Bertha and Bertman by Zsolt Pozgai

Drama/ 1 Man, 1 Woman/ Full Length, Two Acts

Synopsis: Bertha, a nurse, lives peacefully in her apartment in Austria. She has had no success in finding a partner, but has resigned herself to the situation. One day, an unexpected guest arrives. Her love from grammar school — an established, wealthy man, youthful and athletic. But lonely. He lives with his mother, who is terminally ill. He needs somebody, a partner who loves him.

Bertha welcomes him. They live together. The man takes her on fabulous journeys. They sometimes visit his mother in the hospital. She is glad that her son is happy and has found someone.

Bertha and Bertman’s sexual, physical encounters are wonderful. Everything is perfect.

Then Bertman’s mother dies. Bertman thanks Bertha for everything she has done for him. Bertha realizes that the man was with her only to calm down his mother, to demonstrate that he had a partner, would have children, and his mother would have grandchildren. He pretended to enjoy their encounters, and pretended to be in love. But it was all a ruse.

Bertha is devastated. She kills the man. Everything she thought to be true, has turned out to be a lie. There is no mercy.

This drama is based on a real story.

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Performance rights must be secured before production
Contact information:
Amateur and professional rights:
Zsolt Pozsgai
H-7630 Pécs, Tétény u. 28.
Ph.: 00-36-30-2791324

About the Playwright: Award-winning dramatist Zsolt Pozsgai’s plays have been seen worldwide. He is a winner of the European Drama Award, and three-time winner of the Hungarian Playwright’s Competition. Liselotte in May, his most performed play, premiered at the Deutsches Theater, Budapest, Hungary, in May, 2002 and has since been seen in over 22 stagings from New York City to Geneva, Switzerland to Vancouver, Canada. By the end of 2014, 57 of Pozsgai’s pieces, including tragedies, comedies, farces, and plays with music, had been performed in 87 theatres. He has also worked widely as a stage director, and as a writer and director for film and TV.

Bertha and Bertman will premiere in Budapest, Hungary in February, 2022.

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Notes: Atomic Field

Persons in the Play:


DELORES LONG, 55, his wife

WINSTON LONG, 33, his son, a history professor at a small Southern college

MARISA LOUISE LONG, 31, his daughter

SETTING: The elder Long’s home in the North Georgia Mountains. There is a large combination sitting/dining area adjoined by a kitchen with an attached screened-in porch and front patio/main entrance.To the side is the hibakusha station, a podium with a lectern light and microphone backed by a screen.

TIME: Spring and Summer, 1985

In the event of production, the following statement must appear in the program:

“Hibakusha testimonies of Takehiko Sakai, Eiko Taoka, Hiroko Fukada, Keiko Matsuda, Takeo Watanabe, and Akira Ishida are presented through the auspices of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Live Computer Conference and the Karome Computer Network in Hiroshima. Atomic Field was written with the support of a Japan Foundation Artists Fellowship.”

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Notes: Babes in America

Playing Time: 90-100 minutes

Setting: The present

Cast (6+):

2 women 40-50
1 woman about 16

2 men 40-50
1 man about 18

1 Shadow, either gender, may be doubled

Set: 1 interior/exterior set, suitable for black box

CHARACTERS LIZ and CHAS SMALL, a couple who perceive themselves as being much younger than they are. They use extravagant amounts of cosmetics and herbal supplements and wear youthful wigs. Their youthful clothing may be a size too small. LIZ is obedient to and admiring of her husband, CHAS, an ad copy writer who puts an exhausting spin on words.

BETH and CHUCK SMALL, a couple who are LIZ and CHAS’s neighbors and contemporaries. They share LIZ and CHAS’s values.

BETSY and CHARLIE SMALL, LIZ and CHAS’s children, ages 16 and 18 respectively, whom LIZ and CHAS perceive to be babies. THEY wear baby clothes over their appropriate dress and continue with the masquerade in hopes of guiding their parents to a life of fuller awareness. CHARLIE needs a shave.

The SHADOW, may be doubled. The SHADOW is a reflection of LIZ’s perception of the world around her.

