American Tales - A Musical in Two Acts based on stories by classic American writers

American Tales - A Musical in Two Acts based on stories by classic American writers $10.99

Ken Stone & Jan Powell

Published by Samuel French Inc

4 Male 1 Female

Period costumes and set pieces, mid to late 19th century ...

ACT ONE - The Loves of Alonzo Fitz Clarence and Rosannah Ethelton is from Mark Twain's story of two people falling in love at a great distance with the aid of that brand-new invention, the telephone

Alonzo in Maine and Rosannah in California meet by the accident of crossed wires and each falls in love with an imagined ideal of the other

So complete is their self-deception that even when brought face to face they cannot recognize each other

Love is found, lost, and found again

Played as period melodrama, but the relevance to 21st century dating habits is clear

ACT TWO - Bartleby, the Scrivener is dramatized from Herman Melville's slyly funny but ultimately tragic story

Building on the theme of human connections made and missed, this act takes a darker turn, looking at people who occupy the closest of quarters and yet don't really communicate at all

Bartleby, employed as a copyist in a law office of the 1840s, inexplicably begins to refuse to work, forcing his colleagues to ask themselves the transforming question that ends the play - What do we owe to the people who come into our lives?

"Excellent new musical" ~ Critic's Choice, LA Times

"Extraordinary ... skillful and unusually thoughtful ... succeeds brilliantly" ~ Variety

"Marvelous adaptations ... stylish and enthralling ... haunting score ... brilliant" ~ Critic's Pick, Backstage

"Striking ... absolutely first rate work" ~ EDGE Los Angeles

Character Descriptions


ALONZO FITZ CLARENCE - a poetic soul, an idle young man transformed by true love into a tireless, steadfast lover

ROSANNAH ETHELTON - a lovely young woman of high spirits and high ideals

SIDNEY ALGERNON BURLEY an unwelcome suitor to Rosannah, a born villain

DOCTOR - a compassionate man of middle age, owner of a private madhouse in New York

UNCLE CHARLES - uncle of Rosannah, middle aged, missionary in Honolulu

MAID - (doubled by "Uncle Charles") an old and sour retainer at Rosannah's house

ACT II (actors double)

THE LAWYER - 55, affluent and self-satisfied

BARTLEBY - a fairly young man, enigmatic, turned almost entirely in upon himself

TURKEY - clerk, an Englishman near 60, something of a drinker

NIPPERS - clerk about 25, high-strung and restless

GINGER NUT - 12, law student, errand boy, sweeper, most often a brat

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