Drama. 30-40 minutes. 5-6 males, 6-7 females, 1+ any gender (11-12+ performers, with possible extras). Suitable for high school and older performers, middle school and older audiences. Â
Finalist in the Playscripts Thornton Wilder adaptation (of public domain sketches) contest, summer 2011.
During the devastating waning days of the First World War, wistful Fanny, a great stage diva, sorts through a found trove of souvenirs when her first love, George Atcheson, suddenly appears. Once a handsome actor of modest talent crippled by stage fright, George is now staid, married, the father of two sons and, to Fanny's surprise, an Anglican Bishop. George is desperate to safely bury an earlier chapter of his life—his youthful backstage romance with a glamorous actress. When Fanny's questions trigger a flood of shared memories, we vividly flash back to a life-altering final dress rehearsal in chilly, rainy Brighton, where younger versions of both characters lead a ragtag band of actors through a defining moment in the bittersweet love story. As they comically stumble through a 19th century melodrama, offstage rivalries and jealousies surface, fatefully separating George and Fanny. Now, is it too late, or will these two star-crossed lovers create an unexpected happy ending? An affectionate portrait of the theatre and two of its inescapably intertwined players. Adapted from a sketch by acclaimed author Thornton Wilder.