Collected Plays Review

     Playwright and poet, Gary Beck, has gathered together a series of human dramas that depict our society. From small casts to a larger cast, the stories developed reflect varied responses to the dilemmas of mankind. Each scenario is beautifully realized and reflects our world. Four plays are included in this collection. It also includes an appendix with director’s notes and suggestions for production.

     We do not choose who we love. Love transcends all boundaries of money, background and race. But sometimes our family does not understand this dynamic. Ellie and Bill are a biracial couple   who tangle with their siblings. Unexpected events change the way the family comes together in the play, T’Gether.

     Letters of Confinement is another small cast  play. This story takes place in a prison. A young man, Al, gets a job , as a prison guard, in an effort to leave city life in the Bronx. Al befriends a prisoner, Peels, who shows Al the ropes. Al and Peels discover their wives have something in common. Both wives are temporarily living with their respective mother-in-laws  in challenging circumstances. Riveting communication via letter writing allows the men to correspond with their wives.

   In Preliminary Hearing ,an attorney, Melona, has to drop her preconceived notions about a client, Barbara, as she learns her story. What on the surface appears to be cold blooded murder ,  may just be justified as self defense.

   Homeless shelters are special kinds of communities in their own right. This play, The Visit, a larger cast play, builds a story of lives who confront their problems in their own individual ways. The play takes place on Christmas Eve as they anticipate the arrival of the mayor and a meal. As events change and surprises occurr , this unlikely unit of people is determined to stay together.

   Gary Beck’s poignant and thoughtful dialogue  both challenge and enlighten our views of society. In place of attending a philosophical lecture, our thoughts become alive as we live them through the views of each character. Beck poses the question that the human condition comes in many different beginnings and is subject to many different endings. Some of which is based on choice.

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