Tad Mosel

Published by Dramatists Play Service

2 Male 2 Female

Four actors sit on a darkened stage, awaiting the arrival of the stage manager who has called them together. Lacking his authoritative presence they are merely characters in search of a play to become part of, for their own personalities seem unformed and shallow next to the full-blooded figures they are used to playing

They are also "types," and each of them has absorbed most of what he is from what he pretends to be on the stage. As they wait, the stage lights come up-but still no one appears to tell them what they are to do. They know only that they are not to leave the stage until they have "acted out the play"

Suddenly becoming aware that an audience is present, the actors decide to improvise, an idea which finds them slightly flustered. Ernest, the "leading man," exercises the prerogative of star billing and assumes command

He plunges ahead, assigning roles to himself and his colleagues - Winifred, who always plays the "leading lady's best friend"; Lora, the struggling ingenue; and Tony, the juvenile lead

The "drama" which unfolds is a mixture of truth, fantasy and well-rehearsed situations, but out of it, in subtle progression, comes a deepening awareness of the real people behind the theatrical facades

This play, conceived in the "Pirandello mode," brings a fresh approach to a timeless theme - what should be the proper ratio of truth vs. illusion in the balanced life?

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.


We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2022 Stageplays, Inc.