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The Big Match

The Big Match and other one act plays gives a brief glimpse of the magic of theatre, ideally meant to present a slice of life, whether comedy or tragedy. This collection has different subjects, different styles, some of them funny, some that might be disturbing. Anyone who loves theatre will find pleasure here. I was fortunate to direct some of these plays with fine actors, so any faults in the productions were the director’s. As in all my plays that I directed, the playwright let the director run the show, following an adage: However it reads on the page, it has to work on the stage.
This collection offers a diversity from comic social realism to issues of our times with tragic overtones. Different forms and subject matter will appeal to theater lovers and college educated readers of all ages, who will find entertainment, amusement, serious responses to some of the problems of our times presented dramatically, such as in:
‘Funeral Strains’, a one-act play, that takes place at the funeral of a gay man, who when disowned by his father, joined the Marines and was killed in combat in Afghanistan. A radical, anti-gay church hate group tries to disrupt the funeral and embarrasses the father. Bikers move the haters further away and his family persuades him to attend the service and be reconciled with his son’s persuasion.
Clown Show’ a play about the struggle of two clowns to bring joy, who fear in the age of Trump they may no longer be wanted.
‘Occupy Wall Street’, a short, one act play about an idealistic minority youth who wants to change the system, despite his mothers fear for his safety.
‘Culture Clash’, a one act play about a casual pick-up attempt that leads to a bias confrontation that becomes violent. Culture Clash had a stage reading at Sidewalks Theater in New York City.
‘Feast or Famine’, which was performed at the Double Image Theater Festival, the New York Theater Festival and Sidewalks Theater is about a couple is going through difficult ups and downs in their relationship. Things come to a head when his job search efforts come to naught and he tries to conceal his failure.
‘Caged’ was produced at Sidewalks Theater. A visitor to the zoo gets into an ethical struggle with the zookeeper, who tempts him into a cage and may let in a tiger.
In ‘I Like Eyck’, a gullible art collector might be taken in by a greedy art dealer, in a scheme to duplicate old master paintings in a particle accelerator.
‘Date Rape’ is a play about a young woman who is drugged and victimized at a frat party and has to find the strength to deal with the consequences.
Many of these plays were produced Off-Off Broadway, at theater festivals and other venues. Some of them have been published in literary magazines.

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Description

The Big Match and other one act plays gives a brief glimpse of the magic of theatre, ideally meant to present a slice of life, whether comedy or tragedy. This collection has different subjects, different styles, some of them funny, some that might be disturbing. Anyone who loves theatre will find pleasure here. I was fortunate to direct some of these plays with fine actors, so any faults in the productions were the director’s. As in all my plays that I directed, the playwright let the director run the show, following an adage: However it reads on the page, it has to work on the stage.
This collection offers a diversity from comic social realism to issues of our times with tragic overtones. Different forms and subject matter will appeal to theater lovers and college educated readers of all ages, who will find entertainment, amusement, serious responses to some of the problems of our times presented dramatically, such as in:
‘Funeral Strains’, a one-act play, that takes place at the funeral of a gay man, who when disowned by his father, joined the Marines and was killed in combat in Afghanistan. A radical, anti-gay church hate group tries to disrupt the funeral and embarrasses the father. Bikers move the haters further away and his family persuades him to attend the service and be reconciled with his son’s persuasion.
Clown Show’ a play about the struggle of two clowns to bring joy, who fear in the age of Trump they may no longer be wanted.
‘Occupy Wall Street’, a short, one act play about an idealistic minority youth who wants to change the system, despite his mothers fear for his safety.
‘Culture Clash’, a one act play about a casual pick-up attempt that leads to a bias confrontation that becomes violent. Culture Clash had a stage reading at Sidewalks Theater in New York City.
‘Feast or Famine’, which was performed at the Double Image Theater Festival, the New York Theater Festival and Sidewalks Theater is about a couple is going through difficult ups and downs in their relationship. Things come to a head when his job search efforts come to naught and he tries to conceal his failure.
‘Caged’ was produced at Sidewalks Theater. A visitor to the zoo gets into an ethical struggle with the zookeeper, who tempts him into a cage and may let in a tiger.
In ‘I Like Eyck’, a gullible art collector might be taken in by a greedy art dealer, in a scheme to duplicate old master paintings in a particle accelerator.
‘Date Rape’ is a play about a young woman who is drugged and victimized at a frat party and has to find the strength to deal with the consequences.
Many of these plays were produced Off-Off Broadway, at theater festivals and other venues. Some of them have been published in literary magazines.

