by Jim Hetrick
As a family holds vigil at the side of their passing Patriarch, each finds a time to reflect upon past times and the future of their lives with out him.
Cast of Characters
*BILL: Charlie’s oldest son. Insurance VP. Very impressed with himself. Drives a Lexus. Golfs with the Governor.
*JOCELYN: Bill’s wife. Always dressed in exquisite dresses. Heels. Fine jewelry. Never a hair out of place. Not really a snob, but definitely wants the rest of the world to know that she is upper crust. Favorite pastime is tennis “at the club.”
THOMAS: Middle brother. Mechanic. Down-to-earth fellow. Into sports, but not a fanatic. Enjoys a game of pool, and a night out with the guys. Beer drinker. Soft spoken. Gets along with most folks, but knows how to speak his mind and stands up for what he believes in. Can have a temper when somebody gets him riled.
CHERYL: Married to Tom. Sweet. Quiet. Kindergarten teacher. Athletic. Runs five miles every morning. Into women’s college basketball. Madly in love with husband. Has two young children. Out of all of “the kids”, she is Charlie’s favorite.
MICHELE: Two years younger than Tom. An old hippie. Can’t stand Bill’s lifestyle, and outwardly despises Jocelyn. Outspoken but not LOUD. Very intelligent. Very “liberated.” Always has a cause she is championing. She is currently a lactivist. Single. No children. A homeopathic healer.
PHILIP: Youngest sibling. Friendly. Quiet. Doesn’t want to make waves. Gay, but not effeminate. The actor will have to bring forth the character’s homosexuality with grace, subtlety and sensitivity. Very likable character. Large animal veterinarian.
**GERTRUDE: Mother to Bill, Thomas, Michele and Philip. Wife to Charlie. Completely and totally dedicated to her family. Spent the last fifty-five years of her life raising her family and loving and fighting with Charlie. She will defend her family to the death. Nobody can say a bad word about any of her children without a fight. Nobody can say a bad word about Charlie except for her.
T’AUNT SOPHIE: Charlie’s younger sister. A bit eccentric. Loud. Intelligent. A little dingy. Somewhere around eighty.
**CHARLIE: 80. Dying of lung cancer. Narrator. Easy-going and lovable. Fascinated with mechanical things. Loves his kids. Adores his wife. In the beginning, the actor playing Charlie lies in bed upstage of a dummy and under the covers, on a platform slightly below the dummy so he is blocked initially from the audience’s view.
*Notes: Bill and Cheryl should not be played as
Thurston Howell, III and wife. They are a little snooty, but they both
remember their more “common” roots.
A living room. All of the furniture is of the old, heavy style. It is in excellent shape, but obviously worn. A sofa is the centerpiece, surrounded by a recliner angled slightly toward the audience, another big, upholstered chair with wings, and a console television. There is a large coffee table with magazines and two large, full candy dishes in front of the sofa. There is a large table stage right for coffee service and food. There should be an indication of a bay window in the room, along with a doorways that leads to Charlie’s bedroom. Charlie’s bedroom contains a bed, a nightstand and a dummy in bed or an actor. In the living room, next to Charlie’s bedroom door is a breathing machine with tubes running into Charlie’s bedroom. This machine runs at the beginning and the end of each scene throughout to give the audience the impression that it is running continuously throughout the performance. Upstage right is another arched doorway leading to the kitchen and rest of the house. The walls of the living room are scattered with pictures of people, presumably relatives.
Also available from this Playwright
In the News
Jim Hetrick's "Blessed Event" can now be viewed on the internet! The website is CTV14.com. Once there, click on the "watch" tab at the bottom of the screen, and then type in Blessed Event in the search field. ENJOY!
ISBN 1-60513-101-6; JAC #2011-0006
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