JAC Publishing & Promotions


The Back Road to Pocatello by Charles F.D. Egbert

ISBN #1-933159-022
JAC #2004-0003


  • REV. WILLIAM PETERS, 45, Presbyterian Minister
  • JOAN PETERS, 37, his wife
  • LIZZIE PETERS, 17, his older daughter
  • PHOEBE PETERS, 12, his younger daughter
  • GRANDMA, 62, his mother-in-law
  • JEFF MILLER, 26, Lizzie’s friend
  • CORNELIUS WATERMAN, 62, Grandma’s friend

The Setting

Spring, 1952. The action takes place in the living room of the Peters’ residence, which is next to the Presbyterian Church, in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania. It is a well-appointed room, old-fashioned, sedate, and dignified, clearly the house of a minister. On one side of the room is the front door opening out to a sidewalk. On the other side of the stage there is a passage that leads to Grandma’s room (formerly the dining room) and the kitchen. On the back wall are stairs leading up to a landing with a door to the study and more stairs up to the second floor. There is a telephone on a bookcase with encyclopedias, and a sofa, an easy chair and a table with two chairs.

Plot Summary

Reverend Peters lives a quiet life as a Presbyterian minister in a small town in eastern Pennsylvania. He works hard on his sermons despite his family’s constant interruptions and endless “caterwauling”. His daughter, Lizzie, thinks she’s in love with a new, “older” man. His daughter, Phoebe, reads and asks questions about everything. Also in their family is Grandma, Peters’ wife's mother, who hasn’t done very well in the love and happiness department. Into this more-or-less conventional family there comes a great wind from the West, a voice from the past. Cornelius is an old friend from Grandma’s school days. He is a big presence; generous, warm, open and charming... and he thinks Grandma is absolutely wonderful. He sweeps them all off their feet. But with him come some forgotten facts about Grandma’s past. Cornelius proposes to take Grandma out to his ranch on the Snake River and give her a wonderful new life, but can she leave her family? The girls think Cornelius is wonderful, and so does Joan. Is Grandma going to accept his proposal to put the top down on his convertible and take the back road to Pocatello?

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If you like this play, consider Charles F.D. Egbert's
The Juju Bead Heist!

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