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The Shadow Box

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  195 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Full Length, DramaCharacters: 5 male, 4 female

Interior Set

In this compelling dramatic triptych, three terminal cancer patients dwell in separate cottages on a hospital grounds. The three are attended and visited by family and close friends: Agnes and her mother Felicity, estranged further by the latter's dementia; Brian and Beverly whose martial complications are exacerbat
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Paperback, 102 pages
Published January 4th 2011 by Samuel French, Inc. (first published 1976)
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The Best Plays or Musicals
262nd out of 273 books — 119 voters
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Community Reviews

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Eric Kibler
A play about death. By focusing on three dying people and their loved ones, it illustrates the five stages of dying identified by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. But it also focuses on the idea that, while dying, people are still living. Enjoy every sandwich, as Warren Zevon said. Very affecting.

I'm giving it a second reading before auditions tonight.
Sherry (sethurner)
The Shadow Box won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1977. The play is set in an unnamed hospital with cottages for the terminally ill, and centers on three people (Joe, Brian, Felicity) dying of unnamed illnesses, and their families. The stories are separate, braided together through the device of an unseen interviewer who allows the patients and family members to voice their inner thoughts and fears not exposed in other dialog.

The idea is that everybody dies, that very few people want to acknow
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Tiffany
I absolutely love this script. I am performing as Maggie in a cut version of this show for a One Act play and I absolutely love it.

For character development purposes I have read the full version of this script many times over and I completely reccomend it as a read or a view. It is completely depressing and it will make you cry but as with most sad things, there are some really funny and beautiful moments here.

It's a very artistic show in the way that things all happen at once and especially in
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Trevor
I played the role of Brian in my undergrad and often lifted monologues from this play to audition with or teach from.
Jordan
The Play shadow box by Michael Christoper was a sad play with out a happy ending. At some points in the play the reader just keeps wondering ok when is something going to happen. The start of the play is a little bit confusing because it switchs between many people such as joe then brian and this is all going on while talking to "Voice of Interviewer". At some points in the play though the reader really feels for these families. The book in my opinion is that it could have been a bit more fast p ...more
Frank
I really love this show/script. I was lucky enough to be introduced to this show through my college being a member of the stage crew. There are three cabins at this retreat home for terminally ill patients and their families. Each family is different: an old women and her daughter, a heterosexual couple and their son, and a homosexual couple and their drunk friend. The show goes through the emotions of each character and their families coping with the fact that they are dying.
Karen
For sure not an easy read, but an interesting play. I got into the story of mother and daughter--loyal daughter caring for her dying mother, always sacrificing, always overshadowed, never appreciated. Yep, it's a hard read.

I played said mother, Felicity. It was the best work I ever did on stage. I don't know why. I guess spiteful, blind old women just fit with me. Scary.

The daughter's name was Agnes.
Mary
I highly recommend this play. I fell in love with it. I performed a scene from it with my friend. The character I played, Beverly, is the ex-wife of a dying patient, Brian. The scene involves Brian's BOYFRIEND, Mark, and Beverly discussing the hardships of falling in love and Mark's struggle to take care of him. In reality, they are both equally afraid to lose him.
Vickie
A play that is not only very well-written, but oh so poignant for me. Emmy and her circle of close and best friends performed it in their senior year at high school. What a gift they fashioned for themselves and their audiences, to close out an excellent high school career - they did it powerfully, compassionately, and with love, together.
Michelle
Another play that I read and then was cast in. It is a beautiful, tragic, sometimes harsh play about death (and life). I recommend it even if you aren't familiar with Kubler-Ross' theories about death.
Sarah Sammis
It's a bit of a depressing play but worth the read. Those who are left behind when loved ones die often have a harder time at letting go than those who are actually dying and that's what this play addresses.
Mark Woodland
Very serious play that looks at three families with a member at a hospice for cancer, each of whom is dying. Excellently well written & a real heart-wrencher. Won the Pulitzer Prize.
Matt
I had the great privilege of doing a scene from this play and playing the wonderful role of Brian. Every word in this one is filled to the brim with purpose and life.
Amanda Valdez
One of my favorite plays of all time. 3 stories. Poignant monologues. Absolutely beautiful arcs for Michael's characters.
Alyse
A play about life, death, and everything in between. I highly recommend it. There are roles for all types of actors.
Selby Coffin
I played Beverley. This is the second-to-last play I was ever in. Joanne Woodward played that role on TV.
Jim
Beautiful. Life-affirming. I recommend everyone read this play. I thought it was incredible.
Robert
Read with Portland Playreaders
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Sep 13, 2007 tenderfoot added it
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re-read 3/1994
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