Stanley E. Disney's Plays

 

Title Year Genre
3 Days in the Life of a Lady 1976 A Comedy of 3 one-act plays

rewritten and retitled to
3 days in the life of Clar'Bel

1984 and 1/2 ----
A Sanctuary Built for Two 1972 renamed Cast Iron Tulip
Angel's Flight 1981
Bad Medicine ---- Short Story
Cap'n Thorwaite 1974 1 hr TV Comedy
Cast Iron Tulip 1972 1-Act Comedy
Darwin High Point 1977 3-Act Comedy
Fawn 1980 1-Act Drama

God of the guinea-pigs

1982 Drama   1-Act Play
Head of Uncle Amos 1974 1-Act 
Hello New California 1981 1-Act Comedy
Howdy Stranger 1978 1-Act Comedy
I Wonder How the Devils Swear 1978 renamed Cast Iron Tulip
Its Your Time to Play God 1972
Legend of the Conway Line 1972
Mayor's Nest 1978
Ms Light and the Centerfold Man ----
Ms Light goes to War 1975 1-Act Play
Mrs Forgan & The Lady's Lounge 1976 1-Act Comedy
Mini-Plays

originally "Finger exercises for the Typewriter"

National Guard to the Rescue
or Who killed Kris Kringle
1978 1-Act Drama
Neverlasting Life ----
Operation: Removal of Deadwood
---- 1-Act Play
renamed 17 Seconds  
Picnic on the Meuse 1978 2-Act Play
HistoricalDrama   
Prisonor Go Home ----
Rite of Sanctuary 1972 retitled; Cast Iron Tulip
Seventeen Seconds 1972 Full Length Play
Retitled; Murder that was not
Shine on Harvest Moon 1973 Retitled; Treadmill to the Goodtime Star
Shortcut to Cheyenne 1974 Full Length
Sunnybrook Lane ---- 3-Act Comedy
The Murder that was Not 1979 Full Length Drama
The Practical Aspects of Making a President 1976 1-Act Historical Drama
The Reluctant Mrs Dracula 1979 1-Act Drama
There are None So Blind * 1936 3-Act Play
Three Days in the Life of Clar'bel Light 1978 A Comedy of 3 one-act plays
Treadmill to the Goodtime Star 1973 1-Act
formerly "Shine on Harvest Moon"
Yankee Go Home 1971 1-Act
formerly "Prisoner go Home"


             Synopsis

17 seconds
(
Retitled to; The Murder that was Not)

Oliver Winston plans the perfect murder of his partner, Charles Jordan. The site is to be Jordan's hunting lodge. Oliver takes Jordan's wife, Sheila, to the lodge and tries to enlist her help, advancing various reasons she should help. She is undecided. Jordan turns up and commits suicide. Winston now finds that because of his plans for a perfect murder he is sure to be charged with Jordan's death and Sheila is left to be haunted by the question, if Jordan hadn't committed suicide, would she have helped murder him or not.


Angel's Flight

As background, Roger as a young Marine, visited Los Angeles in 1942 before being shipped to the war in the South Pacific. While riding the "Angel's Flight" he meets a young girl, his first real date, and has the most fantastic day of his life. The play opens with Roger, now lamed by a wound in the war, returning 38 years later to try to recapture the magic of his first visit. He is depressed by finding everything changed and the Angel's Flight gone.

He meets Sue who has been lamed by a horse rolling on her. She has lived all her life in an isolated desert town, caring for her mother who may, or may not be the girl Roger met. The mother has always dreamed of getting well and returning to Los Angeles herself and now Sue is trying to relive that dream.

The play ends with Roger going with Sue back to the desert and his recognition of the fact that dreams of the past are folly and only dreams of the future move us forward.

 

Cap'n Thorwaite

Hal Shelby, a young write, and his wife Freda, move to a country home in Connecticut. Taking care of the house and yard keeps Shelby too busy to write. The Shelby's try, without success, to find a yard man. Cap'n Thorwaite, an elderly be-whiskered, genial incompetent, falls off the dock and Hal saves his life. In gratitude, the Captain insists on helping the Shelbys.

At first they are delighted and then distressed as his bumbling wrecks their lives. Because he won't accept pay, they can't fire him; and because his gratitude is real, they can't stop him fro helping. In desperation, Shelby, finally persuades Thorwaite that he hadn't saved his lfe and that consequently there was no reason for his gratitude.

