THE WRINKLE RANCH AND OTHER PLAYS
ABOUT GROWING OLD
by Debra Cole
Like Bette Davis said, “growing old is not for sissies,” and this collection of 20 short plays by Debra A. Cole offers vivid and powerful voices to the adventure that everyone goes through, if we’re lucky. Plays range from 5 minutes to 12 minutes each including the audience favorite The Wrinkle Ranch, where the ladies of Rancho Felicidad Assisted Living Facility are done playing Scrabble and ready to ride the ponies once more as the sun continues to set on the ranch. Whether performed as just one single play, a small collection, or an entire evening, these plays will speak to audiences of all ages about the very real and very human aging process with humor, respect, and meaningful moments, as well as offer seasoned performers outstanding opportunities to bring colorful and well-rounded characters to life. These plays may be performed together or licensed independently!
- Cast Size: FLEXIBLE CASTS AND RUNTIMES
- Royalty Rate: $75 per performance for the full evening. Contact for individual plays
Sample Coming Soon
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The characters in his marvelous collection of 20(!) plays may be aging, but most of them are not yet ready to give up on life or on love. As a group they are feisty and frisky and funny but also nasty and mean and, in the case of one couple, seriously dangerous. Some characters are experiencing loss and grief, but most are prepared to persevere and get the most out of their remaining time on this mortal coil. Did I mention there are 20 plays? In one handy volume? At one low price? Get it and enjoy every page.
I just finished these 20 short plays by Deb Cole and have got to say, I feel invigorated about getting older. No stodgy, ancient fossils here. These elderly characters are ready to mix it up. My favorites are “Family Ties” where a bride-to-be and her new Mother-in-law come to uneasy terms, “Let Them Eat Cake” which will break your heart and melt it at the same time, “Battle of the Karens” which catered to my preference of the absurd, and “Fork and Spoon” that has so many terribly bad (MY bread and butter!) puns in it that I couldn’t help but love it. Deb’s collection has something for everyone, and there’s a treasure trove of roles for older actors here that will showcase their vitality and energy. Thoroughly recommended.
THE WRINKLE WRANCH (Number 20) This titular short is naughty, naughty, naughty and whole lot of nice! Ladies, you’ll be wishing you were in your 80s 🙂
THE PRICE OF FREEDOM (Number 19) I adore stories where characters pay it forward especially when they themselves are making big changes in their own lives. Lovely imagery of moving forward. Cole adds just the right amount of comeuppance for those who just never “get it” that it pays to be positive.
THE AGING FAIRY (Number 18) Linda’s “own your age” thing has the Aging Fairy perplexed. Ur-ine for a fun ride with this short play!
SUNBRELLA (Number 17) Ah, I needed that. I waited in impish anticipation as the rumbling intensified. Easy to stage, great fun for a costume designer. Favorite line: “It all sounds pretty important.” Fun!
SQUIRRELING AWAY (Number 16) Janice’s comping mechanism for her grief manifests itself in an obsession with squirrel poop. Lest you be prone to judgement, know that she’s the “picture of mental health” and we’ve all been there at some point in our lives. Facing real life, until it drives you batty, is tough. You’ll just have to read it to know more. A fun short play for lovers (and haters) of squirrels.
STORM IN A TEACUP (Number 15) I love a good clairvoyant and Cole delivers. Miss Eleanor’s spiriting is pretty sweet indeed but “SILENCE! We must pour the tea!” Great fun.
ROMERO AND JULIET (Number 14) While epistolic, the characters do not read from their letters, but speak of their letters and the events of the 1940s and 1980s which creates a lovely dance between four actors. Physical and metaphysical, lies becoming truth. History and Romance lovers will be enchanted.
MOTHER OF PEARL (Number 13) A fun little piece. Mothers in the audience will relate perfectly to Pearl’s Mom, Mrs Harvey, who likes seatbelts and good choices and is a good mom. Her very practical “grew up on a farm” background and her lack of facial expressions had me howling! Never underestimate Mom.
LET THEM EAT CAKE (Number 12) This one tugged heart at my heart strings. Poignant. Anyone managing someone with dementia (or even not) will “get it”. The love is palpable. Doing the right thing is always a good thing. This slow to reveal itself short play will leave you in tears.
JANUARY 8 (Number 11) This is one of my favorites. I can see this woman looking out, at us, peering into the audience to make us see. Love this theme. Love the fun Cole has with it as well. Serious and silly all at once.
LADY BUSINESS (Number 10) An EVERYWOMAN of the 21st century. Beware! Be aware!
GOOD NEIGHBORS (Number 9) “Good fences make good neighbors” but a garden gate works too! Lovely short play for two older actors. Easy to stage. Sweet.
FORK AND SPOON (Number 8) This play is sweet without being syrupy. A perfect little gem.
THE FLEMISH MASTER (Number 7) This play takes a different track altogether: the ultimate adventure. Lovely.
FAMILY TIES (Number 6) This play will afford you quite the conversation starter at your next church wedding while waiting for the Bride to appear…or will she!?
BLUE BIRDS (Number 5) Nope, not “stopping while I’m ahead!” Two couples face challenges ahead with realistic humor, irritation, jealousy and fun.
BATTLE OF THE KARENS (Number 4) will leave you wanting to throw the towel in too. Poor Stacey. A whirlwind of a sketch!
A TOAST (Number 3) is notable for its natural dialogue in a difficult situation. The space behind what is said is what’s strongest in this piece: the “yups” and the “I knows” matching the lovely balance within this couple where not much need be said to be understood. It rings true. A short piece certain to bring out many differing emotions from the audience. Bravo.
AN IDLE MIND IS THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (Number 2) starts off fun and then takes you in an entirely delightfully different direction as the eponymous hero (?) arrives to get a retired couple’s idle brains moving and he gets more than he bargained for. Beware those camper vans… ”
23 AND BREE (Number 1 ) starts off the collection with a “real kick”! Cole’s characters are completely fleshed out, relatable and true to life. We sympathize with them all. Brava.