JAC Publishing & Promotions

Tar Tiff by Hans P. Braendlin

ISBN #1-933159-30-8


  • TAR TIFF: A televangelist and a hypocrite; mid-40s.

  • FELICITY: In her late 70s; the majority stockholder of Felicity Industries, a global corporation that she created. She wants to control the world.

  • ORSON: Felicity’s son, on her Board of Directors, late 40s. He aspires to be a U.S. Senator at her behest.

  • ELMIRA: Orson’s wife of one year, late 30s. She has led an introspective life.

  • MARIANNE: Orson’s daughter from a previous marriage; early 20s. She is a student of psychology and a feminist.

  • DAMIEN: Marianne’s brother; late 20s, homosexual. He is a union activist.

  • DOREEN: Elmira’s friend and doctor; late 30s. She runs a women’s clinic and shelter.

  • VALERIO (VAL): Marianne’s boyfriend, Mexican American; late 20s. A lawyer for immigrants’ rights. His parents are gardeners to Orson and Elmira.

  • PAUL: Damien’s partner; early 30s. A pianist.

The Setting

Elmira’s study and undefined places. May be limited to one set, in Elmira’s study.  Minimally: Upstage center/right a small sofa facing downstage, with space behind it.  Stage right a desk with a computer, a lamp, a phone, an intercom, and a desk chair; a door to Elmira’s bedroom. Stage left a door to a hall; a small sofa facing right, with a coffee table in front. The furniture is modest but warm. The stage directions reflect the use of the one set only. For the scenes in undefined places, with the stage dark and spotlights, additional sets may be used at the discretion of the direction.  The early 21st Century.


Plot Summary

Tar Tiff focuses on religious hypocrisy in collusion with greed, war-mongering, contempt of human rights, racism and sexism in contemporary America. The transgressors: Tar Tiff, a manipulative televangelist; Felicity, creator of a global corporation who, with Tar Tiff’s help, has her son Orson run for office to further her interests; and at first, Orson. The intended victims: Elmira, Orson’s wife of one year; Marianne, Orson’s feminist daughter from a previous marriage; Damien, Orson’s homosexual, union activist son; Valerio, Marianne’s Mexican-American boyfriend and a lawyer for immigrants’ rights; Valerio’s parents, gardeners to Orson and Elmira; Elmira’s friend Doreen, who runs a women’s clinic and shelter; and Damien’s partner, Paul. Resistance to Tar Tiff and Felicity, including Orson’s liberation from them, leads to a happy ending.

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Author Biography

Hans Braendlin is a retired associate professor of Modern Languages from Florida State University, with a special interest in drama and theater. In the courses on drama, he taught a great variety of plays, but mainly 17th Century European and German Expressionist plays, as well as works by Brecht, Durrenmatt, Frisch and the drama of the absurd. Originally of Swiss nationality, he is now a naturalized United States citizen.

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Hans P. Braendlin's Tar Tiff

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