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Final Notes by Sandra McNiff

ISBN #1-60513-048-6
#2009-00
18

Cast
3M/4W

  • PROFESSOR JACK KING: Early 50s, the assistant director who will now take over the Studio. He is affable, with a resonant voice. He has primarily been a Shakespearean actor, but has a flair for the occasional one-liner. He is grieving the loss of his best friend, mentor and idol, so tries to keep composed.
  • DAN TURCOTTE: Mid 40s, a down and out comedian. Was once successful on Broadway. He accepted a job teaching acting at a private school in London, but some bad investments led to a reversal of fortune. He has always been a drinker, but now it is apparent that he abuses alcohol. He takes any engagement that he can possibly get, training films, voiceovers, one-night club jobs. He pretends that he is a big name in England.
  • ANDREA COOLIDGE: Early 20s, currently an acting student. Protégé of Jack King. She is observant and intelligent, showing a fresh exuberance when she meets former members of the Studio that she has come to love.
  • MISS EMERALD SMITH: Late 30s, but only admits to being in her late 20s. The reigning queen of drama on Broadway. She is flashy, uses big gestures, and is always “on stage,” constantly posing for photos. She knows that age is her enemy, however, and worries that she will not have anything more after this run.
  • TAREEN ADAMS: Early 30s, Miss Emerald’s photographer. She is quiet, mild-mannered, thoroughly in awe of Miss Emerald, and madly in love with Charles Hill.
  • CHARLES HILL: Early 40s, Miss Emerald’s publicist-agent. Madly in love with himself.
  • JESSIE CHADWICK: 40s, a director who received an invitation to the gathering. Prof. Divine went backstage to meet her after seeing one of her plays a few months earlier. She is an energetic woman with a quick wit and ready smile.

Plot Summary
Jeff Divine, the founding director of a college theater, has passed away – but his influence lives in the members of his drama studio. A fun loving man, with an engaging wit and sarcastic sense of humor, he instilled in his students a love of all things theatrical – from well-written words, to cleaning up the stage after the performance. In his final director’s notes, read by students representing different stages of his career, he reveals his keen, almost mystical, powers of observation, and insight into their lives.

Setting
The interior of a small college theater. The stage has a cyclorama curtain. At least six chairs of different types/styles are set in a semi-circle around a wooden table, center. Pieces of past stage sets are stored at the back - Greek pillars from Antigone, a lavishly draped (swags and jabots.) window from Grand Hotel/Blithe Spirit, steps from Julius Caesar/ Murder in the Cathedral, a balcony from Romeo and Juliet.

NOTE: Scenery or set pieces from other plays may be used. A few other pieces of furniture and some odd props may be placed randomly to create the atmosphere of a college theater between productions. (For example, an umbrella, a fringed lamp, trellis, worn out Christmas tree, footstool, gong, bucket.). Main entrance is UR, leading to stage door and street. Entrance L leads to a hallway and dressing room.

Sandra_McNiff.jpg (593082 bytes)Author Biography
Sandra McNiff is a speech-language pathologist, actress, and soprano who has a passion for writing. She has been involved in some aspect of theater or music for more than 40 years. During her career, she has produced and directed a children’s summer theater, worked as a professional puppeteer, performed in musical and non-musical theatrical presentations, staged chancel dramas and pageants, and served in various technical capacities, from stage hand to sound technician. In addition, she has written grants and volunteered as an officer and board member of several artistic organizations.
 

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