Halcyon Days (play)

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Halcyon Days is a play written by Steven Dietz that satirizes the 1983 American invasion of Grenada. The play had its world premiere October 24, 1991 at the ACT Theatre in Seattle, Washington.

Characters[edit]

  • Eddie, a Senator, forties
  • Tommy, a Senator, forties
  • Blonigen, CIA, forties
  • Ruby, hotel clerk, forties
  • Linda, medical student, twenties
  • Raper, presidential advisor, forties
  • Patricia, speech writer, thirties
  • Alex, medical student, twenties

Recent Productions[edit]

In February, 2006 Halcyon Days was produced by The Performance Gallery, a professional non-equity theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati CityBeat Reviewer, Tom McElfresh noted of the play that "At a guess, the reason Halcyon Days is not seeing more current productions is because, apt to the times though its satire might be, it plays more like a Saturday Night Live sketch than theater." [1]

A production in Los Angeles was recorded for the LA Theatre Works show "The Play's The Thing" and broadcast on several radio stations around the United States in late 2006. It starred Ed Begley, Jr. as Andy Raper, Richard Masur as Eddie, and Anne Archer as Patricia.

Plot[edit]

The action of the play goes back and forth between Washington, D.C. and Grenada. In Grenada, Alex is a medical student who has a girlfriend named Linda, also a medical student, who works in a gift shop. The gift shop is owned by Ruby, a native of the island. From the beginning, Alex is shown to be a dishonest person, as he tells Linda that he is paying professors for answers to exams. A CIA agent repeatedly visits the shop and has many witty arguments with Ruby. In Washington, Andy manipulates Tommy and Patricia into helping him use political spin to make public opinion supportive of the Grenada invasion. It is revealed that Alex is Eddie's son, whom Eddie thought was going to Stanford University. Alex is paid by the CIA agent to pretend that he is in danger, and Eddie is therefore forced to drop his opposition to the invasion and participate in a press conference with Alex when he returns to the United States. Meanwhile, during the invasion of Grenada, Ruby is killed when the hotel she is working in is bombed accidentally. Linda and Eddie are both upset with Alex and feel that he has become a different person. Eddie always expresses his misgivings about the invasion when talking to the other Washington characters, but when he meets Linda at the end of the play, when he sees her protesting the invasion, he admits that he has done nothing to stop the war.

Sources[edit]

Dietz, Steven, Halcyon Days, Rain City Projects, Seattle, WA 1991