- 70 minutes
- 4M/5F; Max 9/Min9; 3 musicians
Classroom Use, Poetic Drama, Bare Stage, Minimal Set, Music Lead Sheets
$13.95 – $125.00
A lilting poem for the stage, follows the passionate meeting of a man and woman who share neither language nor culture, yet fall in love. Through the rhythmic blending of language and song, the play combines poetry and both traditional and original melodies to illuminate this romantic union that ultimately overcomes geography and tradition.
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Performance Fee $65.00 A Production License Fee Per Performance (mandatory for all performances)Apply for Performance Rights
River Country is an exceedingly easy play to produce with a wide range of potential production opportunities.
This is a poem-play, a term coined by poet and playwright Robert P. Arthur to describe a play developed by a re-mix of poetry, usually combined with music, to tell a dramatic story on stage.
They combine, in equal measure, poetry, song, and dance to weave tales of our lives and loves in a truly experiential fashion.
River Country was preceded by a collection of poetry published by Carolyn Kreiter-Foronda about her unique relationship with her husband, a man with whom she fell in love before they even had a common language. Arthur saw, in these poems, a play about the growth and trials of a love affair between a man and a woman of vastly different cultural backgrounds, interests, and experiences.
As the production photos indicate, it can be performed as a staged reading, using nothing but music stands and a few props or costume accessories. Even the music stands are optional, depending on the director’s and actor’s preferences. Performers can use scripts, either booklet format or letter-size. Traditionally, actors/readers sit when they are not “on stage” and cross to their music stands or places when they enter a scene.
The play also lends itself to a full production with no scripts in hand and utilizing the full stage. It offers designers and directors a great opportunity to play with staging and lighting to reflect the play’s genre.
The songs in River Country are all traditional songs with new lyrics relevant to the story. The music for those songs is included following the text. The musicians suggested in the text include a tin whistle, flute, and guitar. They are free to riff on the episodes in which they appear, but should reflect the mood, emotion, or intensity of the text.
Printable PDF downloads are available.
From the Play
SUZANNE and AMBER
Always, my luck has startled me.
This morning, for example, the cat,
sensing sadness, jumps into my lap
and kneads his paws so I will
“A little gift,”
Her mother called it whenever the habitual turned
I pat the cat’s sleek fur,
the purring so close to what I am feeling,
his lick cleansing my forearm
and in the distance, the doctor’s
careful hold as he lifts me from the bed.
(Patricio steps forward.)
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