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Notes: Cat as Cat Can


“But how to play the cat?” The question was often asked before the play was performed. The answer: through imagination. The way children — with no costumes or acting training — totally convince us by their simple joy in make-believe that all by themselves they can add up to an entire zoo. That’s how Gérard Martin, who created the part in Paris, became my cat . . . his left arm undulating like an “inquisitive” cat’s tail . . . then he’d scratch his chin in fast motion with his right hand, used as a paw-with-claws. He’d sniff his acting partners to make their acquaintance.

CAST: 4 actors who play:

1. Prince Charming
2. The Queen, The Aunt, Claudette, Merlin.
3. Valerie, Veronika, Gaston 2.
4. Gaston, Gustave, Gilbert, Valentine.

or 12 actors:

The Queen
Her Aunt
ClaudettePrince Charming
The Cat-Prince
Two passers-by

Time: the present. A mobile set

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Notes: Just Desserts

Just Desserts: Playwright’s Notes

Just Desserts concerns our portions in Life and how we select our options for Life. In all three plays we get our Just Desserts and this depends as much on what we get served as on our choices. Freedom to choose is often an illusion.

As children we say Yes to Life – Easter Eggs is fast, fun and messy, with the text in verse. As confused adolescents we say both Yes and No to Life. Lemon Soufflé is dreamy, romantic, mysterious. As adults our choice is already made. Omlettes (consciously misspelt) is potent, controlled, sinister.

The plays operate on several levels. Linked by a unifying sense of irony, the language and style of each piece is particular to itself. Eggs, used as a symbol of creativity, feature in all three plays.

The recommended playing order is:

Easter Eggs (Short Play)
Lemon Soufflé (50 mins.)
Omlettes (45 mins.)

At the first performance in Andrews Lane Theatre, Dublin there was a brief pause after Easter Eggs and a 15 minute interval after Lemon Soufflé.

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Notes: Stuff

The cast of Characters

Milton Stack:
Mid 40’s, rough around the edges, cigarette smoking, blue-collar clearance professional. Physically strong, caring and famous for offering amazing insights and spinning giant yarns about relatives real and imagined. A nurturing soul, friends are important to him, things are not. He likes words that begin with G, the color crimson and a good one liner.

Bobby Warren:
A late 30’s black man, unmarried. Bobby lives alone in a trailer and likes collecting everything. He’s a protector, troublemaker and hot head. At first you think he’s smarter than Milton. But just as Milton surprises with flashes of brilliance, Bobby amazes with his cerebral deficiencies. He likes the three stooges, the color orange and management by intimidation.

Michael Price:
Mid 30’s, yuppie, married with a young daughter, well educated with a hint of the upper crust peaking through into his vocal style. Michael owns a media company and his focus is to clear the stuff from the space so he can build his new movie complex. He is driven, even hyperactive. He likes himself; he’s colorblind and wishes he could get that membership to the Belle Meade Country Club.

Sergeant Gary:
A forties drill Sergeant who is filled with violent hate and consumed with hurting those who are different than he is.


Registered with the Writers Guild of America all rights reserved

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Notes: That Darn Plot!

Playwrights’s Notes:

This play was written for an Edmonton audience and there are some local references. The author allows for changing any geographical references and local references to fit the locality of the production. Brad Fraser is a Canadian playwright known for pushing boundaries into areas sometimes uncomfortable for conservative audiences. Calgary is the nearest major city to Edmonton.

This play essentially takes place in three worlds: the real world of Mark W. Transom, the world created by Transom inhabited by every other character in the play and an undefined twilight zone where the two worlds mingle. The first two worlds need to be onstage at all times once introduced, the third should be played not designed. No lighting changes, please. The play should be performed without black outs. With the sole exceptions of the act break and the transition from Act Two into the Epilogue, each scene should flow smoothly into the other.

The typewriters used in this play are both manuals. This means that they produce not only the percussive rhythms of the keys, but also the whine of the rollers as papers are being pulled out and the slam of the carriages being returned. I strongly encourage directors to use the auditory offerings of these machines as a means of punctuating and underscoring scenes, or to cover scene transitions.