The play closes with the Shelbys beaming on each other with pleasre at their ruse; and then with horror, as the Captain steps out in the road in front of a speeding car and Hal instinctively saves the old man's life; thereby starting the circle of gratitude over again.

 

Cast Iron Tulip

PFC Marcia claims sanctuary in the Pastor's church as a conscientious objector. She has made so much trouble that the Army is not only willing, but eager to see her gone. She suggests that the Pastor smooth down her rough ways, and act as a Pygmalion to remake her. While he is ostensibly re-making her, she is remaking him and inspiring him to leave the comforts of his Parish for the rigors of life outside. She leaves to get the discharge the Army has promised her, and as the curtain comes down, you see that the Pastor is suddenly laying aside his desire for life, and is returning to his own lifelong sanctuary - the church.

Darwin High Point

The theme of the play and the name is found in a statement by one of the characters that the world had now reached its evolutionary high point or "Darwin High" and that inevitably the well-intentioned scientists would develop us right back to the monkeys.

 

Fawn

Fawn is a wild, wealthy young lady, when she is blinded while dragging her fiance, Harry from a burning car. His family and attorneys advise him to refrain from seeing her because afraid she might sue, and because they don't want him to marry a blind girl, who couldn't help with his political career.

The play opens with Fawn and Angela, dressed as for Halloween so as not to be recognized, appearing on the private beach of Harry's family. He comes out to run them off and discovers too late that it is Fawn. Reluctantly he joins the party and finds himself involved either in Fawn's plan to commit suicide, or perhaps to dispose of him.

 

Hello New California

The play opens with the nose-cone of the rocket ship Apollo 1 emerging from the Pacific where it plunged after a successful flight. It is surprised to discover that the State of California has disappeared for reasons only to be speculated. The crew form the state of New California, and then act as did old California - and so the play ends with New California disappearing.

 

Howdy Stranger

Oneta is an ordinary-looking girl of about 25, who thinks she is too tall. She gets a probationary job as a "Howdy-Stranger-Lady". As such she is supposed to call on newcomers and welcome them to the neighborhood, commencing with the greeting "Howdy Stranger". Her first call is on Duncan, who has just moved in after being divorced by his wife,. Oneta, who thinks she is too tall, tends to stoop a little, so Duncan, who is a high school teacher, uses his student-counseling psychology, to tell her to be proud of her tallness and to try to act like she is regal, instead of cute.

Oneta won by his kindness and falls moderately for him. Alva, the ex-wife comes by to pick up her half of the furnishings which have been in storage. She and Duncan promptly battle over the division and in the reconcilation of the fight, reconcile also on the marriage level. Harper, who accompanies Alva is quite happy to see her re-united with Duncan; and is equally happy to offer to take Oneta to dinner as they leave so they can get better aquainted. She greats his invitation with the salutation "Howdy Stranger" and the two figuratively ride into the sunset.

 

The Legend of the Conway Line

The play is a muted fantasy. It opens with the girl, 16 walking in the woods of the Southern Oklahoma with her Grandfather, an old Choctaw. he is making her a Indian drum. It is evening and, in the dusk, she encounters a strange man, looking for the "North Star". He disappears and her Grandfather says he has met the man himself, years ago, or thinks he has, and that the "old ones" of the hills say iti s James Conway who, in 1825 was hired to survey the border "due south" from Fort Smith to the Red River.

Rashly he swore he would run it "due south, true south' or never rest until he did. He planned each night to check his line against the North Star to ensure accuracy. The treay provides that all settlers west of the line must be removed by the Troops accompanying Conway; and suddenly he discovers the tragedy that entails for many of them.

He encounters the Gadds, who will probably have to move, and falls in love with Lisa. The sooners to the West rouse up and threaten war. To prevent this, James Conway speeds up his surveying, and, because of his failure to take care, his border deviates four miles west of true south.

Among the perons dispossessed is a Mrs Loring, a Frontier Madam, who also claims to be a "cousin to the Devil: and she pronouces his damnation. The Girl of the Prologue, to whom the Indian tells the story of the Hills, is also the Lisa loved by Conway. (The reason why the Survey now the Oklahoma/Arkansas Border does not run "due south" has never adequately explained; the play suggests an explanation).

He encounters the Gadds, who will probably have to move, and falls in love with Lisa. The sooners to the West rouse up and threaten war. To prevent this, James Conway speeds up his surveying, and, because of his failure to take care, his border deviates four miles west of true south.

