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Product Description
Full Length, Drama

Characters: 3 male, 2 female

2 Interior Sets

Isaac Geldhart, the imperious scion of a family owned publishing house, is under siege. A takeover is being engineered by his son Aaron, who sees the firm's profitability steadily declining and wants to publish a trashy novel to bring in the bucks. Isaac plans to go on publishing scholarly works such as a multi volume history of Nazi medical experiments. Aaron has the necessary yen from Japanese backers but he needs the votes of his brother and sister. Reluctantly, they side against the old man. The second act takes place in the library of Isaac's townhouse a few years after his forced retirement. He has become so irascible and eccentric that his children have asked the court to judge his competence. Isaac, who survived the Holocaust and transcended the death of his wife to build an important publishing company from scratch, faces his greatest challenge: persuading the psychiatric social worker that he is sane.

"A deeply compassionate play." N.Y. Times

"A remarkably intelligent drama." N.Y. Newsday. Review
Many of the greatest American plays of the 20th century have examined dysfunctional families under pressure. Add the American obsession with business and you have the preoccupation of The Substance of Fire, an award-winning 1990 off-Broadway drama. In Jon Robin Baitz's screenplay, the conflict between a father and his three grown children for control of the family publishing business has only grown sharper. The patriarch, Isaac, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust, would rather see the company founder while publishing worthy books, than to prosper publishing slick junk. His three grown children, on whom he has lavished, Lear-like, enough stock to control his little kingdom, want the company to become a thriving concern, and feel Dad's standards are absurdly rigid. The question is not so much who will win control of the company, but on what terms and whether any such battle ever truly has an emotional victory.

Failure to Launch (3/10) Movie CLIP - Emotional Crisis Stage (2006) HD

Failure to Launch Movie Clip - watch all clips click to subscribe Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) cries faux tears over a ...



  • Stone Cold Dead Serious

    Macmillan. 2004. ISBN: 9781429998277,142999827X. 256 pages.

    Recent plays from "one of the more daring young stylists working today" (David Cote, Time Out New York) Adam Rapp's plays have captivated audiences across the country with their unflinching explorations of the good, the bad, and the ugly in America's heartland and cities. Gathered here are three of his latest works: Faster, in which two young grifters try to strike a deal with the devil during the hottest summer on record; Finer Noble Gases, a lament for a band of arrested thirty-year-olds slouching toward adulthood amid East Village decay; and the Off-Broadway hit Stone Cold Dead Serious. An honest, strange, and humorous look at a blue-collar family struggling to survive in the face of disability and addiction, and the seemingly surreal lengths their teenage son will go to save them from themselves, the play prompted Bruce Weber to rave in The New York Times: "Rapp is very gifted, and, even rarer, he has something to say . . . Stone Cold Dead Serious [is] brave, compassionate, and . . . breathtakingly moving. It is the work of a playwright who is forging a real voice . . . Its rendering of the shared language of loved ones illustrates how families can remain intimate even when they are in shards. Its depiction of a working-class America that is unable to dream of anything beyond enduring is as sincerely sad a commentary on our culture as I've seen in recent memory. And its fear for young people is, unfortunately, deeply convincing."

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  • Trust the Man (2006)

    08/28/14 ,via

    Libby Johnson Song ("Don't Mean You Lost Your Love") 120859 8000033 Libby Johnson Song Performer ("Don't Mean You Lost Your Love") 120788 8000072 Dave Cantor Song ("Everlasting No") 120859 8000036 Clarence Greenwood Song ("Bullet and a Target") 120859 ...

  • NPS names site Teachers of the Year

    11/23/10 ,via Norman Transcript

    Gretchen Cleevely, McKinley Elementary School; Glenda Cook, Monroe Elementary School; Amy Sixkiller, Roosevelt Elementary School; Tiffany Wylie, Truman Elementary School; Shannon Johnson, Truman Primary School; Marie Hill, Washington Elementary School ...

  • Norman Public Schools announce site teachers of the year

    11/20/10 ,via Oklahoma News

    Gretchen Cleevely, McKinley; Glenda Cook, Monroe; Amy Sixkiller, Roosevelt; Tiffany Wylie, Truman; Shannon Johnson, Truman Primary; Marie Hill, Washington; and Elizabeth Harper, Wilson. The middle school teachers of the year are Lori Hollingsworth ...


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