The Substance of Fire and Other Plays
eBook - ePub

The Substance of Fire and Other Plays

Jon Robin Baitz

Share book
  1. 224 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

The Substance of Fire and Other Plays

Jon Robin Baitz

Book details
Book preview
Table of contents

About This Book

"Marked by the aching articulation, scathing wit and deep convictions of a mature artist with a complete vision."--Frank Rich, The New York Times "If Arthur Miller had married Noel Coward, their son would have been Robbie Baitz." --André Bishop, from the Preface
Jon Rubin Baitz startled the theatrical world with the 1985 debut of The Film Society. A frank examination of the controlling forces behind a nearly bankrupt private school for boys in South Africa, The Film Society introduced a young playwright with an extraordinarily mature grasp of people, language and society.Baitz's recent works have fulfilled his early promise and enhanced his reputation. In The Substance of Fire (1991), a fiercely intellectual New York publisher struggles with his children for control of his business, and with the relentless pride which has made him previous to love. In The End of the Day (1992), an expatriate British doctor adapts to America by abandoning his ideals and succumbing to the twin lures of status and crime.About the Author: Jon Robin Baitz is the author of Three Hotels, The Film Society, Other Desert Cities, The End of the Day, and The Substance of Fire, which he adapted into a major motion picture. He was the showrunner on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters. He also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming film Stonewall directed by Roland Emmerich. He lives in New York.

Frequently asked questions

How do I cancel my subscription?
Simply head over to the account section in settings and click on “Cancel Subscription” - it’s as simple as that. After you cancel, your membership will stay active for the remainder of the time you’ve paid for. Learn more here.
Can/how do I download books?
At the moment all of our mobile-responsive ePub books are available to download via the app. Most of our PDFs are also available to download and we're working on making the final remaining ones downloadable now. Learn more here.
What is the difference between the pricing plans?
Both plans give you full access to the library and all of Perlego’s features. The only differences are the price and subscription period: With the annual plan you’ll save around 30% compared to 12 months on the monthly plan.
What is Perlego?
We are an online textbook subscription service, where you can get access to an entire online library for less than the price of a single book per month. With over 1 million books across 1000+ topics, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
Do you support text-to-speech?
Look out for the read-aloud symbol on your next book to see if you can listen to it. The read-aloud tool reads text aloud for you, highlighting the text as it is being read. You can pause it, speed it up and slow it down. Learn more here.
Is The Substance of Fire and Other Plays an online PDF/ePUB?
Yes, you can access The Substance of Fire and Other Plays by Jon Robin Baitz in PDF and/or ePUB format, as well as other popular books in Literatur & Amerikanische Dramaturgie. We have over one million books available in our catalogue for you to explore.


