JAC Publishing & Promotions


TRANE: beyond the blues - The Life and Legacy of John W. Coltrane
by K. Biadaszkiewicz

ISBN #1-60513-160-1
JAC #2012-0016

Cast of Characters
Each actor portrays multiple roles as indicated. Minimum number of actors is four. Additional actors may be used. The large number of minor roles for various jazz musicians provides an opportunity to spotlight local or professional musical talent.

  • JOHN: John Coltrane, various ages throughout his life

  • FEMALE ACTOR as: Cousin Mary, Mama, Chanter, Bar Hostess, Autograph Seeker 2, Librarian, Bar Customer 2, Giggly Female, Naima, Zita Carna, Female Announcer, Audience Member 2, Alice, Reporter, Critic 3, Little Girl, Waitress

  • MALE ACTOR 1 as: Papa, White Clerk, Narrator 1, Brower, Chanter, Musician 1, Announcer 2, Charlie Parker, Eddie Vinson, Nasseridine, Lateef, Sam, Bar Customer 1, Joe Knight, Johnny Hodges, Miles Davis, Jimmy Cobb, Jimmy Garrison, Audience Members A & D, White Boy, Reggie, Critic 1, Bystander, 1st Gunman, Rasheid Ali,
    Japanese Guide, Reverend Blair

  • MALE ACTOR 2 as: Hoodlum, Kinzer, Granoff, Chanter, Narrator 2, Announcer 1, Autograph Seeker 1, Mellow Q. Wisdom , Jimmy Heath, Cop, Jessie, Pusher, Earl Bostic, Musician 2, Narcotics Officer, Thelonius Monk, Eric Dolphy, McCoy Tyner, Audience Member C & F, Critic 2, 2nd Gunman

The Setting
The moments – real and imagined - that shaped the life and music of John William Coltrane. The story is told in brief vignettes bridged by light and sound. Lighting moves from scene to scene with a musical fluidity that echoes the thematic development of the story. Snatches of Coltrane’s tunes, live or recorded, transition the chronologically arranged moments of the story. In the dream scenes and the Professor Venture sequences, lighting and props should be accentuated. There is a public address system. A microphone is used in the nightclub scenes. Platforms and other set pieces should be simple and versatile. The play was originally designed to tour urban schools and other venues. The power and emotion of the play comes not from elaborate sets or costumes, but from the astonishing imagination, creative energy, and regard for universal human dignity that defined Coltrane’s life and work.


In this definitively American legend, told “in real and imagined moments”, a boy who liked to read and listen to the radio mourns the loss of his beloved father. When the time comes for him to leave home, he carries with him a treasured gift: his very own saxophone. Trane is the story of the searing conflict between creativity and commercialism; between idealism and settling-for; between emotional closeness and death. It is a tale of the intricate simplicity of a man who speaks to the human spirit, through his music. It is the story of John W. Coltrane. Trane takes the audience on an unforgettable journey from his early childhood home on “the only paved road in the Neighborhood” of High Point, North Carolina— to the height of his musical career as “the High Priest of the Avant Garde Jazz Movement”, esteemed throughout the world. The story explores the sources of his extraordinary insights and inspirations; his heartbreaking disillusionments; desperate struggles with alcohol and drugs; and breathtaking development in his art, and in his life. The four women who helped to shape his life also shape this story of his life: His schoolteacher mother; his childhood playmate and cousin, Mary; his first wife, Juanita; and his second wife, Alice. Many of his other influences were other musicians who worked with him, including Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Jimmy Heath, Reggie Workman, Rashied Ali, and Yusef Lateef. Throughout the play, three major characters are spotlighted for their tremendous influence on Coltrane’s life: His grandfather Blair, a minister and former legislator; Professor Venture, a character in a storybook; and Mellow Q. Wisdom, the personification of the philosophies that Coltrane studied later in his life.

Narcissus: The Last Days of Lord Byron by Robert Joseph Ahola

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$35/performance royalty

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About this Playwright
Plays by K. BIADASZKIEWICZ have been performed and/or published in the US, Europe, and Asia. Scripts include: BOSTON '49 FLAMINGO (Romantic Comedy); HACHAMA (Drama. award from International Institute for Documentary and Drama in Conflict Transformation); I.S.O. COMFORT FOOD (Comedy); VANISHING POINT (Drama); EPHEMERALS (Drama); THE WOMAN WHO LOVED HITLER (Drama); TRANE: BEYOND THE BLUES (Celebrating the life and work of John W. Coltrane); THE ABSENCE OF FELICITY (Drama) "The wit and tragedy of the world's greatest dramatist; GONE GOOSE IS LOOSE & THE SCUPPERNONG'S TURNED (Drama); THE BALLAD OF NALLY & NELL (Multimedia drama); ME & MUGGINS (includes award-winning "Chickens" monologue The Scenebook for actors; THE MAN WHO BURIED HIS DOGS IN THE FRONT YARD (Comedy) Heuer Publishing; THE TANGLED THREAD (Comedy); PALO ALTO (Romantic comedy); THE MAN WHO CAME BACK AS A BALLROOM DANCER (Romantic drama); THE NEW SIGN (Drama); THE BRIDE WHO DREAMED OF ROCKEFELLER CENTER (Comedy); "NOTHING" SOUP (Drama); POTATO GIRL (Drama) Heuer Publishing; PAST ANGRY Unconventional "operetta" Brooklyn Publishing.; TEA GIRL (Comedy); HOW TO MEASURE HALF AN EGG (Romantic Comedy.) HE CAME HOME ONE DAY WHILE I WAS WASHING DISHES (Drama); Best Short American Play Anthology (Applause Books); SARAJEVO (Drama); GOING AFTER (Drama); WALTZ OF THE IRON MAN (Drama); COTTONMOUTH JUBILEE (Drama); WAY KEWL (Melodrama); SCREWING THE SECOND (Dark, dark comedy ); STEEPED (Historical satire); JEBOIS (Drama); ZUN (Drama). CHALUMEAU (a short romantic interlude); DINOSAUR PARADE (Drama); THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO DUMBO (Drama); KISS MY PACZKI, MR. KING OF THE WORLD (Drama); SACRAMENT OF NOODLES (Drama); the heroine quartet of COMEDIES: THE CHARITY FISH FRY; HOW FULLER LEARNED TO RIDE; THE DEBUT OF MISS RAVINA DEVOIR; a SAMBa FOR WANDA; youth theatre: DANCING WITH ALL THE COOL KIDS (Drama) Brooklyn Publishing; ALL ABOARD! (Historical adventure); SCIENTIA, SCIENTIAE (comedy); WHY I HATE GUNS (Drama)



great play great book by Sam Silva
one of the author's best! A play about universal love and it's desperation and a biography of the greatest jazz musician ever.


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