Heartland

(a seven scene drama that can be played without intermission)

(writing sample)  (return to plays)

Production History: 

Originally presented as a workshop production at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Levin Theatre, thesis production for an M.F.A., Spring 1995.

Finalist at the Chesterfield Film Project, 1998.

In the fall of  1997 it was produced by Heartstone Theatre Ensemble at the Access Theatre, New York City.

Story:

Katherine, a professional woman in her middle years, has entered a family planning clinic to terminate her third pregnancy.  She meets a person from her past that brings back unwanted memories from her childhood.  These memories in turn cause Katherine’s two younger “selves” from her previous clinic visits to come to life.  Her younger personae force her to relive the reasons for her first two terminations and to look more closely at her present course of action. 

Characters:

Katherine:     Forty-two. 1994. Dressed for late Winter.  Very stylish.  Lawyer.

Cat:           Early thirties. 1985.  Dressed for Fall.   Very trendy/stylish, sexy and allows for free movement. 

Katie:         Early twenties. 1979. Dressed for early Spring.  Nice comfortable clothes, but not too stylish.

Martin:        Early twenties. 1976.

Jessie:        Late twenties.  1985.

Miriam:       (Nurse)  Forty- two. 1994.  

Intern:        Early thirties.  1994.

 

Time:

     Autumn.  1994.

Set:

     This is a one set, stylized clinic.  There are three waiting room chairs near the Nurse's desk.  There is a large door near the desk.  The O.R. doors are scrims.  CHARLIE and MIRIAM use this as their only entrance and exits.   

     Across the up stage area is a series of scrim panels.  The "kitchen" of the apartment is located behind one panel, JESSIE'S "pool hall" and "apartment" behind another.   The players can slip between the panels for entrances and exits and to play scenes.  The panels go from being transparent to opaque depending on the scene.

     Stage Right is the "LIVING ROOM" area that consists of an armchair, a large book, and crystal liquor glass on the floor next to a bottle of Jack Daniels and a small side table stacked with books and scripts.

     Stage Left is the "BEDROOM" area with a bed and vanity with mirror facing audience.  On the vanity is a telephone, paper weight, hairbrush and makeup. 

 

PLAYING NOTE:

     During the scenes shifting from LIVING ROOM to BEDROOM to CLINIC to MEMORY sequences, the women watch and react to all the action on stage.  The men turn up-stage and maintain in-character movement while the counter scenes are being played.  No time has elapsed for the men during the counter scenes.

     MIRIAM never acknowledges KATIE or CAT during the entire play.  KATIE and CAT are entirely in KATHERINE'S head. 

     During the MEMORY sequences, the entire stage can be used as the playing area for all characters.

 

ACT/SCENE BREAKDOWN: 

Act One:

Episode One:    The Conception

Episode Two:    The Interview

Episode Three:  The Men

Episode Four:   Family Life

Episode Five:   Primitive Instincts

Act Two:

Episode Six:    Games

Episode Seven:  The Doors