A HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD
by Philip Middleton Williams
A House by the Side of the Road: Clyde and his sons Steve and Dan sit on the back porch on a summer evening listening to the Detroit Tigers play baseball on the radio and learn that you don’t have to play the game to be in it.
Blind No. 7: Clyde, Dan and Steve spend a morning duck-hunting, telling dad-jokes, and being together.
And the Wisdom to Know the Difference: Clyde stops by to see Dan on visiting day at the treatment center.
A Moment of Clarity: Clyde and Dan share memories and truths.
Favorite Son: Dan and Steve are waiting to visit their father who is in hospice care. As they sort through the arrangements, they sort through their relationship, bracing themselves for what’s coming next.
I’ll Be Here: Clyde and Dan spend some time together in the woods where they used to go birdwatching.
Good Grief: Dan stops by the forest to visit Clyde and meets his new lifelong companion. He’s an attractive young man named Grief, and he and Dan are going to get to know each other very well.
- Cast Size: 3M
- 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 Clarity” and “A Life Enriching Community” were finalists in the City Theatre National Award for Short Playwriting. “All Together Now” won first place in the 2016 Playgroup playwriting contest and was produced by The Playgroup in 2018. “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 in 2019. “All Together Now,” “Dark Twist,” “Can’t Live Without You,” “Extra Innings: 10 Short Plays About Baseball,” “The Sugar Ridge Rag” and “A House by the Side of the Road – Seven Short Plays About a Family” are published and licensed through Next Stage Press. “Home-Style Cooking at the Gateway Cafe” was selected for inclusion in the Smith & Kraus anthology “The Ten Best Ten-Minute Plays 2022.” Three monologues – “Do You Get It,” “Zero 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 2023. “A Life Enriching Community” is published and licensed through Senior Theatre Resources.
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. His doctoral thesis, “A Comfortable House” – Lanford Wilson, Marshall W. Mason and the Circle Repertory Theatre, was published by McFarland and Company.
ALSO BY PHILIP MIDDLETON WILLIAMS
- ALL TOGETHER NOW
- CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT YOU
- DARK TWIST
- EXTRA INNINGS: 10 SHORT PLAYS ABOUT BASEBALL
- THE SUGAR RIDGE RAG
This is a beautifully structured collection. Each play is complete unto itself if performed separately. But together they paint a beautiful picture of fifty years in the lives and evolving relationships of a father and his two sons. The characters are completely believable as down-to-earth, complicated, flawed human beings who love each other enough to put in the work to understand each other as best they are able. Vintage Williams, humanely wrought.
A cycle of plays and a cycle of life, A HOUSE BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD depicts a complicated relationship between Dan and his father Clyde, from Dan’s childhood through Clyde’s passing decades later. Eschewing typically volatile straight-father/gay-son conflicts, Williams presents a gentle tale of people moving toward understanding as life and time bear down upon them.
Each piece stands on its own, but together they would make a powerful evening, which great roles for male actors of several ages. Doubling younger Clyde as older Dan has great potential to add power to an already impactful tale.
Seven interconnected plays, each wonderfully illustrated with humor, heart, and humanity. Terrific tales about a father, his sons, their differences, and- most importantly- their times shared together!