|My Father's House|
|Author||BREEZE, TONY - Other Plays by this Author - Contact Author|
|Synopsis||The play is set in 1929 in the American Dustbowl, prior to the Wall Street Crash. The Macdonalds, a poor farming family, find a young black hobo hiding in their woodshed and and the father is about to shoot him when they question him and he doesn't answer. They find that he can't answer because he doesn't have a tongue.
They are struggling to get by and owe rent to the greedy local bigwig Spenk, whose son plays with their son. One day their youngest son, Peewee, is climbing a nearby tree to try and see the Promised Land of California when he falls and seriously injures himself. The father, Joe, is told that the boy needs a target to aim for so he decides to build a tree-house to try and encourage his son to get better but when it doesn't seem to be working, he is reminded by the hobo of a quote from the bible, "My Father's house has many rooms" and he takes the hint and begins extending the tree-house into the biggest anyone has ever seen (done in silhouette).
People begin to come from far and wide to see it and Spenk, the landlord , motivated by greed, realises the profit to be made and decides to charge the sightseers a fee and wants to turn it into a company listed on Wall Street.
The hobo is arrested for an alleged sexual assault and the Macdonalds have to go to a Speaking Contest in town. Whilst at the contest Joe hears that a lynch mob is taking the hobo from the jail to lynch him. This gives Joe the courage to speak out to the assembled audience. having told everyone the truth they leave the hall and find Abe hanging from a nearby tree. Joe is so distraught that he decides to leave the area and rushes home to begin chopping down the tree house, loading up the truck to take his family to the promised land of California.
|Cast||2f + 3m + 1juvf + 3juvm (minimum 9)|
Joe Macdonald (30-40)
Mattie Macdonald (30 - 40)
Becky Macdonald (teenager)
Billy Macdonald (10 - 12)
Peewee Macdonald (Younger)
Cornelius Spenk (40's)
Franklyn Spenk (Doubling)
Jeremiah Spenk (10 -12)
Hobo (Black 20yrs Non-speaking)
|Production||Ramshackle farmhouse with overhanging tree|
|Status||Available for performance|
|DOWNLOADS - these do not include any performance rights|
|Script-761.pdf||Mon, 14th Oct 2013||Buy one copy of full script||Available to print: £7.00|
|Script-758.pdf||Mon, 14th Oct 2013||Free download of first Act||Available to print: £0.00||Download here|
|Available on ScriptCircle: (for other licences please contact the Author)|
|Amateur Performance||Up to 600 seats. EEC Countries.||£45.00 per performance|
Having grown up in Sunderland, in the north-east of England, Tony went to Nottingham to train as a drama teacher. He taught for two years then came to a crossroads in his life when he realized that he'd spent the majority of his early years in educational establishments and was faced with another forty years of doing the same. Naively wanting to "do good for society," he decided to take a look at the world outside and enrolled in the local police force but after a few years of working shifts and seeing the gritty realities of life on the outside, he was in need of a creative outlet and began writing plays, two of which were published by New Playwrights Network of Macclesfield. Whilst still in the police he continued to to act and write and following a long career in amateur drama, at the age of forty, he was still feeling the "call of the greasepaint" when he wondered if he could follow his heart and change course again. He was working at the time as a sergeant at a Police Training Centre near Coventry and without telling his colleagues, he applied for an audition for a place on an acting course at The Poor School in London, learned two pieces by heart and after several auditions on the day, was the only one of his group to be offered a place. However, faced with the reality of the actual decision, he then felt unable to "walk through the door into the other world" due to the practicalities of teenage children, mortgage payments, steady salary, etc. Having reluctantly turned his back on a professional acting career he was forced to return to the strict militaristic world of the police training centre where keen, short-haired, young officers were marched around the Parade Ground by the drill sergeant to the strains of John Philip Sousa. With a Law Degree, Inspector's exams and many years experience under his belt, he again applied for promotion but was again turned down. Totally frustrated with his lack of career progress, he then turned for personal fulfillment to his writing and after two years of living away from home in the strict military-style environment, while his colleagues were out one night on a trip to the local brewery, he used the aging photocopier without permission to make some copies of his latest creation (a caring monologue about a lonely old lady talking to her dead husband called "Bill"). He was suspected by a passing Inspector and the powers-that-be informed. When challenged the next day as to what he'd been doing in the photocopier room, he thought that honesty was the best policy and told the truth, hoping for clemency. Instead, the Commandant, Vic Hopkins, due to the perceived seriousness of the transgression, had his room searched and placed him under house arrest in his bedroom for the whole day while they carried out a full investigation amongst the rest of the staff. They let him go home for the weekend, (perhaps to think about the seriousness of his offence) and subsequently put him before a two-man internal disciplinary panel before sending him back to his own force in Nottingham. Tony is extremely pleased to be able to say that he later had to return to the city of Coventry to see one of his plays being performed by The Criterion Players (unfortunately not "Bill" which was performed later elsewhere). In the year 2,000 another of his scripts, "My Brother's Keeper," was chosen from 150 entries for the final round of the Pittsburgh New Play Festival and later published by Pieter Vink Publishers in Holland and Belgium.
In 2019 a monologue from "My Father's House" was chosen by LAMDA for one of their audition pieces and his other plays have now been performed in England, Scotland, Wales, South Africa and Australia, winning several awards for the groups who have performed them. His motto is now: "Nil illegitimae carborundum!" because, as he learned to his cost at the end of his police career, there were still one or two illegitimae in uniforms who professed one thing publicly then bullied people in private behind office doors. However, the pen, they say, is mightier than the sword and he is hoping to be able to use one of these individuals as a template for a character in a future play about bullying in the work environment.