by Philip Middleton Williams

Sam and Frank Weaver are at their summer home in Harbor Grove, an exclusive resort community on the shores of Grand Traverse Bay in Michigan, for a memorial service for Ruth, Frank’s wife and Sam’s mother. They are joined by Greg and Janey Anderson and their son Gary, who was a childhood friend of Sam, and Sam’s former lover Pete. They reminisce about their summers spent up at the lake, and as the day progresses into night and the masks come off under the influence of good Scotch, some well-kept secrets and memories that would rather be forgotten are revealed.

  • Cast Size: 6M 1W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

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About the Playwright

Philip Middleton Williams has written over sixty plays ranging from one-minute to full-length. A Moment of Clarityand A Life Enriching Community were finalists in the City Theatre National Award for Short PlaywritingAll Together Now won first place in the 2016 Playgroup playwriting contest and was produced as part of The Willow Theatre 2017-2018 season in Boca Raton, Florida. Can’t Live Without You was his first play to receive an off-off Broadway production in January 2008 and was produced by The Playgroup for their 2018-2019 season at The Willow Theatre. Cooler Near the Lake was selected as a finalist in the American Association of Community TheatresNewPlayFest 2024.  Three monologues from Can’t Live Without You are included in The Best Men’s Monologues for 2019.  All Together NowDark TwistCan’t Live Without YouExtra Innings: 10 Short Plays About BaseballThe Sugar Ridge RagA House by the Side of the Road – Seven Short Plays About a Family and Cooler Near the Lake are published and licensed through Next Stage Press.  Home-Style Cooking at the Gateway Cafe was included in the Smith & Kraus anthology The Ten Best Ten-Minute Plays 2022. Three monologues — Do You Get ItZero Sum Game, and Quite the Connoisseur — have been selected for inclusion in the Smith & Kraus collections of The Best Men’s and Women’s Monologues 2023A Life Enriching Community is published and licensed through Senior Theatre Resources.

His work has been seen in the South Florida One-Minute Play Festivals, the Midwest Dramatist Conference, the William Inge Theatre Festival New Play Labs, Bartell Theatre of Madison, Wisconsin, Odenbear Theatre of Taos, New Mexico, Theatre Roulette of Columbus, Ohio, the Short+Sweet Festival of Sydney, Australia, the Valdez Theatre Conference of Alaska, Vermont Pride Theater, Silver Tongued Stages of Miami, Seaside Players of Lauderdale by the Sea, Theatre Arts Productions of Palm Beach, Open Eye Theater of Margaretville, New York, Bendigo Theatre Company of Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, and LAB Theater Project of Tampa.

He has a B.F.A. in drama from the University of Miami, an M.F.A. in theatre from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and a PhD in playwriting and dramatic criticism from the University of Colorado.  In 1992 he was appointed to the national advisory board of the William Inge Theatre Festival. He has written numerous articles on the works of William Inge and Lanford Wilson and contributed to The Facts on File Companion to American Drama edited by Jackson R. Bryer and Mary C. Hartig. His doctoral thesis, “A Comfortable House” – Lanford Wilson, Marshall W. Mason and the Circle Repertory Theatre, was published by McFarland and Company in 1993.  He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Average Rating: 5.0 out of 5 (1 votes)
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Donald E. Baker

Fascinating group of characters

Keeping up appearances is important to the wealthy summer people in a Michigan resort town, but that means keeping secrets. It may be cooler by the lake, but things heat up when a provocateur prompts six men to reveal their secrets past and present. Williams is a master of depicting inter-personal relationships, and the relationships here were and are very personal indeed. Resort to a copy of this play and prepare to be drawn into the world of a fascinating group of characters.

8 months ago

Review Cooler Near the Lake.

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