Barbara Field, playwright
93 pgs. 7 female, 17 male (doubling is possible)
Originally produced by SCT in 1983
Run Time: 90 minutes
Audience Recommendation: 6+
The classic cautionary tale of the young orphan Pip who lives with his cruel sister, Mrs. Joe, and her kind husband Joe. The story begins when Pip encounters an escaped convict in the cemetery who bullies Pip into stealing food and a file for him. The boy does as he’s asked (with a guilty conscience), but the convict is captured anyway.
Mrs. Joe volunteers Pip to make visits to the home of the wealthy Miss Havisham, a half-mad woman who was jilted on her wedding day many years before and has never recovered. Pip is brought there to play with Miss Havisham’s ward, Estella, a pretty girl who delights in tormenting Pip about his rough hands and his stature as a common laboring boy. This makes Pip sad, but also sparks his interest in becoming a gentleman to win the love of Estella.
After several years of laboring and self teaching, Pip strikes luck and becomes the heir of ‘great expectations’ by an unknown benefactor. Pip leaps at the chance to leave his home and friends behind to go to London and become a gentleman. But having expectations, as Pip soon learns, is a two-edged sword, and nothing is as he thought it would be.
“Field’s adaptation expertly preserves the crucial story points while cleverly infusing the dialogue with welcome humor.” -Backstage West