Pronouncing Glenn

A comedy about an unconventional family learning how to say good-bye and the crazy lengths a person would take to protect someone they love.

 

SUMMARY
Millie, a caregiver, lives in the home of her elderly patient, Glenn. Sandra, Glenn’s only child, has moved home with her young son, Boyd, to help care for her ailing mother. Their mother daughter relationship, usually turbulent, has gone from bad to worse as they are no longer speaking. Unbeknownst to everyone but Millie, Glenn died and with the best of intentions, Millie keeps Glenn’s death a secret hoping to heal the rift between mother and daughter before Sandra thinks it is too late. Millie writes letters to Sandra, ostensibly from Glenn, while enrolling Ben, Sandra’s bumbling but lovable suitor, to unknowingly help her keep Glenn’s death a secret by installing air conditioners in Glenn’s bedroom. Meanwhile, eccentric and nosey neighbor, Dorcus, keeps popping in, as does Glenn’s physician, the uptight Dr. Thomas. Dorcus tries to contribute to the household with loopy home remedies and advice gleaned from absurd news sources.  And, much to Ben’s chagrin, the soap-opera handsome doctor seems more eager to see Sandra than his patient, Glenn. Their constant unannounced visits cause chaos and hilarity. Millie’s secret comes unraveled and the action ends with a fun, fast-paced romp all the way to a surprising, but heartfelt conclusion.   

INSPIRATION
The seed for Pronouncing Glenn came from a bizarre item in USA TODAY. The news article, only 6 sentences long, was about a caregiver who kept her deceased patient upstairs in a bedroom with the help of air conditioning for two and a half years, while the patient’s daughter and grandson lived downstairs. “While I suspect the real motive might have been to cash social security checks, I posited the question, what could possibly be a loving reason why someone would do something like that - and, of course, I shortened the time frame from years to weeks. Pronouncing Glenn’s theme is ultimately about loss and family reconciliation and it uses comedy to help deal with those often painful issues.

Since Pronouncing Glenn was inspired by a news item in USA TODAY, all the bizarre news tidbits shared by Dorcus throughout the play are true. 

CAST SIZE - 6(Character & Stage Age)
3 Women  (Millie - 40-50’s / Sandra late 20‘s-early 30’s / Dorcus - 50-60’s)
2 Men   (Ben late 20’s-early 30’s / Thomas 30’s-early 40’s)
1 Boy (Boyd - 8)

REVIEWS

Succeeds wonderfully at devising a brace of charming, believable characters that have us laughing with them and caring about them . . . abounds in fresh ideas, well-crafted repartee, and touching scenes . . . Pronouncing Glenn represents a remarkable achievement.
— Seven Days Vermont, 10/01/08
 

Excerpts from Pronouncing Glenn