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|2 one-act plays from|
|below the Mason-Dixon Line|
|I AM THE GUMBO|
|The Last Southern Gentleman|
first 10 pages
|"Ethnically specific but universal in theme about what it means to be who you are."|
|THE LAST SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN
(*portrays 4 characters)
white columns, an easy chair, some bushes,
a projected image
running time: about 50 minutes
WEEKS HALL, eccentric Southerner
HENRY MILLER, novelist
*INEZ, a secretary
*YOUNG LADY, a loony
*SPOT, a dog
|I AM THE GUMBO
2M, 2F (middle-aged & up)
a front porch in South Louiiana
running time: 45-50 minutes
FILO, a crusty sugarcane farmer
TEENIE, his forebearing wife
ROLAND, a lapsed Cajun
MARGUERITE, his estranged wife
|I AM THE GUMBO introduces audiences to the people who have given us all that tasty food and foot-tapping music: the Cajuns|
|The true story of novelist Henry Miller's month-long visit to south Louisiana where he was the guest of a perverse and puckish Southern eccentric, William Weeks Hall, a reclusive artist who has retreated from the world into his fantastic creation of house and landscape. The house, an Antebellum Plantation. The landscape, a lush jungle of live oaks and Spanish moss, deliberately evocative of times past.|
|Cajuns, cancer, California, St. Anthony of Padua, an invisible Cajun Band, a 150 year-old live oak tree and, of course, GUMBO. And not just any gumbo but one potent enough to lure a lapsed Cajun down from his self-imposed exile up in an ancient live oak tree.|
|"The Last Southern Gentleman" tells the story of a soul tortured, possessed by the past but unable to come fully to terms with the great burden the inheritance of his ancestral home put upon him.
Miller's visit served as a cathartic for Weeks Hall, who bares his soul in the course of midnight sessions of wine and coffee under the live oaks which, in Miller's words were like "private sessions with Dr. Caligari himself".
"The Last Southern Gentleman" is a poetic, evocative play with a mad dash of eccentricity. Weeks's stunning ancestral home was a magnet to the curious. When they became too inquisitive, Weeks morphed into his alter ego, an idiot twin-brother, who would don a mardi-gras mask and slobber and stammer at the gawking tourists.
|A Cajun returns home to Louisiana from California only to discover that he's no longer a Cajun. His estranged wife has been sending him gumbos over 10 years, each gumbo blander than the one before hoping to lure him back to her. Instead, he has lost all ability to distinguish between awful and good gumbo. A death sentence for any self-respecting Cajun.
So there's only one thing to do: climb up in an old oak tree and stay there until he's a Cajun again. His estranged wife reverse-cooks 10 years of gumbos ending with one which will win her husband back and out of the tree.
|the real WEEKS HALL|
|As an Ending-Within-And-After-The-Ending, the Audience is invited up on stage to enjoy the GUMBO cooked onstage during the play.|
LES BON TON
|"The Shadows" home of Weeks Hall|
|Poetic, perverse, and Puckish, "The Last Southern Gentleman" captures Henry Miller's take on the pecularities of the American South through the life of a Southen original seeking to both break and preserve the ancestral chains of the Past.|
|(let the good times roll)|
|Both of these one-act plays are based upon full-length plays by the author. If you are interested in the longer versions, they are POSSESSED BY THE PAST and THE QUARTER-STEP WALTZ and both synopses as well as photographs of productions are available via my Home Page.
Please contact me HERE. or HERE Thank you for visiting!