Among the perons dispossessed is a Mrs Loring, a Frontier Madam, who also claims to be a "cousin to the Devil: and she pronouces his damnation. The Girl of the Prologue, to whom the Indian tells the story of the Hills, is also the Lisa loved by Conway. (The reason why the Survey now the Oklahoma/Arkansas Border does not run "due south" has never adequately explained; the play suggests an explanation).

 

Mayor's Nest

"Buddy" O'Shea, the Mayor is murdered in his "love nest" by the Police Commissioner. The play opens with the Mayor's body being deposited in front of Franky's Barber Shop. Crenshaw is the first policeman there; his friends, Franky, Joe, Chou and Heinz, who are in the barber shop come out to see what's going on. The Police Commissioner praises Crenshaw for his work, puts him in charge of the investigation to find the killers, then burdens him with the administrative work so he can't investigate, and finally ends with the treat of an investigation of Crenshaw himself, to determine why he hadn't located the killers.

The four friends sense that this is what will happen, so set out themselves to save Crenshaw by finding the killers.

Two are beaten up. The other two are captured by the Police Commissioner and are about to be killed when Crenshaw bursts in and saves them and captures the murderer.

 

Murder that was not
(Formerly Rite of Sanctuary  or   A Sanctuary built for two)

Private Duff flees from the Marines, and from life, and takes refuge in the Pastor's churh, claiming to be a conscientious objector. He hears the Pastor working on a sermon and at first suggests, then urges, that the Pastor get away from his stiff language to the rough language of the roughs and toughs, who really need the Pastor's help. He confesses to the Pastor that he is not really a conscientious objector - and tells of his fears. Both he and the Pastor talk about living; and make grat plans to help the poor as soon as Duff cleans up his record with the Marines. There is a moment of exhileration, but as the curtain comes down, Duff who has left the sanctuary, creeps back in, and the Pastor, who had started using rough language, as a means of communicating with the poor, was cleaning it up.

 

Picnic on the Meuse

Orville Disney, a cousin of the author's, was a senior at Oklahoma University in April 1917. During the first week of World War I, he left college to enlist in the Army Engineers. As a member of the Second Engineers, Second Division, he went through the hardest battles involving American Soldiers in that war.

On November 10/11 1918, just hours before the end of the war, Orville helped float a bridge across the River Meuse in the face of German machine gun fire.

Seven Engineers were killed and about ninety of the Marines and Soldiers who crossed the bridge to fight on the far side were also killed. At this time all parties thought the war would end at 11:00am, November 11, 1918, as indeed it did.

Orville was not wounded but was, in the Author's opinion, as much a casualty as anyone there. He returned to the States, gradually developed into a recluse, retired to the farm where he was born, never to marry and eventually committed suicide.

The play attempts in dispassionate tone to tell the above story. As a subplot, Orville puts off marrying a college sweetheart; she joins the Red Cross to get to France too; becomes involved in the flu epidemic that killed nearly as many American soldiers as did the Germans' crosses on the 90th voyage of the Levithan where one third of the 9,000 military aboard caught the flu with 90 dying en route; and she dies herself with hundreds of others in Breast after landing.

The play ends with reading names from the casualty list as the Narrator summarizes Orville's post-war life; he returned to the farm, never married and committed suicide on August 1964. He was as much a casualty of the war as those killed outright. Copies of newspaper articles including Orville's obituary are attached for display in the lobby.

 

Shortcut to Cheyenne

Marston McClintock about 45, and his daughter Sally, 17 years 11 months fifteen days, live alon, terribly alone for Sally on the Marston's homestead. The closets neighbors are 40 miles away and , though this is summer, only 5 people have visited the farm since the first of the year. There is a tender love between father and daughter, colored by fear on his part that she will somehow manage to run away and leave him alone.

Two scalawag drummers come along, peddling lightening rods, dirty books and "genuine Georgia peach trees," which had just been plucked from the willow shoots in the creek bottom. Marston proposes to one of the scamps that he marry Sally, because a husband can make his home where he wishes and can tell his wife to stay there, it being understood that after the marriage the scamp will make his home with Marston (although he may keep on traveling) and tell Sally to stay there.

Sally agrees and the buggy is hitched for the trip. At the last moment Sally refuses to leave until the men put up the lightening rods to give her father the protection that the two scamps claimed the house needed. While the men are diverted, putting the rods up on the roof, Sally goes to the hitched buggy and drives off into the sunset.

 

Sunnybrook Lane

The play is the story of a decaying street in a great city. The inhabitants, but former owners, sold out cheap, years before the play starts, in return for life tenancies at nominal rents. Unable to break the life leases, the landlord plans to have the street condemned as a slum, so that he'll be ordered to clear the land. With that done, he'll build a large, modern apartment on the land.

