The Typists & The Tiger


Murray Schisgal

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Male 1 Female

The Typists ~ When Paul Cunningham reports for work addressing postcards for a mail order house, he makes it clear to his fellow worker, Sylvia Payton, that his employment is strictly temporary

Paul, a married man, is studying law at night, and with his uncle already in successful practice there is every hope that his future will be a promising one. Sylvia, the "supervisor" of the two-employee office, has a few dreams herself - mostly of the romantic variety so often indulged in by not so young spinsters with widowed mothers to support

Paul and Sylvia hit it off well, and as Paul's "temporary" tenure stretches on from weeks to months to years they become involved in the shared experiences of close daily contact. And, within the short span of the play, they begin to age and grow gray

While they go on chattering of the important things that have happened to them and of the bright future which will be coming up any day, the futility of their existence becomes increasingly evident. And when they finally dodder off with friendly "good night" to their unseen employer we have witnessed a cycle of life complete with the humor, sadness, self-delusion and reconciliation which underly and infuse the human condition

Partnered with The Tiger in its long-run, Off-Broadway production, this brilliantly ironic play shared in the Vernon Rice and Outer Circle Awards

"A resounding, uproarious success" ~ NY World-Telegram & Sun

" we have in Mr Schisgal a perceptive, advanced, and coherent satirist" ~ NY Herald Tribune

The Tiger ~ Ben is a natively intelligent but slightly unstrung young man in revolt against a system which consigns him to being a mail carrier and to living in a tumble-down basement apartment

In a gesture of defiance he kidnaps a young woman and drags her to his lair, the object being that she, at least, will do as and what he orders - fulfilling the urge for domination that life has hitherto denied him

At first Ben is abrupt and sharp with his victim, playing cat and mouse with her in the hope that she will begin to panic and squirm. But while Gloria, a suburban housewife and mother, is hardly used to this sort of thing, she is also somewhat dissatisfied with the status quo herself

At first she must listen, but soon she is the one who leads the touching and funny conversation which ensues. Mutual confessions and confidences are forthcoming, and by the time Ben reveals that his dream of becoming a teacher was shattered by an inability to cope with French, Gloria is ready and willing to take on the job of tutoring him

But he sticks to his resolve to have his way with her and she, in turn, fools him again by being less the protesting victim than the willing conspirator

In the end he lets her go - but already she is making plans to drop by every Thursday when her dull husband will take it for granted that she is off playing bridge with friends

The Off-Broadway production of this sparkling two-character play earned the author the Vernon Rice and Outer Circle Awards

" fresh and comical" ~ Newsday

"The Tiger is terrific" ~ NY Herald-Tribune

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