Additional information

Weight N/A
Imprint

Wordcatcher Publishing

Pages

246

MainBISAC

FICTION / Short Stories (single author)

PubDate

20191127

1 review for The Big Match

  1. Rhonda McClam

    The Big Match and other one act plays, written by Gary Beck, is a book that I highly recommend! Here is a quick list and some comments about the plays that stood out the most to me:

    Clown Show is one of my favorite one act plays because I enjoyed having the links to it so I could go on YouTube to see the play acted out in performance. Beck’s point of view seems to question, have “clowns” have lost their significance? Clowns reflect a brighter side of life- one that is shaped by positive forces. In reality, we have traded laughter and imagination for an infatuation with complex social, emotional and political issues. My impression of ‘The Clown Show’ was we as a society have a strong need- to laugh; to be creative; to be happy and love one another in the midst of a changing world that is often filled with negative distractions. The Clown Show represents the age of innocence and a brighter side of the character of humanity. Some of today’s youth would rather focus their energy on playing video games and watching television. Videos and shows filled with the most negativity gets the most hits. With the free-for-all of data at our fingertips, the biggest match is between our old selves and the new direction of today’s society. With the continued path of written, visual negativity flowing through the world, we may miss the chance to get lost in the wonders of life- like going to see the circus or clowns perform. It is that simple yet a huge fight for humanity!

    Let’s take a look at the concept and principles of clowns and clown shows. Clowns tend to be nonverbal, yet with their facial expressions, movements, props and gestures, tend to “say” a lot. Additionally, clown shows have always been associated with laughing and having fun at the circus. Movies like “It”, the influx of digital and social media, as well as video games have given individuals an exciting and fast-paced lifestyle. Clowns have lost their significance yet represent an innocence that can never really be lost! If it were true along with it, goes the imagination and desire to be creative. The skill it takes to entertain people as a clown is an art form that will not ever die out for at the essence of a clown show is the energy of the spirit – something that can win over the ego!

    It takes a great skill to synthesize multiple ideas into an one act play. “The Big Match” really represents a microcosm of the state of our society as are most of Beck’s one act plays. Imagine… a world where we continue to expose our young people to different ways to be naturally creative, while still embracing technology? That’s why “clowns” or symbols of fun and happiness in life must be preserved before we lose ourselves completely to machines and politics.

    Art is Long made me realize how deeply a person’s interests and personality can contribute to the type of art that they buy. From this play, I learned quickly that art can be faked and many times even the art “experts” can’t really tell the difference between authentic art or a phony. That’s why it is important to purchase from an art dealer who is reputable. Beck skillfully takes on multiple perspectives with a duality of personalities. I never knew a writer could make so many statements about life in short plays. “Art is long” is the type of one-act play with a message that is not explicitly stated- it’s incredibly thought provoking pertaining to the complexities of issues, however, Beck is subtle at times so that the seriousness of comedy is revealed while you laugh.

    Another play that strongly resonated with me was “The Big Match” where the protagonist tends to submit quickly to her emotionally toxic husband. It seems like the more passive she is, the more he shows the negative aspects of his personality. We can easily be drawn into her “nice-nasty” attitude because as is with some misunderstandings, if the other person took a moment to listen intently to what was being said, one would realize that it was just a battle of the ego. This play resonated with me because I often question how different life can be if we take ego out of the scenario and show love which is understanding.

    The Chess Match was another example of man’s rage against the machine- or against oneself! In this play, the main character is willing to lose all he owns as he goes way out of control trying to prove himself in a similar manner that the man and his wife went at each other’s throat in “The Big Match”.

    In these one-act plays, Beck is making bold assertions and challenging the human ego to expand itself and grow!

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