Stage play script
Cast: 4 M; 3 F (2M 50’s; 1M 20’s; 1M 30’s; 1F 50’s; 2F 20’s)
Setting: 1969; internal, single, multi-room set
Playwright: Larry Klein
Dramaturg: Becky Parker Geist
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Complex and well-developed characters, as well as valuable and universal themes, make this play an excellent choice for professional and community productions.
Dead Man’s Wake is a true-to-life, character-driven play that truthfully and poignantly tells a universal story. It is during moments of great personal tragedy that tear at the very fabric of our lives, that we are forced to discover who we really are, to rip away the extraneous and discover our true value. It is a play about the power of being true to ourselves, and the power of acceptance of ourselves and others for who we—and they—choose to be.
The plot revolves primarily around Jess, the son of Danny and Leah Ogden, who, along with all of the characters in the play, struggles with personal “demons” in trying to come to terms with a tragic incident. Why did it happen? Could it have been prevented? Could he (or she) somehow have been the cause of it? All of the characters eventually develop the courage to work out their own issues, come to terms with their own truths, and find a pathway to forgiveness, acceptance, and a way to move forward.
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“Even if you’re not treasure-hunting, it’s always a pleasure to find a hidden gem . . . Dead Man’s Wake is such a gem . . . [It] is the story of a homecoming. It is also a story of tragedy, courage and the triumph of a family’s ultimate honesty—with themselves and with each other—that leads them to renewed hope in the future.”—Reviewer Suzanne Angeo (For All Events).
“From the opening moments of Dead Man’s Wake, a new play by Larry Klein, the pain and guilt hanging over the story’s central characters are thick enough to scoop into an ice cream cone . . . The potent universality of the situation is its primary asset . . .”—Reviewer David Templeton (North Bay Bohemian).