The play opens with the inhabitants shown as eager, happy and ineffectual combatants against any and all and the street shown as frayed and dirty. When the plot of the landlord is discovered in the first act, the inhabitants unite and work to clean up the street to save their homes. They are led by Colonel Harley, a retired anarchist, who is a little windy but blows in the right direction.

After numerous ups and downs, the tenants win a complete victory, and as the curtain comes down, there is a suggestion they are reverting to their previous belligerency and happy sloveness.

The landlord is not a black-hearted scamp; he sees himself as a humanitarian because he is trying to replace substandard homes that house fifty person, with a fine apartment which will accommodate five hundred. He'll make a profit of it, true, and with it will clear another slum.

 

The Practical Aspects of Making a President
1st Prize Theatre Guild of Webster Groves 1976

This play demands more from the imagination of its views, including the repeal of the 22nd Amendment (which limits a President to two terms).  The plot deals with a President who has been put on ice - literally - by his cabinet until a thaw in the political situation demands a change in their plans.

 

The Head of Uncle Amos

The play takes place in a country that hopefully is distant, at a time, hopefully in the distant future. The country is ruled by a COMMITTEE of tyrants, who have placed LIEBERMAN, the greatest artist alive, in jail. All of the action takes place in his cell, which he has converted to a studio. There is such a great demand for his works of art, that LIEBERMAN is called "Senor Natural Resource" in recognition of the money his art produces.

And because of this, his jailers are afraid to push him around; if Lieberman is inured, they will be exterminated. Now LIEBERMAN lives only for his art. A Peon, who has been stripped of his identity, and is known as a "Number" tries to persuade LIEBERMAN to use his art for revolutionary purposes, but the artist refuses. The COMMITTEE decide to create a fictitious Chairman, to be called Uncle Amos.

They hope that by having all commands moving through the one man, to centralize in him the love and the hate of the people. He is to be shown as kind and gentle - and weeping whenever it is necessary for him to be harsh. But since they are afraid of what might happen, if any of their own body becomes Uncle Amos. He does so at the command of the Minister of Culture; but the number changes the head so that it resembles the Minister of Culture.

The Committee believe they have been betrayed - so exterminate the Minister. And also the number, a woman member of the Committee calls on LIEBERMAN, tells him that the Committee will carry out its plan, but with a Chairwoman instead - Aunt Emma. Aunt Emma will be kind and gentle and quick to weep for her victums. The curtain comes down as LIEBERMAN commences to mould a head for Aunt Emma, obviously copying the features of the woman member of the Committee.

 

Treadmill to the Goodtime Star
previously titled Shine on Harvest Moon

Jeff III, age 20 is a black student at a small, southern, integrated colleg. He is an athlete and a man of violent moods and quick changes of mood

Jeff II, age 45 is the father of Jeff II, and is the assistant principal at an integrated elementary school in a small southern town. Where Jeff III tends to be radical, Jeff II is moderate, working to bring the blacks and whites together.

Jeff I, age 5, is the father of Jeff I. Jeff I has put his sons thru college, working at a shine stand. Jeff I bows and scrapes to the whites, and yet is a man of great innate dignity - dignity because he fights with every weapon he has to build up his tips - so he can put his son and grandson through college

There is a single set, showing Jeff III's room to the right. He is shown, at rise, taking a lesson on mixing Molotov cocktails. He is warned against being careless. Death enters, dressed, as she explains, as the Mistress of Jeff III's dreams. Death comes to each man in the guise of the mistress of his dreams. And since Jeff III had spoken kindly of her, Death was giving him four hours notice - that, that evening he would make another cocktail, get careless, and burn himself up.

Still, if he finds a substitute, that will be satisfactory. Jeff III calls on his father Jeff II, who is shown at his school, in the center of the state; and both call on Jeff I, who is shown shining shoes at his stand.

The three argue bitterly for their view; Jeff I claims you have to make a man feel like a plantation owner to get him to give you a good tip, that you can't lift a building except brick by brick, and he's lifting the race by lifting the individuals he knows.

Jeff II argues he's bringing the races together - that he is working for the human race, instead of just of the black one.

Jeff III urges his own views, that winning fear is the first step towards winning respect. Both offer to take his place, but Jeff III, who told them about Death, now says it was a joke. He returns to his room and meets her at the appointed time.

 

 

*  Cannot find any reference other than this register of copyrights