Tag Archives: plays by author playwright Jacob Appel

Thirds – suburban satire play about inheriting a house

satire play

THIRDS – SUBURBAN SATIRE PLAY ABOUT INHERITING A HOUSE

Muriel Tuck, a quirky widow who succumbs to a burst aneurysm, has left her estate to be divided equally among her three adult daughters. The oldest, Delilah, is the executor of the will and the mother of three young children. She intends to sell the sisters’ girlhood home and to divide the proceeds between them. This plan is amenable to the middle daughter, neurotic librarian Olivia, whose primary concern is family harmony. But the youngest daughter, Maya, still lives rent-free in her late mother’s house, and refuses to leave. Instead, she begins constructing a brick wall across the living room—separating her one-third from the two-thirds belonging to her sisters. Maya acknowledges that her sisters may sell their parts of the house—“like a lopsided duplex”—but she refuses to give up her portion, and its “lifetimes of memories,” under any circumstances in this suburban satire play about inheriting a house.

Enter Phyllis Hofmeyer. Phyllis, a former schoolmate of the Tuck sisters, wishes to purchase the house because she wants her own daughters to have “as wonderful a childhood” as she imagines the Tuck girls enjoyed as children. She is so determined to purchase the property that even Maya’s fabrications regarding the calamitous condition of the house—infestations of fire ants and bedbugs and termites, the tale of a fourth sister murdered by an escaped baboon, etc.—prove unable to dissuade her. But as Phyllis’s motivations become clearer, and increasingly more disturbing, Maya is not the only Tuck daughter who begins to have second thoughts.

Thirds offers a satiric romp through suburbia, and a heartfelt, if zany, account of one family’s efforts to make the best of life’s plenteous surprises. It is intended to be off-beat, provocative and fun.

Other plays by author Jacob Appel – The Mistress of Wholesome – one act comedy where Mistress takes on Wife

Author: Jacob Appel

Type: Two-act play

Genre: Satire play

Cast: 4F

Ages of the actors: Late twenties to early thirties

Suitable for: Adults to perform, all ages to watch

Length: 90-110 minutes

Set: The entire play takes place in the combination living room / dining room of the Tuck residence in an upscale suburb of New York City. One door exits to the garage stairs, the other to the kitchen and beyond. Neither the garage nor the kitchen are visible. Those who favor realism might furnish the stage with a damask sofa stacked high with pillows, an assortment of armchairs, a rocking chair, cluttered bookshelves, armoires filled with knickknacks, a dining room service beneath a chandelier, and a crescent-shaped glass coffee-table of the variety that was fashionable during the 1970s. A tablecloth should cover the dining room table; a bouquet of flowers sits in a vase on the tabletop. High budget productions might include a piano—although no one in the Tuck household has played a piano in many years, nor ever played one well. Above all, the room should appear “lived-in”: pizza boxes open on the coffee table, old board games piled high on the sofa. Also gardening supplies, an easel, maybe works of sculpture in progress. In short, this is what happens when a free-spirited twenty-seven year old takes over a house from a middle-aged matron.

Level of difficulty: 7/10 – satire is an art – to play the comic elements off with a straight face

Read a Sample of the Script




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Copyright © April 2018 Jacob Appel and Off The Wall Play Publishers

Like this play? Other satires you may enjoy as well as plays about family feuds over estates:

The Heirs – British comedy script about a family fighting to get the inheritance of a crazy old lady
Nuns a two act satire about Nuns who chain smoke and revolt against the mother superior
Shapeless – dark satire about body size