|Written by||Alice Gerstenberg, 1919|
|Place premiered||Arthur Maitland's Theatre, San Francisco|
|Setting||The dining room of a New York residence|
Fourteen is a play by Alice Gerstenberg. This one-act social satire was first performed at Arthur Maitland's Theatre, San Francisco, in 1919 and originally published in the February 1920 issue of The Drama magazine. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.
The play has three characters:
- Mrs. Horace Pringle, a woman of fashion
- Elaine, a debutante and Mrs. Pringle's daughter
- Dunham, the butler or maid
Mrs. Pringle is preparing to host a dinner party to introduce her daughter, Elaine, to the city's most eligible bachelor. Illness and a blizzard force some guests to cancel and the three characters are compelled to try to salvage the evening and the dinner-table layout.
Writing in The Drama magazine, J. Vandervoort Sloan described Gerstenberg as "a progressive young playwright, possibly the best-known and most widely be-played by amateur groups in America" and Fourteen as belonging "in the 'a' class of her plays". A reviewer for the American Library Association called it an "exemplary social farce".
The play was among those "unqualifiedly recommended" for high-school productions in front of "mixed audiences" by a New Jersey public school drama adviser in 1923. The adviser described it as "portraying the contretemps of a dinner party".
The play has continued to appeal to theater companies and audiences, with several modern productions. Reviewing a 2007 production in the New York Times, Anne Midgette described Fourteen as delightfully dated.
- "Synopsis of Fourteen by Alice Gerstenberg". Michael Weston Organisation Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- Gerstenberg, Alice (1921). "Ten one-act plays". New York: Longmans. pp. 221–241. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- Sloan, J. Vandervoort (October–November 1921). "Books". The Drama. 12 (1–2): 19.
- Drury, Francis Keese Wynkoop (1925). Viewpoints in Modern Drama: An Arrangement of Plays According to their Essential Interest. American Library Association. p. 41.
- Moses, Grace C. (April 1923). "Dramatics in the High School". Education Bulletin. New Jersey Department of Education. 9 (8): 137.
- McSheffrey, Kevin (June 22, 2011). "One Act Play Festival attracts five plays to Elliot Lake". Elliot Lake Standard. Elliot Lake, Canada. Retrieved February 3, 2015.
- Midgette, Anne (September 12, 2007). "A Woman's Worth in Love, Marriage, Friendship, Murder". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2015.