this romance and is not intelligent enough to realize that this opposition is not motivated, as he thinks, by a dislike of the boy and a suspicion that he is too pretty to be a man, but by his own too intense love for his niece. Not even the wise and kindly neighborhood lawyer can persuade him to let the girl go. This is an intensely absorbing drama, sure of itself every step of the way. It makes no false moves, wastes no time and has the beauty that comes from directness and simplicity.”

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See How They Run

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See How They Run

by Philip King

So swift is the action, so involved the situations, so rib tickling the plot in this London hit that at its finish audiences are left as exhausted from laughter as though they had run a foot race. Galloping in and out of the four doors of an English vicarage are an American actor and actress (he is now stationed with the air force in England), a cockney maid who has seen too many American movies, an old maid who “touches alcohol for the first time in her life,” four men in clergyman suits presenting the problem of which is which, for disguised as one is an escaped prisoner, and a sedate Bishop aghast at all these goings on and the trumped up stories they tell him.

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