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Fourteen is a play by Alice Gerstenberg. This one act play was originally published in the February issue of Drama Magazine, 1920. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

Characters Edit

The play has mainly three characters Edit

Dunham - The butler or maid Edit

  • Mrs. Pringle - A woman of fashion
  • Elaine - Her debuntate daughter

Synopsis Edit

When Society Hostess Mrs Pringle throws a Dinner Party she likes to think that she does it in style. Tonight's gathering is especially important because she has invited the most elegible bachelor in town and intends that he shall be impressed not only by Mrs Pringle's status as a hostess but also by the charm and beauty of her only daughter, Elaine. So she has assembled the cream of society to sit down at a table for fourteen for a sparkling soiree.

But her plans are doomed from the start. Unfortunately one of the guests can't make it - and that means thirteen to sit down to dinner - a most inauspicious omen.

How can she replace him at the last moment? And when the weather causes another couple to cancel it looks as if the evening is set on a disastrous course. Mrs Pringle makes some phone calls and the staff struggle to cope with an ever fluctuating guest list.

Can she sustain her reputation? Will the gods smile favourably on Elaine's future? [1][2][3][4][5]

Media Articles Edit

Some notable references on the play from media articles are as follows:

One Act Play Festival attracts five plays to Elliot Lake stage-"They were followed by STW's performance of Alice Gerstenberg's 1920 play Fourteen.The period piece, a comedy, had the story's characters continually reset a dining table set for a fine dinner for 14 people. However, during the play, the telephone rang several times with people cancelling for various reasons. The mother (Sonya Ostrowski-Masotti) and daughter (Kirsty Wilson) were in a panic trying to get what was considered a proper number of people to the table so everyone would be in their proper place." -- Elliot Lake Standard - Apr 23, 2013

A Woman’s Worth in Love, Marriage, Friendship, Murder-"The pieces are dated, some delightfully, like Gerstenberg’s “Fourteen,” about a society matron whose dinner party is threatened by a blizzard, and some hopelessly, like Bryant’s piece “The Game,” in which Life and Death compete for Youth, a poet, and The Girl, a dancer."-New York Times - Sep 12, 2007

Scholarly Articles Edit

Some notable references on the play from scholarly articles are as follows:

"In Fourteen, published originally in The Drama, not because of which fact I put myself on record as saying it belongs in the a' class of her plays; The Potboiler, an amusing satire on temperament as applied to actors, author, and manager in rehearsal; Hearts, a character study of four women of fashion at a bridge table—I need not say more—; and He Said and She Said, Miss Gerstenberg gives proof however that she is not bound around with the woolen string of mysticism." -- The Drama - Volume 12 - Page 19:1922

"In Fourteen, published originally in The Drama, not because of which fact I put myself on record as saying it belongs in the a class of her plays; The Potboiler, an amusing satire on temper- ament as applied to actors, author, and manager in rehearsal; Hearts, a character study of four women of fashion at a bridge table—I need not say more—; and He Said and She Said, Miss Gerstenberg gives proof however that she is not bound around with the woolen string of -mysticism." -- The Drama Magazine ... - Volume 12 - Page 19:Charles Hubbard Sergei, ‎William Norman Guthrie, ‎Theodore Ballou Hinckley - 1922

"A recent program included Nevertheless, by Stuart Walker, one of his most delightful Portmanteau Plays, and two comedies by Alice Gerstenberg: Fourteen, portraying the contretemps of a dinner party, and The Pot Boiler, a burlesque on the modern playwright and acting." -- Education Bulletin - Volumes 8-9 - Page 137:New Jersey. Dept. of Education - 1922

References Edit


External links Edit

Performances and Videos Edit

  1. ▶ Fourteen - SUDS - YouTube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiqfOCQ7p80
  2. ▶ "Fourteen" by Alice Gerstenberg - YouTube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYQOnc97d2Y
  3. ▶ Fourteen Alice Gerstenberg - YouTube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIo68eFMCEM
  4. ▶ "Fourteen" by Alice Gerstenberg - YouTube-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiXtlihNkgo

Online script links Edit

  1. http://www.one-act-plays.com/royalty_free_plays.html
  2. http://www.one-act-plays.com/playwrights/alice_gerstenberg.html
  3. http://www.theatrehistory.com/plays/fourteen.html

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