Sundowner

(a play about memory)
Play in Development – early draft

(writing sample)  (return to plays)

Production History: 

id-iots playwriting group development 2009-2010.

id Theatre Company, excerpt Play reading NYC, 2010.

Story:

Elderly Jenny finds herself unable to take care of herself.  She is moved to the hospital, then a nursing home.  Her daughter struggles to do the right thing for her, but is caught up in the politics and bureaucracy of the medical system.  While the turmoil of settling her into her new life evolves, Jenny slowly slips into dementia and starts seeing her reality as segments of relived past from her childhood in war torn France, to coming to America as a bride.   Each turn of her present situation triggers a memory from her journey through life in pursuit of her American Dream. 

Characters:  (clustered names signify roles for one actor)   

 

  • (Jenny) Jeannine Pelletier Delaney:  French/Southern.  Plays various ages.  Actress in late twenties. 
  • (Katie) Katherine May Delaney:  Jenny’s daughter.  Southern/NYC. Early fifties.
  • (Buddy) Robert John Marshall Delaney :  Jenny’s husband.  Southern. Late twenties.
  • Michael, male nurse, Southern Late twenties.
    Social Worker, Southern

·         EMS

  • (Robbie) Robert Delaney:  Jenny’s son.  Southern. Mid fifties.
    Young Robbie (twenties)

·         Henry, Buddy’s friend.  Southern Late twenties

  • (Papa) François Pelletier: Jenny’s father.  French. Mid fifties.
  • (Arty) Artemis Simons: nursing home resident.  Southern- farm country. Mid eighties Attorney, NYC, older.
    (Waiter) Garcon French. Late twenties.  French.  Older
     EMS
  • Hospital Nurse,  Southern.

·         Jackie:  Female nurse, Southern  

  • Miriam:  Jenny’s caregiver.  Southern. Early twenties.

·         Pines Staffer, Southern

·         Jacqueline:  Jenny’s girlfriend. French. 

 

Time, Place, and Set:

The play takes place in many locations and many times, Present day from 1940.  But the only furniture on stage is a set of patio furniture, preferably black iron rather than plastic.  The chaise is used as a bed, the table and chairs as a dining room, café, seating in the nursing home, etc.  The cart is used for props needed for various scenes.  The scene titles are projections that lead into and fade out during each new scene.  Of course, this won’t happen if there’s no budget for it.

 

Sounds:

The sounds define location and heightened emotions for Jenny.  They must always be organic to the time and location of the scenes.

 

  • Backyard Cicadas, birds, and crickets
  • Train whistle and crossroad signal.
  • Hospital hallway on tiled floors
  • Nursing home hallway echoes on wood floors
  • Parisian city streets and café
  • Movement and kitchen activities off stage
  • Cathedral echoes and distant choral singing
  • Nursing home echoes of Baptist singing and preaching

ONE ACT:  INTERMISSION (optional)