Pessimistic Optimism: Collected Ten Minute Plays and Monologues

Original Works Publishing
Free sample

 Ten Minute Plays:

ALL 49 STATES - When California falls into the ocean after "the big one", new president Jenna Bush devises a plan to reborder the United States.  (1M, 3F)

BLACK & DECKER - As two best friends prepare for a Halloween party they are visited by Death, who is taking a break on one of his busiest days.  (3M)

DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY - In the adult film world everyone has to audition.  The young lady in today's audition used to have an addition, if you get my drift..  (2M, 2F)

LOVE IN THE TIME OF BAILOUT - An under-achieving cubicle dweller is fired by his unfaithful and pregnant executive wife, and she needs him gone to finish embezzling millions before the day is out.  (2M, 2F)

RESERVATIONS - A young married couple stuck in traffic discover that their happiness may be an illusion.  (1M, 1F)

REVERSED CURSE - It's game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, and Yankees fan Casey wants to propose to Red Sox fan Rhonda, if only her dad would butt-out..  (1M, 1F)

Monologues:

POMEGRANATE - A daycare professional has a one-on-one with some wealthy parents. (1F)

PIZZA BOY - A former Wall Street banker has a tough time with his new gig.  (1M)

SHRINK ME - A soon to be father is having trouble adjusting to the idea of having a daughter.  (1M)

YOU'RE FIRED! - A sub-par employee gets the axe.  (1M)

MAN UP! - A football coach lays into his team at halftime.  Who cares if they're only nine.  (1M)

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Additional Information

Publisher
Original Works Publishing
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Published on
Dec 31, 2011
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Pages
101
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ISBN
9781934962725
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / American / General
Drama / General
Performing Arts / Theater / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, the Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, the Lucille Lortel Award, and the Oppenheimer Award

Margaret Edson's powerfully imagined Pulitzer Prize–winning play examines what makes life worth living through her exploration of one of existence's unifying experiences—mortality—while she also probes the vital importance of human relationships. What we as her audience take away from this remarkable drama is a keener sense that, while death is real and unavoidable, our lives are ours to cherish or throw away—a lesson that can be both uplifting and redemptive. As the playwright herself puts it, "The play is not about doctors or even about cancer. It's about kindness, but it shows arrogance. It's about compassion, but it shows insensitivity."

In Wit, Edson delves into timeless questions with no final answers: How should we live our lives knowing that we will die? Is the way we live our lives and interact with others more important than what we achieve materially, professionally, or intellectually? How does language figure into our lives? Can science and art help us conquer death, or our fear of it? What will seem most important to each of us about life as that life comes to an end?

The immediacy of the presentation, and the clarity and elegance of Edson's writing, make this sophisticated, multilayered play accessible to almost any interested reader.

As the play begins, Vivian Bearing, a renowned professor of English who has
spent years studying and teaching the intricate, difficult Holy Sonnets of the
seventeenth-century poet John Donne, is diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. Confident of her ability to stay in control of events, she brings to her illness the same intensely rational and painstakingly methodical approach that has guided her stellar academic career. But as her disease and its excruciatingly painful treatment inexorably progress, she begins to question the single-minded values and standards that have always directed her, finally coming to understand the aspects of life that make it truly worth living.

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