The Film Society
To Ulu Grosbard
The Film Society was originally produced in English by The Los Angeles Actors’ Theatre/Los Angeles Theatre Center, Bill Bushnell, Artistic Producing Director.
Original New York Production by the Second Stage Theatre, July, 1988.
Act One
September, 1970.
Act Two
December, 1970
Durban, Natal Province, South Africa.
“The consciences of the English are unnaturally agitated by Africa.”
Evelyn Waugh
A Tourist in Africa, 1959.
The Film Society
Scene One
Jonathon’s classroom. Jonathon sits in the dark, watching the last moments of Touch of Evil.
MAN (V.O.): “Well. Hank was a great detective all right.”
WOMAN (V.O.): “And a lousy cop.”
(The door is flung open and Hamish Fox enters.)
FOX: What the bloody hell is going on in here! Turn on the lights!
BALTON (Turning off the projector): Just watching a film, is all, Hamish!
(He turns on the lights.)
FOX: What do you mean “watching a film”? Where are they?
BALTON: The boys? They didn’t—it’s not really film society now, I was just watching it again, you see.
FOX: Not the boys! Nan and Terry Sinclair!
BALTON: Not here. I don’t know, really, with all the fuss and all, when it was over, I just came in here, you see, and—
FOX: You have anything to do with this fiasco, Balton?
BALTON: Really, I was . . . no! I was in charge of the iced tea, I didn’t have anything to do with it.
FOX: Well, they’re your friends! You’re always giggling together, it’s always no good from you lot!
BALTON: No! That’s not fair, is it?
FOX: Why’re you sitting about in the dark watching a film at a time like this, when we’ve got policemen all over the place, hey?
BALTON: I don’t know why it’s such a bother, it’s not like we were invaded, Hamish. Terry brought up one African speaker, I don’t see why you had to call the entire Durban military out.
FOX (staring incredulously at Jonathon): That’s very good! You defend them then and we’ll see what happens when we’re overrun! This is not some commie summer camp! It’s Blenheim! The nerve! Bloody outrageous!
BALTON: I had nothing to do with it, don’t shout at me!
(Neville Sutter enters.)
SUTTER: Any sign of the Sinclairs?
FOX: They’re hiding.
SUTTER: Calm down, Hammy.
FOX: Don’t tell me to calm down. There’s been a lot of lefty nonsense going on here lately . . .
SUTTER: Jonathon, I expect you didn’t have anything to do with this business, did you? I’ve just spent the past hour with a roomful of angry parents and it’s an awful bore.
BALTON: No, I didn’t at all! Because, you see, I had iced tea and meringues and all to organize for after the speeches and prizes and then, in all the fuss and all, I just came back here because, you see, I had ordered Touch of Mink, but they sent Touch of Evil . . . which I quite liked.
SUTTER:—Jonathon, it’s all right, you needn’t—
BALTON:—and I wanted to see it again, because the boys didn’t quite get it.
FOX: Stop going on about your film society this second!
BALTON: It was all about Mexicans and corruption.
SUTTER (Sighing): Jonathon, if any of the parents come looking for me, or the Sinclairs for that matter—
FOX:—Not bloody likely. They’re retreating to Moscow—
SUTTER: Tell the Sinclairs, I want to see them up at my house. Joyce tripped over a chair during the commotion. (He starts to exit) Come along, Hammy, we’d better finish up with the parents.
FOX (Following Sutter): I told you not to put Sinclair in charge of Centenary Day, but you refused to listen, well, all I can say is . . .
SUTTER (To Fox, off): Tell the girl to bring the parents a drink in my office and some ice for Joyce’s leg, would you? There’s a good chap.
(Pause. Balton sighs. Looks outside after them. Turns off the lights, turns on the projector, and watches the remaining moments of the film.)
MAN: “Is that all you have to say for him?”
(Pianola theme on soundtrack.)
WOMAN: “He was some kind of man. What does it matter what you say about people?”
MAN: “Goodbye, Tanya.”
WOMAN: “Adios.”
(Pianola theme on soundtrack. The door opens. Nan enters as the film credits begin.)
NAN: Jonathon? Jonathon? Where’s Terry?
BALTON: Get in here! They’re looking all over for you and they’re mad as hornets!
NAN: Terry’s not here? God, he just disappeared.
BALTON: He went down to Durban jail to see if he could bail out that black priest you two brought up to the podium.
NAN: Me? Christ, I had nothing to do with it! You think I’d allow a stupid gesture like that? He got this man arrested! I had nothing to do with it!
BALTON: You’ll have to tell Neville and Hamish that and then it’ll all die down, I’m sure. If you explain that . . . as for Terry, well. My. My. You know?
NAN: Jonathon, he’s done us in! They’re going to sack us this time! It’s over.
BALTON: No they won’t! Just tell them how terribly sorry you both are and start to cry for a bit and it’ll all be fine. Just like all the other little—episodes.
NAN: He’s been so furtive, like one of the boys, I knew something was up! Damn it!
BALTON: I have a bit of whisky, you know!
NAN: Oh hell, sure.
(Jonathon takes two teacups and a bottle of Scotch out of his desk, pours.)
BALTON: Yes, this’ll calm you down. I was quite rattled by the whole business myself, I must admit. But it’ll all blow over, don’t you worry. Storm in a tea-thingie, eh?
NAN: But you know what this town is like! If they fire us, we’ll be dead as cold mutton! I can’t stand it anymore, he lies, goes off to these ludicrous little meetings, comes back with new wo...

Table of contents