“Life in the Park” is intended to be an intimate experience. It is set on a nearly empty stage, as there is only a park bench, a trash can, a lamp post, and a leafless tree. The set is fixed. There are no scene changes. A backdrop image is optional. Costumes are simple and do not require a large budget. There are only 5 actors, making this a perfect fit for a small theater. If performed in a larger theater, I recommend one that does not exceed 400 seats. A larger theater should be nicely raked to maintain the up close and personal experience. A trio of musicians can be seen upstage left. That consists of piano, rhythm, and cello.
The play is one act and runs about 100 minutes (making it a full length play). There is no overture. There is only a short opening piece that is played as our main character, Humphrey, enters…..and the play begins.
The play tells the story of two homeless people, Humphrey and Constance. The audience will view the struggle of their everyday life, in a cold, wintry, city park. Humphrey is the fatalist, while Constance maintains a nervous form of optimism. The two find themselves sharing bits of themselves with each other, one day in the park. The play takes place on a single day in the park and ends the following morning. The other characters are Lulu (a prostitute), Derek (an artist), a disabled Veteran (in a wheelchair), and a goody-two-shoe wife and her philandering Husband. These characters show up in the same city park.
The music is fresh, yet rich with many layers for the actor to dig deep. All actors are featured with their own songs. The cello lends a certain voice to the play, as only its somber tones could do. The lyrics get to the heart of the matter.
This is a play about friendship, circumstance and choices. I hesitate saying that this is a play about the homeless, specifically. Granted, the main characters are homeless, but its message is universal and will speak to each audience member in a very personal way. When performed as I intend it to be performed, “Life in the Park” should provide the audience with a touching, thoughtful, emotional journey. Hopefully, one that they will remember.