The Road to the Graveyard


Horton Foote

Published by Dramatists Play Service

2 Male 3 Female

The place is a small town in Texas, the time 1939, shortly before the onset of World War II. India, a spinster who is resigned to the task of caring for her aging, and increasingly senile, parents, is hopeful that her weak-willed brother, Sonny, who holds a menial job at the local movie house, will seize the opportunity to open his own theatre, a prospect which could bring the family the security she so desperately longs for

But Sonny, indecisive as always, is fearful of striking out on his own and is resigned, instead, to settling for marriage with an older woman deemed unsuitable by the family

In a series of subtle, deeply affecting scenes, we come to learn the elements of India's disaffection; her concern for her failing parents; her impatience with her gossipy lifelong friend and fellow spinster, Lyda, whose existence has become as sterile as her own; and her disappointment with the feckless Sonny, who seems unable to take hold of his own destiny, much less assume the responsibility for the fate of others

In the end the play is a moving study of loss and desperation, and of decent, well-intentioned people who must stand by helplessly while a way of life is forfeited to a changing order which they are unable to fully comprehend or accommodate

A haunting, eloquent short play which captures the anguish and ennui of a Texas family facing the inexorable disintegration of their way of life which is soon to be lost completely in the coming turmoil of World War II

Successfully produced by New York's celebrated Ensemble Studio Theatre, as part of its one-act play festival, Marathon '85

"In roughly a half-hour, he surveys the tragic ruins of a household even as he looks back, with more anger than nostalgia at a world whose idyllic glow belies all manner of unacknowledged neuroses and sexual and economic injustices" ~ NY Times

"The play, like so many of Mr Foote's plays and movies, is set in a small Texas town, in the living room of a family on the very brink of collapse, their decorum the thinnest camouflage for desperation" ~ The New Yorker

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