Two Coming of Age ComediesbyJohn McNamara
December 6-8, 2013 Set in the mid-1980's, these two one act plays will remind audiences of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles and Weird Science.Dramatist Play Service describes Present Tense as:It's the day of the high-school prom, and Norm Prescot, a love-smitten teenager, is beset with doubts. Will his girlfriend, Ann, keep their date or will she claim that she has to stay at the bedside of her aunt Gladys, who (she says) has been stricken with gallstones? As he waits, Norm's agonies multiply: Does Ann really have an Aunt Gladys? Or is she just using that as an excuse to pick up with her ex-boyfriend, Doug, a thick-headed jock, who is not only captain of the football, baseball and basketball teams but also Norm's obnoxious editor on the school newspaper? In a series of imaginative (and very funny) blackouts Norm's worst fears become real as we see all that is going on inside his head through wildly exaggerated daydreams depicting the fear and embarrassment of possible rejection by the girl he loves and the gnawing suspicion that she has not been faithful to him. All ends happily, however, when Norm is jarred back to reality by Ann's arrival—and, with a sign of relief, accepts her assurances that she really does love him after all.Dramatists Play Service describes Personal Effects as:The scene is the living room of the Mallory's Midwestern home, where Kevin Mallory, a rather meek and malleable high-school student, who has a history of striking out with girls, has decided to give a party (hopefully an orgy) in his parents' absence. Encouraged by his more "sophisticated" friends, Artie and Bill, Kevin invites Eileen Sorenson, a new girl at school whom he'd like to get to know better and who, his buddies claim, is "hot" for him. However, all of Kevin's plans go quickly and hilariously awry, and the party descends into chaos as fights break out, advances are rejected and resentment mounts. After the dust settles, Kevin comes to terms with the fact that he and his cohorts have behaved like jerks and that in order to be accepted by a girl she must be treated like a person and not an object. The blinding realization points Kevin toward a new direction in his relations with women and augurs for a better future as the play comes to its touching, bittersweet conclusion. Character Breakdowns Norm Prescott (PT) Norm is just a regular guy waiting to go to prom with his girlfriend. His overactive imagination and insecurities about himself create the world of the play. He is funny, self-deprecating and eager to please. To say that he doesn't understand women would be an understatement. Ann Allen (PT) Norm's girlfriend. Through most of the play, we see her as Norm sees her: funny, smart, pretty, kind and perhaps still in love with her ex-boyfriend. When she finally enters the play in real time, we see that she also really loves Norm. Doug Willard (PT) Ann's ex-boyfriend and the proto-typical big man on campus. Captain of the football, swim and baseball teams and editor of the school paper, Doug is the kind of guy girls want to be with and guys just want to be. He is Norm's worst nightmare, and when he finally enters the play, we find Norm was probably right. He's every bit the ass. Jerry Melnicker (PT)Norm's best friend. Jerry knows what he wants and what is what. He exudes self-confidence, but perhaps has little reason to do so. He is nosy and knows no shame; pushy and matter of fact. The confident nerd. Margie Eaton (PT) Typical, buttoned down girl who becomes a wild beast in the presence of Doug Willard. Mom (PT) Norm's mom, who is an offstage voice, much like Howard's in The Big Bang Theory. Shelly (PT) A Junior College girl who is every 1985 high school male's fantasy. One line role. Kevin Mallory (PE) Kevin's parents are out of town and he doesn't know what to do with himself. He is a follower, who takes his cues from his friends and the movies he watches. If only life was more like Risky Business or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, then he'd be set. He's nervous and desperate to make a suave, strong impression on Eileen. Bill Sempson (PE) Bill is Kevin's friend and quietly confident. He is self assured, guileless and without pretension. He doesn't need to make an effort for things to go his way, they just do. He worries about little and cares about less. He'd admire Ferris Bueller, but he thinks Ferris works too hard. When it comes to women, Bill picks his conquests as he would a pair of socks, whichever one he pulls out first. Artie Van Wyck (PE) Artie is Kevin's other friend who puts on the air of confidence, but is quick to panic. He has a fiery temper and is quick to pick a fight with his girl friend. He believes that everything should be in its place and never stray: this means his high school girlfriend will be his high school girlfriend. Eileen Sorenson (PE) Eileen is the new girl in town and the center of Kevin's attention. A girl of mystery, she is amiable and willing to fit in, but won't compromise her principles. She is fun, curious and genuine. She's on edge being in a new place, but finds Kevin cute and funny. Mary Ann Cassaldo (PE) Mary Ann is Artie's girlfriend and at her entrance a handful. Most guys would describe her as high maintenance but perhaps she's just high strung. She and Artie have a tempestuous relationship, and she doesn't hide her emotions. She;'s confident that they will be together forever, and he has different plans.
Last Modified on November 27, 2013