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University of Minnesota, Morris production of Six Short Plays consisting of:

This Property is Condemned by Tennessee Williams; Before Breakfast by Eugene O’Neill; Playgoers by Arthur Wing Pinero; Susugigawa (The Washing Bucket) by Kyogen; The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco; Augustus by Jean Anouilh and Jean Aurenche. All directed by Raymond J.Lammers.

Synopsis: This Property is Condemned -- Willie, a 13-year old girl from Mississippi, is world-weary before her time. She dropped out of school years ago, her family died, and now she lives alone in their condemned boarding house and dreams of becoming a whore. One day as she walks on the railroad tracks, she meets 16-year-old Tom.

Before Breakfast -- A woman, while preparing breakfast for her husband (heard off-stage), complains of her struggles to make ends meet. The husband, once considered a desirable catch, has steadily degenerated until he is no longer good for anything. When his wife has said everything hateful and bitter that is in her, she subsides into silence. A moment later we know that the desperate man in the next room has just cut his throat.

Playgoers -- Satire is a genre of literature where vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings in humans and their institutions are held up to ridicule with the intent of shaming individuals, corporations, government, or society itself into reform. While satire is generally meant to be humorous, its greater purpose is generally constructive social criticism.

Susugigawa (The Washing Bucket) -- Susugigawa is a pivotal play in post–World War II kyōgen. An adaptation of the medieval French farce Le Cuvier and virtually indistinguishable from traditional plays, its success marked the beginning of the "kyōgen boom." This introduction traces the many permutations of the play, from its first shingeki (modern Japanese theatre) adaption to recent bilingual and English-language kyōgen productions.

The Lesson -- An elderly professor and his young female student experience what must certainly be the most remarkable and bizarre lesson in the history of pedagogy. It ends with murder.

Augustus -- Humulus is silent. But a doctor managed to give him the opportunity to say "a word" a day. Humulus made a big decision: save his words, for thirty days, in order to be able to make a statement to the one he loves, even if he does not send the traditional wishes to the Duchess, his grandmother to have his blessing and to inherit his fortune, for the new year. When the big day arrives (that of the declaration), the thirty words are said: "Would you like to repeat, please," asks the beloved. Because, a little hard of hearing, she did not hear anything and takes out an acoustic horn from her bag! So he loses both.

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Theatre and Performance Studies

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Six Short Plays, February 22-25, 1989