With and Without


Jeffrey Sweet

Published by Dramatists Play Service

2 Male 2 Female

Shelly and Mark have rented a lake-side house for a week to relax. They are sharing the house with Jill, who waits to be joined by her husband, Russ

The fact that Russ does not show, and does not call or return calls, foreshadows a rough week. Jill and Russ are having marital problems and Shelly and Mark are feeling put in the middle

Do they advise, make a call, or lie about who is where? Because of the connections to their old friends, feelings of guilt and obligation prevail, whether real or imagined

While they wait for Russ, Jill decides to go rent a bad movie. At the video store she meets, Glen, a recently divorced father, and invites him back to the house for a one night stand

But Mark hears their conversation, intervenes and proceeds to tell Jill she's about to make a mistake. Jill doesn't want anyone to tell her what to do, but while she and Mark argue, Glen drives away

Furious at Mark for causing Glen to leave, Jill decks him and goes after Glen. The next morning, when Jill returns, Shelly gives her a piece of her mind. The two make up, then Shelly tells Jill that her husband called to say he's on his way up after all, full of apologies

But now Mark looms as a possible obstacle, and for Shelly and Mark, finally the issue of how to deal with their friends reveals fault lines in their own marriage

" solid, craftsmanlike playwriting at its finest. Beautifully written" ~ Variety

"Savvy playwright Jeffrey Sweet handles this steamy story and the situational ethics with maturity and wisdom. Sensitive and sag" ~ Chicago Reader

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