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Promenade


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A: Maria Irene Fornés Pf: 1965, New York Pb: 1971 G: Drama in 2 acts; prose and songs S: Prison cell, banqueting hall, street, park, battlefield, and dining room, indeterminate 20th-c. period C: 13m, 6f (6 male roles played by 2 actors)Prisoners 105 and 106 dig their way out of their cell and make their way to a banquet, where rich guests flirt in song and abuse the Servant. A girl appears from the cake, and the three women guests strip naked. The incompetent Jailer comes in search of his prisoners but is thrown out by the Servant. Prisoners 105 and 106 steal from all the guests, leave with the Servant, and rob an Injured Man, hurt in a car crash, of his possessions. They give their prison jackets to the Injured Man and Driver, whom the Jailer promptly arrests. Prisoners 105 and 106 dress the Servant with the stolen jewellery and lace, put her in their bag, and carry her off. On the battlefield, soldiers swathed in bandages are visited by the Mayor, and a bizarre garden party ensues, with all the characters from the earlier scenes reappearing, while the Jailer tries unsuccessfully to apprehend the thieves. At the Mayor's subsequent party, the Mother, who has been searching throughout for her lost children, mimes stabbing herself to the delight of the Mayor, who orders the arrest of all his guests for keeping him up late. Everyone is crammed into the cell, and they begin to escape through the hole, leaving only 105 and 106 and the Mother. She identifies them as her children who went off but did not ‘find evil’; then she too leaves.

A: Maria Irene Fornés Pf: 1965, New York Pb: 1971 G: Drama in 2 acts; prose and songs S: Prison cell, banqueting hall, street, park, battlefield, and dining room, indeterminate 20th-c. period C: 13m, 6f (6 male roles played by 2 actors)

This was the first major success by Cuban-born Fornés, recipient of more Obie Awards than anyone except Sam Shepard. Her surreal poetic style is reminiscent of Wilder (but is not as innovative), of Gertrude Stein (but her language is not as haunting), and of Albee (but her social comment is not as acute).

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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