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Notes: The Hearing Trumpet

CAST: 12 actors: 2 men, 10 women

Marian: a ninety-two year old woman whose family no longer wants her.
Carmella: Marian’s best friend, nearly as old but financially independent.
Galahad: Marian’s son.
Muriel: Marian’s daughter-in-law.
Robert: Marian’s twenty-five year old grandson.
Dr. Gambit: Director of Lightsome Hall for aged women.
Mrs. Gambit: His wife.
The Bard Taliessin/the Mailman.
Majong: a Chinese chauffeur.
Marlborough: an old friend of Marian’s who resembles Santa Claus.
Anubeth: Marlborough’s sister who has the head of a wolf.
Pontefact, King of the Wolves
The Voice of Abbess Dona Rosalinda
The Voice of Bishop Fernand

Old Ladies of the Institution:
Anna Wertz: resident of the Cuckoo Clock, A giddy and energetic woman who talks non-stop.
Maude Somers: resident of the Birthday Cake, a gentle self-effacing woman who is hiding the fact that she is a man.
Veronica Adams: resident of the Boot, Maud’s (Arthur’s) sweetheart, about as bent over as an old lady can get.
Cristabel Burns: resident of the Railway Carriage, an elegant black woman who believes herself to be 184 years old. Austere, sincere in her mission.
Georgina Sykes: resident of the Circus Tent, a flamboyant Southern Belle, defiant and sarcastic.
Natacha Gonzalez: resident of the Igloo, scheming and spiritually ambitious, in love with Dr. Gambit.
Vera van Tocht: resident of the Red Mushroom, fleshy and motherly on the outside, inside a maker of poisonous fudge.

Note: Doubling of actors in these roles is highly desirable. The actress (or actor) who plays Maude Somers can play Majong. The actress who plays Muriel plays Mrs. Gambit and Anubeth. The actor who plays Robert plays Talliessen, Pontefact and the Mailman, and the actor who plays Galahad plays Dr. Gambit and Marlborough.

Another Note: Those scenes in which Marian has trouble hearing another character, the actors should develop a comic patois containing both nonsense words and real ones. An actor may make him or herself heard clearly by “shouting” or over-enunciating with an increase in volume.

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Notes: The Lost

Christopher Isherwood, one of the famous British writers of the first half of the twentieth century, left England to live in Berlin in the 1920’s to avoid frustration and possible persecution for being a homosexual.

In this pre-Hitler period Germany was one of the few places where homosexuality was tolerated. In this haven Isherwood wrote his Goodbye to Berlin which included the chronicles of “Sally Bowles”, who went though many transformations — on stage and film in I am a Camera, adapted by John Van Druten, and ending up in the lavish if inaccurate stage musical and award-winning film, Cabaret (1972).

His friend, the poet, W. H. Auden, wrote from abroad saying: “There are thirty-seven boy-bars in Berlin where attractive young men trade their favours for a small fee, or a gift.” Germany sounded like paradise. The cult of the body was in full swing. Money was scarce, but the young folk lay on the banks of rivers, drinking in the sun, swimming naked and cultivating a fashionable tan. While in the nightclubs every form of deviant sex was to be found. The famous Transvestites Ball encouraged men in elaborate drag, made up to the eyebrows and girls in dinner jackets with cropped hair and monocles to show their form.

Christopher, in this heady atmosphere of sexual freedom sought the ideal German boy. First, there was Bubi, dreamy-eyed and sensuous, then Otto, a lissom youth, from a poverty-stricken family, who was ready to travel with him, and ready to sell his body, but not his soul — both these turned out to be wanted by the police — and finally he met Heinz, who became his lover and constant companion for years, until Hitler’s purges began and homosexuals began to be hunted down. This passionate love affair had a tragic ending — Heinz was picked up by the Gestapo.

In l939, on the eve of the Second World War, Christopher and Auden left England for America. During this dreary winter voyage Isherwood relives incidents from his life. In the isolation and limbo of the ocean, he feels alienated from his life in Europe and unsure what the future in America may hold for him. He is writing a book called The Lost which is to reflect the lives of the emotionally bankrupt folk, the lost generation which has lost its way — the victims of the Nazis, the survivors of the Spanish Civil War, the desperate and the confused. On this journey he feels he has joined their ranks. The novel was abandoned but the individual stories were published separately and are among the most sensitive and perceptive of his works. The play begins as the ship leaves England and ends as the towers of Manhattan loom out of the fog.

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